Arizona lawmakers have passed an electronic records bill offering consumers the convenience of buying insurance online. The bill, passed by the Senate 29-0 Monday and awaiting the governor’s signature, would create the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Customers who use this medium would enjoy the same protections they currently have by law. The legislation is also voluntary, meaning consumers who do not wish to do business over the Internet will never be forced to do so. At least 17 states, including California, Indiana, Virginia and Nebraska, are considering similar bills. The National Association of Independent Insurers supports the bills, but believes they are just the first step. “Effectively transacting business over the Internet requires much more than just authorizing electronic signatures,” said Sam Sorich, vice president and western regional manager for NAII. “Insurance is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the nation, with the smallest policy details regulated differently state by state.” “The next step is for regulators to develop clear and consistent rules across the board, so that buying and selling insurance policies online can become a reality.”
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