Missouri Legislative Session Concludes; PCI Supported E-Card, No Play, No Pay and Workers Compensation Reform Passes


Jefferson, City, MO (WorkersCompensation.com) - The Missouri General Assembly made big strides this year towards modernizing how policyholders can access information associated with their insurance policy, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). The General Assembly passed SB 322 which allows consumers to use electronic devices to show evidence of insurance as well as permits property casualty insurers to post a consumer's policy online and send a link via email to the policyholder in lieu of providing a hard copy.

In the final week of the session, which concluded Friday, May 17, the General Assembly passed several bills important to insurance consumers. In addition to making it easy for consumers to access their insurance policy, lawmakers also passed important reforms (SB 1) to address the state's ailing Second Injury Fund and HB 339 which prohibits recovery of non-economic damages by those who have been injured in an automobile accident but whom themselves do not have auto insurance.

“Missouri would be among the first states in the nation to enable consumers to take the next steps in going paperless by allowing them to opt to access their policies online and use electronic devices to display insurance identification card information if Governor Nixon signs SB 322,” said Ann Weber, vice president state government relations for PCI. “Increasingly consumers want to conduct business electronically and this legislation is just another way to use technology to make everyday life a little easier. The ability to access your policy online will prove particularly beneficial for consumers following a catastrophic event if the paper copy is not easily accessible.”

For several years lawmakers have been unable to reach agreement on resolving problems with the state's Second Injury Fund. However, the General Assembly reached a compromise with SB 1. The bill limits the types of claims that can be run through the Second Injury Fund and the amount that can be recovered. It also clarifies that the workers compensation system is the exclusive remedy for the majority of occupational diseases, except for mesothelioma. For claims involving mesothelioma, employers will be able to choose coverage through the workers compensation system; use a special risk pool; or handle the case through the standard litigation process. 

The legislation provides that the Second Injury Fund shall impose a supplemental surcharge not to exceed 3 percent of net premiums from 2014 to 2021, in order to maintain the fiscal solvency of the fund. The legislation also allows greater flexibility in rating by allowing the use of individual risk premium modification rating plans.

The General Assembly also passed PCI-supported “No Pay, No Play” legislation (HB 339) that brings fairness to the state by barring uninsured motorists from collecting for pain and suffering from insured drivers. 

However, PCI was disappointed that HB 90 which addressed a procedure used in virtually every other state called reservation of rights did not advance. In Missouri it is difficult to use a reservation of rights and still provide a defense to the insured without the fear of a bad faith type of allegation. The bill would have allowed insurers to reserve it rights, until it determines if there is coverage or not, as is permissible in the rest of the country.

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $190 billion in annual premium, 40 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.


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