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Westmont Wire

Illinois Issues Bulletin Reminding Insurers of Workers Compensation Obligations

On May 20, 2019, the Illinois Department of Insurance issued Bulletin #2019-05 regarding all insurers approved to write workers’ compensation insurance. The Bulletin reminds insurers of their obligation to comply with statute 215 ILCS 5/457, Prior Approval of Workers’ Compensation Rate and Loss Cost Filings, which directs insurers to pre-file every manual of classifications, manual of rules and rates, rating plans, and modifications thereof at least 30 days before they become effective. Insurers may satisfy these obligations by adopting the filing of a licensed rating organization and, with the approval of the Director, may deviate from such filings after providing supporting information for the basis of the deviation. Any filing under 215 ILCS 5/457 will not be effective nor used until approved.

For any questions regarding Bulletin #2019-05, or for any workers’ compensation filing inquiry, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.

California Court Upholds $27.5 Million Penalty Against Mercury Insurance

On May 8, the California Court of Appeals upheld a $27.5 million fine against Mercury Insurance, the largest penalty ever assessed by the California Department of Insurance. Mercury Insurance received the fine in 2015 for charging its automobile insurance customers unapproved fees of $50 to $150 on top of Mercury’s approved rates from September, 1999 to August, 2004, in violation of Proposition 103. The Department of Insurance imposed a penalty of $150 for each violation from September 8, 1999 to August of 2004. The Court of Appeals ruled that Mercury’s brokers were acting as agents, thus requiring their fees to be part of the premium. The decision overturns a 2016 Orange County Superior Court decision that ruled to strike the fine.

For any questions about the California Court of Appeals decision, or for inquiries regarding compliant premium payment strategies, please contact Westmont Associates.

Florida Senate Approves Major Surplus Lines Modernization Bill

On May 6, 2019, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 301 in an effort to modernize Florida’s surplus lines requirements. Awaiting final approval by the Governor, the bill removes the $35 cap on surplus lines agent policy fees and increases the loss adjustment expense reimbursement from 5% to 10% of reimbursed losses. The bill also removes the notarization requirement for workers’ compensation applicants’ and agents’ sworn statements as well as cutting some paperwork requirements by permitting certain electronic filings. Finally, the bill reduces the number of required declinations on homes valued between $700,000 and $1 million from three to one. After passing through the House of Representatives with a 114-0 vote and the Senate with a 37-1 vote, Governor DeSantis is expected to approve HB 301.

For any questions regarding House Bill 301, or for surplus lines regulatory inquiries, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.


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