California Insurance-Related Bills Meet Deadline for Passage in 2013

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The deadline for Assembly bills to be passed by the California State Assembly and for Senate bills to be passed by the California State Senate was last Friday, May 31. 

Bills that met the deadline are eligible for enactment this year.  Bills that failed to meet the deadline remain alive and may be considered in 2014.

Assembly bills that met the May 31 deadline are now being considered by the Senate. Senate bills that met the deadline are now being considered by the Assembly.

This year’s regular legislative session will end on September 13.

Here are summaries of noteworthy insurance-related bills that met the May 31 deadline.

Assembly Bills

AB 32 would increase the annual aggregate amount of qualified investments eligible for the Community Development Financial Institution tax credit from $10 million to $50 million. Insurers are able to obtain a credit against the insurance gross premium tax for qualifying investments.

AB 584 would require domestic insurance companies to regularly conduct an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) consistent with the NAIC’s ORSA Guidance Manual. Insurers would be required to submit annually an ORSA Summary Report to the Insurance Commissioner. An insurer that has an annual direct written premium of less than $500 million would be exempt from the bill’s requirements, however the Insurance Commissioner would have the authority to require an exempt insurer to conduct an ORSA based on specified criteria.

AB 715 would authorize an appellate court to review a trial court’s ruling on the admissibility of evidence in a summary judgment proceeding using a de novo standard of review.

AB 802 would require a private arbitration company to collect additional information related to a consumer arbitration case and to make the information available in a single cumulative report.

AB 1236 would authorize a licensed contractor organized as a limited liability company to obtain limited liability insurance coverage from an eligible surplus line insurer.

AB 1113 would make changes to the provisional driver’s licensing program. AB 1113 would require a person to hold an instructional driver’s permit for a minimum of nine months prior to applying for a provisional driver’s license (current law sets a minimum of six months), would prohibit a provisional licensee from driving between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions (current law sets the hours at 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.), and would prohibit a provisional licensee from transporting passengers who are under 21 years of age, with exceptions (current law applies the prohibition to passengers under 20 years of the age).

AB 1309 would limit access to the California workers’ compensation system for professional athletes who are employed by out-of-state teams. AB 1309 also would establish a special statute of limitations for workers’ compensation cumulative injury claims involving professional athletes. 

AB 1371 would require a driver to provide a three-feet distance between the vehicle and a bicycle when passing.    

Senate Bills

SB 146 would enact a provision stating that a copy of a prescription for workers’ compensation pharmaceutical services is not necessary unless a copy is required under a written contract between an employer, insurer, or third-party administrator and a pharmacy.

SB 251 would allow an insurer to offer to its policyholders the option of receiving notices, offers, renewals, and disclosures electronically.    

SB 476 would eliminate the sunset dates for the Auto Consumer Assessment, the Organized Automobile Fraud Activity Interdiction Assessment, and the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Fund. The bill also would lower the maximum assessment for the Auto Consumer Assessment from $0.30 per vehicle to $0.25 per vehicle and would expand the application of the Life and Annuity Consumer Protection Fund to include life insurance and annuity products valued at less than $15,000.