State insurance rule tweaks no threat to CUs
An annual report card on state insurance regulation produced by the Washington-based public policy think tank R Street Institute and published in December ranked the states on several regulatory categories and calculated an overall grade that ranged in from A+ for Vermont to F for California and North Carolina. The report found, in fact, that in 2014, most state legislatures did little to move the needle on regulation.
Florida created a regulatory framework for private insurers to offer flood coverage, and eliminated the assessments in place since 2007 for a hurricane catastrophe fund. California set up a regulatory framework for ride-sharing companies like Uber, which included insurance requirements. Connecticut prohibited insurers from imposing extra requirements on homeowners in areas prone to windstorms.
Aside from these specific state issues, the report identified some regulatory issues that span state borders. It noted that about half the states have adopted model legislation from the National Conference of Insurance Legislators that prohibits the use of credit scores as the sole factor in determining rates.
Regulatory modernization is an area that has seen more collaborative efforts, the report noted. The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission was established in 2006 to streamline approval of life insurance products and help insurers compete with banks and securities firms in innovating new products.
The insurers based in the 44 state signatories to the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission can make a single filing for new products in life, annuity, disability and long-term care insurance and then offer it in all signatory states once it is approved.
Meanwhile, insurance regulators are slowly adapting to the digital age. The report noted that 18 states allow customers to access insurance documents online, 24 states allow companies to send notifications by web only once customers have opted in, and 37 states now permit drivers to show electronic proof of insurance when stopped by police.