California Legislature Considers Insurance Bills

April 1, 2008

California’s legislature is considering several insurance-related bills this session. Following is a synopsis, as summarized by the Association of California Insurance Companies, of bills still pending.

*Assembly Bill 1866 pased 48-25. The bill would require a retailer that sells a service contract on a product to keep and maintain a copy of the contract for the duration of the contract. The bill is now at the Senate Rules Committee for committee assignment.

* Senate Bill 1189 passed in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee by a vote of 3-2. The bill would require an employer or insurer to provide a supplemental job displacement voucher to an employee, who has not returned to work, no later than 74 days after the date the employee’s disability becomes permanent and stationary. (Under current law, an employee becomes eligible for the voucher 60 days after the termination of temporary disability.) If there is no determination of percentage of permanent disability, SB 1189 would require the employer or insurer to provide a voucher based on a reasonable estimate of percentage of permanent disability. The bill now is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

*Senate Bill 1361 is being heard by the Senate Public Safety Committee. The bill would lower from 0.20 percent to 0.16 percent the level of alcohol in a person’s blood that a court is required to consider in determining whether the person must install a certified ignition interlock device in that person’s vehicle.

*Also dealing with ignition interlocks, SB 1361 would require that, as a condition of reinstatement of a person’s driving privilege, a person submit proof of installation of an ignition interlock device where the person has been convicted of DUI. And SB 1388 would require that a person immediately install an ignition interlock device on all owned vehicles for one to three years under specified circumstances (e.g. being convicted of driving a vehicle when his or her license has been suspended or revoked for conviction of a DUI within a 10-year period).

* Assembly Bill 1910 is being evaluated by the Assembly Insurance Committee. The bill would require insurers to develop, and file with the insurance commissioner, a “community development investment” policy setting forth goals for community development investments during the following two years.

*Senate Bill 1059 is being heard by the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee. The bill would provide that it is unlawful for an insurer to require the installation of an aftermarket part on a vehicle within five years from the date on which the vehicle is sold as new. SB 1059 would also make it unlawful for an insurer to limit payment to the cost of installing an aftermarket part on a vehicle when an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part is installed within five years from the date on which the vehicle is sold as new.

Source: ACIC

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