Summary of Insurance-Related Bills Pre-Filed for the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature

—» UPDATED: The 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana State Legislature convenes on March 12, 2012, but bills for consideration during the session have already begun to be pre-filed to meet the pre-filing deadline on February 29, 2012.

Below is a summary provided by Louisiana Insurance Regulatory Law of some of the pre-filed bills relating to insurance, insurance law and the insurance industry, culled from the digests of the bills in their pre-filed form:

Senate Bill No. 118
To revise LSA-R.S. 22:1189 to add independent review of benefit determinations to the authority of the Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance to promulgate regulations and marketing practices.

—» Senate Bill No. 139
The current law provides that a lessee of a commercial lease has the option of purchasing insurance from an insurance agent and/or an insurance company of his own selection, as long as such are licensed to transact business in the State of Louisiana and acceptable to the lessor. The proposed law creates an exception to this provision for a consumer lease between an employer and an employee for a motor vehicle.

—» Senate Bill No. 146
Provides that a public adjuster shall not also act as an appraiser or perform an appraisal function relating to a claim on which he is adjusting or investigating.

House Bill No. 82
Elimiates the current requirement that a health insurer obtain prior written consent from the insured before seeking reimbursement from an insurer that provides automobile medical payment coverage to the insured. Also revokes the current provision of the law that authorizes health insurers to seek reimbursement from a medical payments insurer for only the outstanding balance remaining under an automobile policy for medical coverage after a period of nine (9) months from the date of the accident.

House Bill No. 94
Amends certain sunset provisions such that the Louisiana Department of Insurance's current operational termination date of July 1, 2012 is extended until July 1, 2017.

House Bill No. 150
Clarifies that health maintenance organizations that do business in Louisiana must maintain capital and surplus in the amount of three million dollars ($3,000,000).

House Bill No. 154
Extends the time period which triggers an insured's refund to begin to accrue interest at a rate of 1.1% per month from 30 days to 60 days after the insured's letter of cancellation, elimination or reduction to the insurer or delivery of the request for such a refund. Also provides that if a refund of twenty-five dollars ($25) or less, including interest, is due an insured who continues to maintain a policy of insurance with the insurer or an affiliated insurer, that insurer may apply the refund to the insured's next premium in the form of a credit upon written notice to the insured.

House Bill No. 160
Adds vehicle mechanical breakdown insurers and property residual value insurers among those insurers assessed an annual financial regulation fee of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

House Bill No. 193
Provides relative to compensation of personnel employed by the Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance to conduct examinations of insurers by removing certain of the current provisions relative to the disposition of such compensation.

House Bill No. 201
Limits an injured third party's right of direct action against an insurer to certain exceptions, and provides that in the absence of these exceptions, the injured third party must take legal action against the insured party.

House Bill No. 229
Adds certain master limited partnerships to the certain limited partnerships or limited liability companies in which a Louisiana domestic insurer may invest or hold an interest.

House Bill No. 247
Extends the 25% rebate that automobile insurers offer to active military personnel to reservists and members of the Louisiana National Guard.

—» House Bill No. 257
Requires Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to keep track of the refunds due as a result of assessments collected on homeowners' insurance policy premiums, and to send these refunds to insureds on its own initiative rather than requiring the insured to request the refund as currently provided. Also requires Citizens to report annually to the Commissioner of Insurance regarding the number of insureds who have paid the Citizens assessment, and the amount of refunds to be distributed.

—» House Bill No. 258
Requires that state-mandated discounts and credits available for homeowners' insurance must be disclosed to policyholders in an insert in the insurance policy. Also requires a disclosure of discounts and credits that the insurer voluntarily offers to policyholders. This disclosure is for informational purposes only, and shall not affect coverage provided in a policy.

—» House Bill No. 260
The current law prohibits a contracted healthcare provider from discount billing, dual billing and collecting or attempting to collect an amount in excess of the contracted reimbursement rate for covered health care services. The proposed law provides that this provision shall not prohibit a contracted health care provider from enforcing rights relative to privileges on payment pursuant to the present law.

—» House Bill No. 304
Reduces the Bail Bond Apprentice Program, whereby a licensed bail bond producer employs and trains an apprentice, from six (6) consecutive months to three (3) consecutive months.

—» House Bill No. 308
Provides that it is an unfair method of competition, as well as unfair and deceptive, for an automobile insurer to establish a contract or agreement with any individual or company to manage, subcontract, broker or arrange insurance repair for any glass repair or replacement on a motor vehicle. Additionally, repeals the present law declared to be unconstitutional in the case of Globe Glass & Mirror Co. v. Brown, 917 F.Supp. 447 (E.D. La., 1996) (the practice of limiting which company an insurer may contract with for repairs is unconstitutional because it is an impermissible violation of the dormant Commerce Clause).

This summary will be updated as more bills are pre-filed.

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