Conn. Gov. Signs Insurance Bills Before Exiting

June 22, 2004

Although Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland vetoed a medical malpractice insurance reform bill last month because it failed to cap awards, he has signed into law a number of bills that are of importance to the property/casualty industry including workers’ compensation coverage, terrorism coverage exclusion and insurance industry-specific topics.

The measures were signed before Rowland resigned last eveining. (See related story.)

While the session ended without the medical malpractice caps and other tort reforms desired by the insurance industry, there was still some good news for the industry in the measures that did pass and in those that were left behind.

“We are pleased that a number of bills that would have negatively impacted the property/casualty insurance industry were left on the table, including a number of workers’ comp proposals. There were, however, several pertinent laws passed this session,” said Richard Stokes, regional manager and counsel of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

“Unfortunately, meaningful medical malpractice insurance reform was not taken up by the state legislature.”

Among the bills that Rowland signed into law are:

· S.B. 130, a workers’ compensation bill which conforms the time period for making certain payments to a recent statutory change in the time period for filing an appeal with the Compensation Review Board within the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
·
S.B. 289, which revises the home heating oil dealer registration program.
·
H.B. 5340, a workers’ compensation bill which expands the circumstances in which a claim can proceed despite the claimant’s failure to provide timely notice of claim and to require workers’ compensation commissioners to explain to employees appearing before them the rights, benefits and responsibilities of employees under the Workers’ Compensation Act; effective October 1.
·
H.B. 5200, the Standard Fire Policy exclusion bill, which allows commercial risk insurers to exclude loss due to terrorism, as defined by the Insurance Commissioner.
·
H.B. 5548, which deals with insurance producers, allowing the insurance commissioner to waive some examination requirements and concerned with residual payments made to heirs and assignees of insurance producers.

S.B. 482, which implements the legislative commissioners’ recommendations for technical revisions to certain insurance statutes, allowing them to make technical changes.

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