Rosendale Highlights Consumer and Business-Friendly Insurance Bills

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Note: This press release covers non-health-related insurance bills from the 2017 Legislature. For Matt Rosendale’s remarks on health insurance bills, see this previous press release.

HELENA, MT – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Matt Rosendale today highlighted several good insurance bills from the 2017 Montana Legislature.

“These bills protect consumers, improve Montana’s business climate, and reduce unnecessary regulations,” Rosendale said.

SB 58, sponsored by Sen. Mary McNally (D-Billings)
Status as of 5/3/17: Signed into law
Effect: Prohibits zero dollar claims from being considered for changes to personal insurance policies (changes include cancellation, refusal to renew, or increased premiums). Zero dollar claims can occur if a policyholder makes a claim but decides to pay out of pocket, hasn’t met the deductible and pays out of pocket, or simply asks about filing a claim.
Rosendale: “As Commissioner, my first responsibility is to advocate for Montana consumers. This common sense, bipartisan bill protects Montanans from having their policies cancelled over claims that cost insurance companies no money. This is a big win for Montanans who are complying with insurance policies that require them to notify the companies about a potential claim, or are simply trying to find out who should pay a claim. This new law protects consumers and is good for the people of Montana.”
McNally: “Montanans shouldn’t have their insurance policies cancelled for claims their company didn’t pay: it’s a matter of fairness. I’ve been proud to work with both a Democratic and Republican Insurance Commissioner on this bipartisan effort to help homeowners keep their coverage. I know it will help many families in Billings and across the state.”

SB 245, Sen. Dan Salomon (R-Ronan)
Status: passed the Legislature unanimously, transmitted to governor
Effect: Allows inactive captive insurance companies to apply for dormant status, improving Montana’s business climate for captive insurance companies.
Rosendale: “This is a good bill to keep Montana competitive for attracting new businesses. We have a strong captive insurance industry in this state and SB 245 further cements Montana as an industry leader.”

HB 653, Rep. Matt Regier (R-Kalispell)
Status: passed the Legislature, transmitted to governor
Effect: Streamlines service of process regulations and eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy at the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance office.
Rosendale: “This bill modernizes Montana law by eliminating my office as a middle man between litigants. It is a common sense bill.”

SB 167, Sen. Chas Vincent (R-Libby)
Status: passed the Legislature unanimously
Effect: Places the criminal provisions of state insurance code in one criminal section to make statute easier to read and understand.

HB 145, Rep. Zach Brown (D-Bozeman)
Status: passed the Legislature, transmitted to governor
Effect: Revises annuity regulations to better protect consumers.

SB 222, Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls)
Status: signed into law
Effect: Prohibits certain annuity contracts from having surrender penalties or charges on contracts older than 10 years