HB 2168 Enacts provisions relating to insurance

     Handler: Crawford

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -


CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 2168 - This act modifies provisions relating to insurance.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (Sections 288.132, 288.133, and B)

This act provides that any employer required to make contributions under the unemployment compensation laws shall pay an annual unemployment automation adjustment equal to .02% of its total taxable wages for the twelve-month period ending the preceding June 30th. The Division of Employment Security is permitted to lower this rate under certain circumstances.

These provisions have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2023.

These provisions are identical to SB 876 (2022), provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), and provisions in SS/SCS/SB 783 (2022), and substantially similar to SB 115 (2021), SCS/SB 691 (2020), provisions in SCS/HB 1559 (2020), HB 765 (2021), HB 2072 (2020), SB 161 (2019), HB 375 (2019), and provisions in SCS/HB 332 (2019).

MOTOR VEHICLE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (Sections 303.025, 303.041, and C)

The act specifies that the Department of Revenue shall establish by rule a process for the voluntary suspension of motor vehicle registration for vehicles which are inoperable or being stored and not in operation. The owner or nonresident shall not further operate the vehicle until notifying the Department that the vehicle will be in use, and the Department shall reinstate the registration upon receipt of proof of financial responsibility. Owners or nonresidents who operate a motor vehicle during a period of inoperability or storage claimed under the act shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and may additionally be guilty of a violation of The Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.

The act also provides that the Department of Revenue may verify motor vehicle financial responsibility as provided by law, but shall not otherwise take enforcement action unless the Director determines a violation has occurred as described in the act. (Section 303.025.1).

Currently, a first violation of The Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law is punishable as a Class D misdemeanor, meaning a fine may be imposed of up to $500; a second or subsequent offense is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $500. Under the act, a second or subsequent offense may be punished by up to 15 days in jail and shall be punished by a fine not less than $200 but not to exceed $500. (Section 303.025.3). Fines owed to the state for violations of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law may be eligible for payment in installments. Rules for the application of payment plans shall take into account individuals' ability to pay. (Section 303.025.6).

The act provides that if the Director of the Department of Revenue determines the "owner or" operator of a motor vehicle has not maintained financial responsibility as required by law, the Director shall suspend, in accordance with current law, the driving privilege of the owner or operator and/or the registration of the vehicle failing to meet the requirement. The act also repeals language detailing the manners in which the Director could determine whether financial responsibility has been maintained. (Section 303.041).

These provisions have a delayed effective date of January 1, 2024. (Section C).

These provisions are similar to provisions in SS/SCS/SB 783 (2022), provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed SS#2/HB 661 (2021), provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 4 (2021), SB 1086 (2020), and HB 2733 (2020).

PETROLEUM STORAGE TANK INSURANCE FUND (Section 319.129)

Currently, the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund expires on December 31, 2025. This act extends the expiration date to December 31, 2030, and gives the Board of Trustees authority to promulgate rules.

These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), provisions in SS/SCS/SB 783 (2022), provisions in SB 546 (2021), and provisions in HCS/HB 1436 (2021).

TRAVEL INSURANCE (Section 375.159)

The act specifies that the act shall not apply to cancellation fee waivers or travel assistance services, as defined in the act. Under the act, the Director of the Department of Commerce and Insurance may issue a limited lines travel insurance producer license to a person or business entity that has filed an application with the Director. A limited lines producer may sell, solicit, or negotiate travel insurance through a licensed insurer. (Section 375.159.2). The existing grounds for license suspension or revocation by the Director shall apply to limited lines travel insurance producers and travel retailers, as defined in the act. (Section 375.159.3(2)(b)). The act specifies that certain information travel retailers are currently required to provide to customers shall have been approved by the travel insurer. (Section 375.159.3(3)).

Persons licensed to produce major lines of insurance may produce travel insurance as well. A property and casualty insurance producer is not required to be appointed by an insurer in order to produce travel insurance. (Section 375.159.3(8)).

Under the act, travel insurance will be subject to taxation of premiums as provided by law, with certain disclosures to be made as specified in the act. (Section 375.159.4).

