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PIA Thanks NCOIL During Testimony for Action on Certificates

PIA thanked the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) for all of the work it has done in passing a model bill to curb requests of agents for illegal Certificates of Insurance...
July 16, 2013

PIA thanked the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) for all of the work it has done in passing a model bill to curb requests of agents for illegal Certificates of Insurance. PIA National Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs David M. Eppstein, Esq. testified before the committee during the NCOIL meeting in Philadelphia, reiterating our appreciation to the legislators for addressing the issue.

Both Montana and New York have passed bills based on the NCOIL model, two of eight states to consider it. PIA National President Andrew C. Harris led PIA’s efforts, testifying at several NCOIL meetings, urging the legislators to act. He also personally brokered a compromise with lenders to address their concerns through a separate binder model.

“PIA National strongly supports the NCOIL certificate model and we also support the binder model for states that may have problems with binders expiring before the policy is issued,” said Eppstein, during testimony before the NCOIL Property & Casualty Committee, chaired by Representative Matt Lehman (IN). “PIA remains engaged with our industry partners to effectively respond to the lenders’ request for more detailed information on the binder. We believe the best forum for this is through the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) certificates working group, because all the parties have the chance to provide input and offer solutions.”

The committee recommended that NCOIL take no further action on this issue at this time, but allow the insurance industry and the lending community to continue to discuss adequate evidence of coverage for large commercial loans. In other action:

TRIA Extension: NCOIL also passed a resolution supported by PIA that calls for the extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). The resolution says that the United States continues to be engaged in an ongoing war against terrorism and the threat of future attacks remain. Acknowledging that future attacks could include the use of chemical or radiological weapons, resulting in a large number of causalities, the resolution confirms that the lack of private terrorism insurance may require the federal government to cover such losses.

“Extending TRIA is of vital importance to the United States economy,” said NCOIL President Rep. Charles Curtiss (TN). “All states are at risk of a terrorist attack. TRIA’s extension is an important step in protecting America.” Resolution sponsor Rep. Michael Stinziano (OH), added, “Extension of TRIA is essential for the economic security of the United States. If TRIA expires, commercial consumers might be unable to afford necessary insurance. I hope that Congress will act as soon as possible to extend TRIA and guarantee the widespread availability of terrorism insurance coverage to our citizens.”

Healthcare Reform: The legislators also held panels where they discussed the implementation of health care reform. Health care providers told the legislators that the system may be overwhelmed during the first few years, but after this initial spike, visits to health care providers should stabilize. The regulation of navigators was also discussed. The legislators were interested to know where the line would be drawn between the activities of a navigator and the activities of an agent or broker. The panelist representing the regulatory community said they would draw the line at recommending one plan over another or helping the consumer choose which plan is best for them. These are activities only a licensed agent or broker can perform.

Curbing Opioid Abuse: The legislators advanced best practices to curb opioid abuse, misuse, and diversion that when finalized will give states a broad framework for enactment of their own reforms. The draft NCOIL guidelines—which address prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), physician prescribing practices, education and outreach, and treatment and recovery—received strong praise from interested parties, who asserted that NCOIL was taking a lead role in tackling the opioid epidemic.

Unclaimed Life Benefits: NCOIL took steps to clarify the scope of its timely and vital unclaimed life insurance model act. The NCOIL Executive Committee unanimously adopted a technical amendment to the Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act in order to facilitate even wider adoption in the states.