Gerald Zimmerman, senior counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), viewed the 2002 Connecticut legislative session, which ended this week, as a “very successful year,” marked by some major victories for the insurance industry.
“This year was very successful for us, stated Zimmerman, “not so much as for what passed, but for what did not. NAII helped kill S.B. 399, the salvage title bill, and we were also able to help kill the plaintiffs’ trial bar bills.”
“S.B. 399 called for insurers to attach a copy of their damage estimate when offering certain salvaged motor vehicles for sale – a move that would have increased administrative costs and ultimately upped premiums for consumers, with no real benefits,” Zimmerman asserted.
In addition he cited “a major victory last month, when four problematic workers’ compensation bills (S.B. 57, S.B. 58, S.B. 206 and S.B. 271) were defeated in the Senate, after extensive lobbying by the industry. Insurance industry lobbyists also persuaded legislators to kill H.B. 5745, which would have shifted the burden of proof from the claimant to the insurer in cases involving uninsured drivers.”
Other troublesome bills that died included: S.B. 538, which would have required insurers to disclose policy limits and coverage, even if no litigation was pending; and S.B. 451, which would have prohibited insurers from using credit scoring in underwriting auto and homeowners coverage.
“The plaintiffs’ trial bar came away nearly empty-handed this session, but they’re sure to be back next year,” Zimmerman indicated. “We’ll be ready for them.”
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