Travel protection plans, as defined in the act, may be offered if the protection plan makes certain disclosures and provides information and materials described in the act. (Section 375.159.5).

Except as otherwise provided in the act, persons offering travel insurance to residents of this state shall be subject to the Unfair Trade Practices Act. If there is any conflict between the act and the other insurance laws of the state regarding travel insurance, the provisions of the act shall control. (Section 375.159.6(1)). It shall be an unfair trade practice to offer or sell a policy of travel insurance that could never result in payment to the insured. (Section 375.159.6(2)).

The act requires documents provided to consumers prior to purchasing travel insurance to be accurate, and requires disclosure of and an opportunity to learn more about preexisting condition exclusions. The act specifies that certain documents required by law shall be provided to the purchaser as soon as practicable following the purchase of a travel protection plan, and provides for minimum periods in which policies can be cancelled for a full refund. (Section 375.159.6(3)(a)-(c)). The act requires disclosure of whether the travel insurance is primary or secondary coverage, and specifies that marketing the policies directly to consumers through an aggregator site, as defined in the act, shall not be an unfair trade practice if an accurate summary of the coverage is provided on the web page and the consumer has access to the full policy through electronic means. (Section 375.159.6(3)(d)-(e)).

The act prohibits the use of selling travel insurance by means of a negative option or "opt-out" that would require the consumer to take action to decline coverage, such as unchecking a box on an electronic form, when purchasing a trip. (Section 375.159.6(4)). It shall be an unfair trade practice to market blanket travel insurance coverage, as defined in the act, as free. (Section 375.159.6(5)). Where a consumer's destination jurisdiction requires travel insurance, it shall not be an unfair trade practice to require purchase of coverage through the travel retailer, or agreement to obtain and provide proof of coverage from another source, prior to departure. (Section 375.159.6(6)).

No person shall represent himself or herself as a travel administrator, as defined in the act, for issuance of travel insurance unless the person holds one of the types of license described in the act. Insurers are responsible for the acts of travel administrators administering their policies, and are responsible for ensuring relevant books and records are maintained to be provided to the Director upon request. (Section 375.159.7(1)).

Travel insurance shall be classified and filed for purposes of forms and rates under an inland marine line of insurance, except as otherwise provided in the act. Eligibility and underwriting standards for travel insurance may be developed, provided they also meet the state's underwriting standards for inland marine insurance. (Section 375.159.8).

These provisions are identical to SB 1116 (2022), provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), and provisions in SS/SCS/SB 783 (2022), and substantially similar to HB 2566 (2022).

VALUATION OF INSURANCE POLICIES AND CONTRACTS (Section 376.380)

Current law requires insurers providing life insurance, accident and health policies, deposit-type contracts, or annuity or pure endowment contracts, to hold reserves in an amount determined under the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' valuation manual.

This act repeals an exception specifying that insurers licensed and doing business in Missouri which have less than $300 million of ordinary life insurance premium may instead utilize a different method specified by law to determine the reserve amounts, provided the insurer meets certain conditions.

These provisions are identical to SB 1079 (2022), provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), provisions in SS/SCS/SB 783 (2022), and HB 2145 (2022).

MEDICAL RETAINER AGREEMENTS (Section 376.1800)

Current law allows for physicians to enter into contracts for the provision of health care services to an individual for an agreed-upon fee and period of time. This act provides that chiropractors and dentists may enter into the contracts as well.

This act is identical to SCS/SB 1097 (2022), and similar to HCS/HB 2340 (2022).

ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OF INSURANCE DOCUMENTS AND NOTICES (Section 379.011)

This act provides that if an insurance policy is purchased directly through an insurer's website, portal, or application, and is initially delivered by electronic means, a party's consent to have future notices and documents related to the policy, or claims thereunder, delivered by electronic means shall be presumed. The act shall not affect the rights of these parties to withdraw this consent.

These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 1042 (2022) and provisions in SS/SB 742 (2022), and similar to the perfected HCS/HB 2168 (2022).

ERIC VANDER WEERD


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