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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 21, 2014
Introduced by Senators Davis, Turner, Campsen, Young, O'Dell, Cromer, Cleary, Hembree, Pinckney and Sheheen
S. Printed 5/21/14--H.
Read the first time April 29, 2014.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO ENACT THE "COMPETITIVE INSURANCE ACT" BY AMENDING SECTION 38-3-110, RELATING TO DUTIES OF THE CHIEF INSURANCE COMMISSIONER, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DIRECTOR MUST ENGAGE IN EFFORTS TO PROVIDE MARKET ASSISTANCE AND PROMOTE CONSUMER EDUCATION TO COASTAL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE CONSUMERS, AND THE DIRECTOR MUST SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE BANKING AND INSURANCE COMMITTEE, AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY COMMITTEE BY NO LATER THAN JANUARY THIRTY-FIRST OF EACH YEAR REGARDING THE STATUS OF THE COASTAL PROPERTY INSURANCE MARKET; TO AMEND SECTION 38-7-200, RELATING TO CREDITS AGAINST PREMIUM TAX, TO DEFINE ESSENTIAL TERMS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT INSURERS MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PREMIUM TAX CREDIT AGAINST THE PREMIUM TAX IMPOSED BY SECTION 38-7-20 ON FULL COVERAGE POLICIES WRITTEN OUTSIDE OF THE COASTAL AREA TO REDUCE THE INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX LEVIED TO ONE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL PREMIUMS WRITTEN ON FULL COVERAGE POLICIES OUTSIDE OF THE COASTAL AREA, AND THE DIRECTOR OR HIS DESIGNEE SHALL DEVELOP PROCEDURES TO BE USED IN IMPLEMENTING THIS TAX CREDIT; TO AMEND SECTION 38-75-485, RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HURRICANE DAMAGE MITIGATION PROGRAM BY THE DEPARTMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT ONE PERCENT OF THE PREMIUM TAXES DUE TO THIS STATE BY BROKERS PLACING PROPERTY INSURANCE WITHIN THE ELIGIBLE SURPLUS LINES MARKET AND TWO PERCENT OF THE PREMIUM TAXES COLLECTED ANNUALLY AND REMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT BY INSURERS LICENSED TO DO BUSINESS IN THIS STATE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 38-75-755, RELATING TO NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANTS OR RENEWING POLICYHOLDERS OF AVAILABLE CREDITS, DISCOUNTS, AND DEDUCTIONS, TO PROVIDE THAT ALL INSURERS, AT THE ISSUANCE OF A NEW POLICY AND AT EACH RENEWAL SHALL NOTIFY THE APPLICANT OR POLICYHOLDER OF A PERSONAL LINES RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICY OF CERTAIN DISCLOSURES, AND THE DIRECTOR OR HIS DESIGNEE SHALL PRESCRIBE THE FORM AND MANNER FOR INSURER NOTICES OR DISCLOSURES, AND ANY DISCLOSURE SHALL BE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHALL NOT AMEND, EXTEND, OR ALTER COVERAGE PROVIDED IN A POLICY.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. A. Section 38-3-110(5) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(5)(a) The director must hold a public hearing at least annually at a location within the seacoast area, as defined in Section 38-75-310(7), to provide the public with information and an opportunity to discuss and offer input concerning the rates, territory, and other pertinent issues regarding the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association. The director must provide publicized notice of the
public hearing in newspapers of general circulation within the seacoast area at least thirty days before the date of the public hearing.
(b) The director must engage in efforts to provide market assistance and promote consumer education to South Carolina residential property insurance consumers. These efforts may include, but are not limited to:
(i) post on its website information to assist consumers in understanding the general provisions of homeowners insurance policies;
(ii) provide information on the mitigation discounts and credits available pursuant to Section 38-73-1095(C), including a summary of those offered by the twenty largest homeowners property insurance issuers by premium volume;
(iii) provide premium comparison information;
(iv) provide information to assist consumers in identifying
insurers writing property insurance coverage in their area;
(v) provide a listing of licensed property and casualty producers in their area; and
(vi) provide information on catastrophe savings accounts available pursuant to Article 11, Chapter 6, Title 12.
