The National Association of Independent Insurers noted that the 2003 Vermont legislative session wrapped up with little impact on the property/casualty insurance industry.
The bulletin indicated that the legislative session had been dominated by more pressing priorities, notably budget issues and land use concerns. “Many of the insurance-related issues that dominated the agenda in the past, like insurance scoring and increases in required insurance coverage, never even came up,” stated NAII assistant general counsel Gerald L. Zimmerman.
The NAII did note, however, that two bills were passed that could have an impact on insurers:
– H.B. 148, which enacts the Vermont version of the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). The bill provides the statutory framework to allow transactions through electronic media, specifically by allowing insurers and other businesses to accept electronic signatures. The law goes into effect in January.
– H.B. 453, which specifies that a municipality is liable if an employee who was acting in the course of his or her job is involved in an auto accident. However, the Senate attached a provision on uninsured motorists (UM) coverage which has the potential to expand UM and increase premium costs. This conflicted with the House version, and conference committee determined that the Department of Banking and Insurance should study the issue and make recommendations to next year’s legislature.
It also noted that “H.B. 464, the fiscal year 2004 budget bill, contains a provision directing the legislative staff to work with the Department of Insurance on a summer study of the workers’ compensation system, rate structure, and effectiveness of the current delivery system. A report is due to the general assembly by Jan. 1, 2004.”