2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
August 5, 1996
TO THE HONORABLE, THE SENATE:
In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 96-S-3014, Substitute B, "An Act Relating To Insurance."
This Act would require that automobile insurers notify policyholders of any material difference in deductibles, limits or coverage upon renewal by utilizing the "standard bureau personal automobile policy form."
There is a major flaw with this legislation because the term "standard bureau policy" is undefined. The apparent intent of this legislation is to have Rhode Island automobile insurers utilize the policy form issued by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO). ISO, however, is a private, for-profit company which provides policy forms to insurance companies for a fee. Reliance on the standard form sanctioned by ISO as a benchmark is inappropriate given that the DBR is the governmental agency responsible for regulating auto insurance policies and forms. This legislation has the effect of comparing policies to a standard that has not been established by the DBR. Instead, this legislation would allow a "standard bureau policy" written by a private third party to be the standard.
The result of this legislation will be very confusing for consumers. Insurance companies would be required to compare their contracts to a "standard bureau policy," inaccessible to most consumers. More importantly, consumers may actually be misled by such ISO notice forms comparing their policy with the standard policy. This confusion would be heightened by the fact that many insurers already provide consumers with notices regarding changes in their current policies.
More importantly, I have signed into law, 96-H-8654, "An Act Relating To InsuranceŃCasualty Insurance," which seeks to address disclosure requirements when an insurer makes material changes to certain kinds of property and casualty insurance policies at the time of renewal. This legislation directs the Department of Business Regulation to promulgate regulations to specify what level of disclosure is required.
For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.