(c) The director must submit a report to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate,
and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, and the Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee by no later than January thirty-first of each year regarding the status of the coastal property insurance market. The report shall be posted in an electronic format on the department's website within five days of its submission. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) status of the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association, including any recommended modifications to statutory or regulatory law regarding the operation of the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association and its territory
(ii) status of operations and grants issued under the South Carolina Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program as provided for in Section 38-75-485;
(iii) availability and affordability of coverage in the coastal area as defined in Section 38-75-310(5), including any portion of the area as it may be expanded pursuant to Section 38-75-460;
(iv) consumer outreach and education efforts relating to coastal property insurance issues, including, but not limited to:
(a) summary of the annual meeting as required pursuant to subitem (5)(a); and
(b) specific projects and efforts undertaken pursuant to subitem (5)(b)."
B. The provisions of this SECTION take effect sixty days after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 2. Section 38-7-200(F) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
(F) This section applies to all new policies issued with an effective date after December 31, 2007."
SECTION 3. A. Section 38-75-755 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 38-75-755. (A) All insurers, at the issuance of a new policy and at each renewal, clearly shall notify the applicant or policyholder of a personal lines residential property insurance policy of the availability and the range of each premium discount, credit, other rate differential, or reduction in deductibles for properties on which fixtures or construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss in a windstorm have been installed or implemented, including information related to catastrophe savings accounts. The notice must describe generally what measures the policyholders may take to reduce their windstorm premium.
(B)(1) All insurers, at the issuance of a new policy and at each renewal, shall notify the applicant or policyholder of a personal lines residential property insurance policy of the following:
(a) whether or not the insured has coverage for flood or mold. The disclosure shall also state that insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program and that excess flood insurance may be available through an additional policy;
(b) a distinction between replacement cost for losses and actual cash value, the use of depreciation in determining payment for losses, and that the policy may contain time limitations for repairs to be completed in order to receive full replacement cost for the losses;
(c) that the policy determines the process for providing the insurer with a notification of a loss and the requirements of Section 38-59-10;
(d) that the insured may have the option to increase the deductible and thus lower the potential premium cost paid;
(e) whether a separate deductible is required for hurricane, wind, or named storm damage, as opposed to some other type of loss, and if so, include an example which illustrates how the deductible functions for a policy valued at one hundred thousand dollars and this illustration will include a clear explanation of the event which will trigger the deductible to the requirements of South Carolina Code of Regulations 69-56.
(2) The director or his designee shall prescribe the form and manner for insurer notices or disclosures issued pursuant to this subsection.
(3) Any disclosure provided pursuant to this section shall be for informational purposes only and shall not amend, extend, or alter coverage provided in a policy. Any notice or disclosure provided shall not be admissible in any action brought concerning a policy except for the sole purpose of showing that the notice was or was not provided pursuant to this section.
(B)(C) All insurers, at the issuance of a new policy and at each renewal of a commercial property insurance policy, shall include a notice that advises the policyholder that a reduction in premium may be available if the policyholder has taken steps to prevent or reduce damage from windstorm and that the policyholder may contact its agent, broker, or insurer for additional information.
(C) This section applies to policies issued or renewed after December 31, 2007."
B. The provisions of this SECTION apply to policies issued or renewed after December 31, 2014.
SECTION 4. The Department of Insurance shall conduct a study to assess the feasibility of the creation of a hurricane model by the State, with particular emphasis on the associated costs and physical/logistical requirements. The study also must assess the benefits to consumers of a South Carolina-produced model, including an evaluation of whether it would yield more accurate assessments of risk and better rates. The department shall summarize its findings in a written report that it must provide to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee before January 1, 2015.
SECTION 5. Unless otherwise provided, this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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