NAII Approves NH Insurer Confidentiality Bill

January 14, 2002

The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) has thrown its support behind pending legislation in New Hampshire designed to protect the confidentiality of insurance company audit information from third parties.

In a hearing before the NH House Commerce Committee the NAII said the bill, introduced by Rep. Leo Fraser, “would encourage insurer compliance with state laws and regulations.”

Gerald L. Zimmerman, senior counsel for the NAII, stated that, “Many insurance companies routinely audit their operations to be sure they are operating efficiently and effectively and complying with state laws and regulations, and meeting customer needs at the lowest possible cost.”

He stressed that the “Confidentiality of this information encourages insurer honesty and full compliance because it eliminates the threat of class-action bad faith lawsuits because of inadvertent information leaks.” Illinois became the first state to enact a confidentiality law Zimmerman said. Since then, Oregon, North Dakota and New Jersey have adopted similar laws.

“Although these laws are designed to protect insurance companies,” Zimmerman continued, “it’s the insurance consumers who really benefit, since such protection enables insurers to be more honest in their self-assessment. This leads to improved service for policyholders.”

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