Articles by Alan Smith

At NCOIL, Anti-Rebating Debate Ponders Fitbits and Free Turkeys

Is a free turkey a rebate? That was the question from Idaho Insurance Director Dean Cameron that stumped the experts. One of the more interesting debates of the National Council of Insurance Legislators’ summer meetings in Newport Beach, California, has …

As an Unelected Legal Organization Attempts to Rewrite Insurance Law, Indiana Legislators are Pushing Back

State legislatures, including Indiana’s General Assembly, are moving to protect themselves from an emerging version of legal “alternative facts” as yet another venerable American institution erodes its own credibility. This week, Indiana legislators are scheduled to consider a resolution warning …

States Experiment with How to Address Towing and Storing Abuses

As stories about nonconsensual or “predatory” practices proliferate, a number of states have begun to consider legislation to mitigate some of the abuses of the towing and vehicle-storage industry. However, we remain a ways off from anything like a national …

Detroit Mayor, Statehouse Leaders Take Another Shot at Michigan No-Fault Reform

The state that long has been home of the American auto industry also long has taken a unique approach to auto insurance. The Great Lake state is the only one in the country that requires auto insurance policies to pay …

N.C. Lawmakers Again Scuttle Bill to Reform Rate Bureau

Most of the auto insurance industry has for several years been trying to convince North Carolina’s lawmakers to eliminate the last vestiges of the once-common “rate bureau” system, under which the government ordains that companies must use rates set by …

Signs of hope in North Carolina

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill 119-1 Monday which, for the first time, would disclose to North Carolina drivers what they pay in surcharges to the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility. The facility is a state-mandated entity for …

Insurance Industry Needs Better Arguments for ‘Price Optimization’

Back in her high school days, my daughter got to be a pretty darned good field hockey player, eventually became the captain of her team. But in her sophomore year, Regina was still locked in a competition with another student …

Detroit Takes Another Title: Highest Car Insurance in America

The Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor metropolitan area has higher auto insurance rates than any other top 25 metro area in the United States. It wasn’t even close, according to the financial information provider (Bankrate Insurance) quoted in USA Today. With average rates …

Wisconsin Workers’ Comp Insurers Propose to Rein in Costs

States once again show the way to management and reform of public systems by having affected interests sit down together to work out a plan. In Wisconsin, the nation’s oldest workers’ compensation program historically has been maintained through negotiated revisions …

Insurance Shows That Federalism Works

Fifty-four years ago, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations was established by statute to examine the best or most logical accommodations of federalism. For many years, it held quarterly meetings in the New Executive Office Building in Washington, letting some …