NAII Supports NH Insurance Regulatory Reform Bill

January 21, 2003

The National Association of Independent Insurers has issued a statement strongly supporting the new insurance regulations contained in a Bill introduced last week in the New Hampshire legislature by Rep. John Hunt, chairman of the House Committee.

The NAII worked closely with the Department of Insurance and the NH legislature over the past two years to develop the bill, and stressed that its provisions will “make it easier for insurers and consumers to transact business in the state and help improve and protect state regulation of insurance.”

“This bill represents nothing less than a monumental sea change in how rates would be regulated in New Hampshire,” stated Gerald L. Zimmerman, NAII senior counsel. Among other changes the new legislation proposes to lower “the Exempt Commercial Policyholder (ECP) threshold from $500,000 to $100,000, makes most other commercial lines ‘use and file,’ and makes personal lines a 30-day file-and-use with a prospective only cure,” said the NAII bulletin.

“Other significant changes include the market being deemed competitive as well as the only review standards being inadequate or unfairly discriminatory in a competitive market. New Hampshire currently has prior approval for auto, so the changes outlined above are truly significant,” said the NAII.

Zimmerman indicated that hearings on the Bill would probably begin by mid-February. He noted that “the bill’s sponsor chairs the commerce committee, which oversees insurance issues,” and this “means the bill stands an excellent chance.”

“We’re especially grateful for the cooperation of the Department of Insurance in getting this bill on the table,” Zimmerman added. “The Department’s dedication to the concept of regulatory modernization is largely responsible for the success of this bill so far.”

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