JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Jan. 26, 2018) – The R Street Institute welcomes the vote by the Missouri House of Representatives to approve H.B. 1287, legislation that would streamline the regulatory process for commercial property and casualty insurance in the Show-Me State. The measure cleared the chamber Jan. 25 by a 138-7 vote.

Sponsored by state Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, the bill would exempt commercial insurers from requirements to file rates and policy forms for review by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, except for workers’ compensation, medical malpractice liability, and farm property and liability policies, and coverage issued by an assigned-risk or residual market plan.

“Commercial property and casualty insurance contracts are business-to-business transactions conducted by competent parties who are fully capable of looking after their own interests,” R Street Director of Finance, Trade and Insurance Policy R.J. Lehmann said. “This change will allow Missouri regulators to focus their attentions where they are most needed, in scrutinizing the solvency of domestic insurers and making sure consumers are served fairly and in good faith.”

The legislation is similar to H.B. 741, which would have exempted 16 specialty commercial lines of business from having to file rates and policy forms with state insurance regulators. The Missouri House passed that measure by a 144-4 margin in April 2017, but it failed to advance last year in the state Senate.

“With another year of consideration, we are hopeful that the state Senate will take up and pass this legislation in the coming weeks, so that commercial insurers can begin to bring new products to market more quickly that better serve Missouri’s commercial insurance consumers,” Lehmann said.

Missouri earned a grade of “B,” ranking as the 16th best insurance regulatory environment in the United States, in R Street’s 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card.