HB 619 — Distracted Driving Bill Has Last Hurdle to Go on Senate Floor

HB 619 passed yesterday in the Senate Transportation Committee and now moves onto the Senate floor for its last hearing before final passage. We can not at all assume this will be an easy hurdle. We are asking all our members to contact your Senators immediately as we expect it will be heard sooner than later as they begin to wrap up this Session.

For talking points to opposition we've heard, click here.

PLEASE contact your Senator to ask that they support HB 619.

HB 752, Relative to MVRs Required to Obtain an Insurance
Premium Quote Has Been Sent to the Governor

In addition to our Distracted Driving bill we worked on with Rep. Huval, we also worked with him to introduce HB 752, which requires any insurer doing business in this state to accept a current copy of any MVR procured by a licensed producer or licensed insurance agency on behalf of a client in the quoting and underwriting of personal lines automobile insurance. Proposed law further provides that the motor vehicle report shall be deemed current if the report was issued within 15 days of the requested quote. It also authorizes an insurer who did not receive a current MVR from an agency or producer with the request for a quote to procure any necessary MVR. Proposed law further authorizes the insurer to provide the producer or agency with a current copy of the MVR and charge the actual cost of the MVR to the producer or agency seeking the quote. Proposed law authorizes the producer or agency to charge the client the actual cost of the MVR. The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the need to run and purchase multiple MVRs when shopping an account. To see the bill in its entirety click here. This bill has passed and is ready for the Executive Approval of the Governor.

FEMA's Response to CBS News Report

As you may already be aware, CBS News has reported two news items on the NFIP for the 2016 floods in Louisiana (links below). FEMA's statement is noted below.

News report links:



Click here for FEMA's Statement.

New York Bans NRA Insurance Program, Fines Lockton

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has fined Lockton Cos. $7 million for arranging the NRA Carry Guard insurance program because it violated state law. The National Rifle Association (NRA) program allows policyholders to buy policies that cover legal costs in self-defense shootings. Sales of the policies were halted last fall when DFS began its investigation. DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo said the investigation concluded that Carry Guard unlawfully provides liability insurance to gun owners for certain acts of intentional wrongdoing, which is prohibited by state law. Vullo added that Carry Guard is "an egregious violation of public policy designed to protect all citizens."

Vullo's investigation also concluded that the NRA needed a New York insurance license for the program and did not have one, even though it actively marketed Carry Guard. The state found other problems with the program's structure. DFS continues its investigation of the NRA, as well as Chubb and Lloyd's of London for their roles in the insurance program.

The NRA acted appropriately at all times and relied on Lockton and its assurances that the program complied with state regulations, according to William Brewer, a lawyer for the NRA. The NRA is suing Lockton Cos., alleging the insurance broker breached its contract with the firearms lobbying group.

Buffett Bullish on Healthcare, Leery of Cyber

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett said his company, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are making "a lot of progress" on an independent health care company for employees. Speaking during Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, Buffett said he is motivated by a desire to improve medical care services and cost.

The three companies announced their joint effort in January, saying in a statement that an initial focus on technology will enable the three companies to offer "simplified, high-quality and transparent health care at a reasonable cost" for U.S. employees and their families.

Also of note during Berkshire's annual meeting:

Buffett said GEICO is "a jewel," on track to grow profitably. Concerning whether small business insurance can be run on a GEICO-type model, Buffett said many companies are trying. "Anything that takes cost out of the system and makes it easy for the customer" will work in business, he said.

Buffett said he's leery of cyber coverage because of the unknown nature of what is a new product. Berkshire doesn't want to be a top-three cyber insurer because of the potential for large losses, he said. "I don't think we or anybody else really knows what they're doing when writing cyber insurance. We don't want to be a pioneer on this."

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