Office Of Insurance Regulation Releases Legislative Priorities
Contact: Beth Scott
Tallahassee - The Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) has released a list of legislative priorities for 2006 that includes creation of a National Catastrophe Insurance Program, prohibition of discrimination in purchasing life insurance, senior protection provisions in long-term care insurance policies, uniformity in electronic filing and providing viable recommendations for Florida's property insurance market.
- Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has spearheaded a national effort with insurance officials in other states and is presenting a resolution to Florida lawmakers that would call for personal responsibility, stronger building codes, mitigation, maximum risk-bearing capacity of private markets and quantifiable risk management through the federal government.
- Under the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act, insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating in rates charged based on the same actuarially supportable classes. Freedom to Travel legislation clarifies that insurers cannot discriminate based on an individual's past or future travel. The Office recommends providing rulemaking authority to the Financial Services Commission for limited exceptions based on national emergency conditions.
Following recommendations from the Long-Term Care Task Force in 2005, the Office proposes a market solution to address significant rate increases experienced by consumers in closed blocks of business through a more affordable alternative or reduced paid-up policy. In addition, the Office recommends the Florida Legislature provide the state's senior population with the opportunity to purchase a standardized long-term care benefit plan.
- Legislation addressing electronic filing for specialty companies and entities would bring conformity to financial reporting to the Office. Consistency in filings across lines of business would facilitate efficient financial statement analysis and provide better consumer protection. The Office could detect and resolve problems that could adversely affect consumers more quickly.
- After providing a report with recommendations from the Long-Term Hurricane Solutions Task Force due to be released by March 1, McCarty has committed to providing the Legislature with viable recommendations to address affordability and availability of Florida's property insurance market.