Introduced Version Senate Bill 709 History

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Senate Bill No. 709

(By Senators Kessler, Hunter, Minard, Chafin, Bowman, Edgell, Dempsey, White, Bailey, Barnes, Unger, Fanning, Plymale, Foster, Sharpe, Love and Jenkins)


Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Banking and Insurance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact §33-2-15b and §33-2-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to authorizing certain information to be provided to the Legislature by the Insurance Commissioner.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-2-15b and §33-2-19
of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
§33-2-15b. Reports to the Legislature.

(a) By the first of February, two thousand five, the Commissioner shall submit to the Legislature a report on third party causes of action;
(b) The report shall contain the following information:
(1) The legal history of the creation of a third party causes of action brought pursuant to Unfair Trade Practices Act as codified in article eleven of this chapter;
(2) An analysis of the impact of third party causes of action upon insurance rates and the availability of insurance in this state;
(3) A summary of the types of data which the Commissioner utilized in preparing the analysis: Provided, That the Commissioner will not disclose information which is otherwise confidential: Provided, however, That if the Commissioner is unable to obtain data which he or she considers necessary to preparing a full analysis, the Commissioner shall state in the report:
(A) The reasons that he or she was not able to obtain the data;
(B) Recommendations or proposed legislation for facilitating the collection of necessary data and protecting proprietary information;
(4) Information on what other states have this cause of action;
(5) Based upon the findings of the Commissioner, and if the findings so suggest, proposed legislation to address any reforms needed for third party claims under the Unfair Trade Practices Act;
(c) For purpose of preparing the report, the Commissioner may request from companies authorized to conduct business in this state any information that he or she believes is necessary to determine the economic effect of third-party lawsuits on insurance premiums. The companies shall not be required to provide the information. Any information which the company agrees to provide, shall be considered confidential by law and privileged, is exempt from disclosure pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, is not open to public inspection, is not subject to subpoena, and is not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any criminal, private civil or administrative action and is not subject to production pursuant to court order. Notwithstanding any other provisions in this section, while the Commissioner is to provide his or her general conclusions based upon the review of the data, the Commissioner is not to disclose the information in a manner so as to violate the confidentiality provisions of this section: Provided, That the information obtained by the Commissioner shall be provided to the West Virginia Legislature.
§33-2-19. Confidentiality of information.
In order to assist the Commissioner in the regulation of insurers in this state, it is the duty of the Commissioner to maintain, as confidential, and to take all reasonable steps to oppose any effort to secure disclosure of, any documents or information received from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, federal banking agencies or insurance departments of other states which is confidential in such other jurisdictions. It is within the power of the Commissioner to share information, including otherwise confidential information, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the board of governors of the federal reserve system or other appropriate federal banking agency or insurance departments of other states and members of the West Virginia Legislature: Provided, That such other jurisdictions agree to maintain the same level of confidentiality as is available under this statute and to take all reasonable steps to oppose any effort to secure disclosure of the information. "Federal Banking Agency" means the comptroller of the currency, the Director of the office of thrift supervision, the board of governors of the federal reserve system or the federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as set forth in section three of the federal Deposit Insurance Act.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide the Legislature with sufficient information upon which to make decisions on proposed legislation relating to regulation of the insurance industry.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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