SB 0773 Modifies law regarding residential property insurance
Sponsor:Bray Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number:3158S.01I Fiscal Note:3158-01
Committee:Small Business, Insurance & Industrial Relations
Last Action:01/08/04 - Second Read and Referred S Small Business, Insurance Journal page:S78
and Industrial Relations Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2004
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Current Bill Summary

SB 773 - This act modifies the law relating to residential property insurance.

RESIDENTIAL INSURANCE - Under this act, an insurer may cancel a homeowner's policy if physical changes in the property insured have significantly increased the hazards originally insured. Under the current law, an insurer may cancel the policy if physical changes have increased the hazards originally insured.

Under this act, the insurer must give the insured 60 days notice prior to cancelling the insured's policy (current law is 30 days). The insurer must also give the insured 60 days of its intention not to renew a policy.

Under this act, homeowner insurance companies shall not consider as a claim any inquiry made by the insured as to whether the policy covers a certain loss or whether the policy provides a certain type or level of coverage. Homeowner insurance companies are prohibited from refusing to renew a policy on the basis of a weather-related claim. Further, insurers are prohibited from using a rating plan or a rating system which surcharges the insured's dwelling fire or homeowners insurance premium based upon the insured's weather-related claims or upon inquiries into whether the policy covers certain losses.

FAIR PLAN - Under this act, the name of the Missouri Basic Property Insurance Inspection and Placement Program is changed to the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. FAIR plans were created in the late 1960's to make property insurance more readily available to people who can't obtain it from private insurers because their property is considered "high risk". The plans are operated by the insurance industry and make insurance available to property owners meeting certain requirements. Under the act, the FAIR plan is to offer dwelling fire, commercial fire and homeowners coverage for property owners, renters, and condominium owners. These coverages shall be similar to what is available in the standard market and provide protection against loss from various hazards.

The act increases the amount of property insurance coverage a person can obtain through the program on residential property from $100,000 to $300,000 and on commercial property from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000.

Under this act, the length of time in which the facility must approve or decline whether the FAIR plan will insure a potential insured is decreased from five days to three days after the inspection report and application are received.

All property insurance plans and underwriting guidelines used in the FAIR plan must be submitted to the director for approval at least 60 days prior to their use.

A FAIR plan insurance policy shall not be cancelled or nonrenewed unless the insured receives 60 days notice (up from 30 days).

The governing committee of the FAIR plan is increase by two members (for a total of 15 members). The two new members shall be consumer representatives. Under this act, the date of the annual meeting of the insurers and the governing committee must also be approved by the Director.