P&C Legislative Round-Up: October 2020

Here are the key insurance-related legislative updates from across the U.S. (Photo: iStock)

Editor’s Note: At the start of each month, we publish insurance legislative and regulatory news and updates from around the nation.

National updates

Th U.S House voted to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through September 30, 2021, as part of a measure to fund the federal government through December 11. In a statement, Wyatt Stewart, Big “I” assistant vice president of federal government affairs, said, “While we appreciate that this legislation provides needed certainty for the next year, it is imperative that Congress finally pass a longer-term extension of a modernized NFIP in 2021.”

U.S. Senator Cory Booker introduced the Prohibit Auto Insurance Discrimination (PAID) Act that would ensure insurance companies use only driving records in determining car insurance rates and eligibility.

“The auto insurance industry may not be consciously supporting discriminatory practices, but the systemic issues in the way rates are calculated are inherent, and frankly, have been enforced for far too long… The PAID Act is a step in the right direction in acknowledging the present discrimination, but there remains a lot more work to be done by insurers,” said Nestor Solari, founder and CEO of Sigo, in a release.

A proposed regulation from the U.S. Department of Labor would adopt an “economic reality” test for determining which workers qualify as independent contractors. It explains that contractors must be in business for themselves, rather than economically dependent on the possible employer for work.

State updates

California signed AB 2043 into law, which will require the state’s state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health to provide information, in both English and Spanish, on best practices for COVID-19 infection prevention.

A draft version of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap was filed in Colorado. According to Howard Geller, executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project SWEEP), the draft “correctly identifies energy efficiency and electrification as key tools to cut pollution across Colorado. Reducing energy waste and shifting from fossil fuels to increasingly clean electric power will protect our climate, improve our health, and save us money. However, many of the proposed actions in the Roadmap are not fully fleshed out.”

New Jersey passed SB 2380 to create a rebuttable presumption that, during a declared state of emergency, COVID-19 is an occupational disease for specific workers. The law is effective immediately and retroactively applies to March 9, 2020.

AB 4134 also passed in New Jersey. If signed into law, the bill will establish a retirement savings program for certain workers.

SB 2866 was introduced into the New Jersey Senate. The bill would prohibit a workers’ compensation insurance carrier from filing a subrogation claim against a third party for employee injury arising from an automobile accident.

Michigan introduced HB 6187 that will prohibit employers from taking adverse employment action against an employee for the use of personal protective equipment.

HB 606 was signed into law by Ohio Governor Mike Dewine. The law is effective from March 9,  2020, to September 30, 2021. It provides civil immunity to businesses, including schools, health care providers, and other entities from suits arising from the exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19 or any other mutation of the virus, so long as those businesses do not demonstrate reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.


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