Laws enacted in the just-concluded 2010 Hawaii legislative session will increase insurance costs and possibly affect premiums for Hawaii consumers and businesses, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said.
“Hawaii is facing difficult state budget problems, and we realize that the Legislature had to take action to address the state’s fiscal woes. However, PCI believes that some actions taken by the Legislature will drive up the costs for insurance coverages that Hawaii families and businesses need,” said PCI Vice President Sam Sorich.
SB 2159 nearly triples the fee from $7 to $20 for insurers to obtain a driving record copy. HB 1985 doubles more than 30 other fees that are paid by insurance companies, agents, brokers, adjusters and other insurance entities. HB 2600 requires insurance companies to put systems in place to pay premium taxes monthly rather quarterly, which has been the long standing practice. The three new laws go into effect July 1, 2010.
“The cumulative impact of the higher costs resulting from these three bills will make it more expensive for insurers to provide insurance protection in Hawaii. The higher costs of providing insurance products could ultimately be reflected in premiums paid by consumers and businesses,” Sorich said.
He pointed to two other bills that were passed in the last days of the legislative session and are now pending before Gov. Linda Lingle. One is HB 1978, which would make it easier for a consumer’s insurance company to obtain his or her car from a tow yard. That will help to hold down auto insurance costs. PCI supports HB 1978. The other bill, SB 2566, would deprive an employer of its right to contest a workers’ compensation diagnostic service. PCI is opposed to SB 2566.
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