Bills that seek to update the territory’s insurance laws in wake of 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria — whose aftermath saw many residents complaining about the behavior of insurance firms — were voted on favorably on Wednesday in the Committee on Finance, and will be forwarded to the Committee on Rules and Judiciary for further vetting.
Among the measures was Bill No. 32-0248, which seeks implementation of the Actuarial Opinion and Memorandum Act to meet the accreditation standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (N.A.I.C.), and to provide for greater and more effective protection to the policyholders of the territory, according to the measure’s description. It was sponsored by Senator Kurt Vialet.
The N.A.I.C. is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through the N.A.I.C., state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
During the Wednesday hearing, Division of Banking and Insurance and Financial Regulation Legal Counsel Dolace McLean, said, “These stricter guidelines and standards will increase the probability that an insurance company will be able to meet its obligations to pay the claims and benefits due to the policyholders in the territory.”
Other bills that passed include: