APCIA urging Florida Gov. DeSantis to veto legislation repealing no-fault auto insurance system

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is encouraging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a measure repealing the state’s personal injury protection “no-fault” auto insurance system.© Shutterstock State legislators have forwarded Senate Bill 54 to DeSantis, maintaining that the legislation possesses the ability to increase yearly auto insurance costs by as much as $860 […]

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The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is encouraging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a measure repealing the state’s personal injury protection “no-fault” auto insurance system.

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State legislators have forwarded Senate Bill 54 to DeSantis, maintaining that the legislation possesses the ability to increase yearly auto insurance costs by as much as $860 for some drivers, add more uninsured drivers, and contribute to rising litigation.

“Floridians have been loud and clear in asking the governor to protect their wallet and their roads by vetoing this major policy change,” Logan McFaddin, APCIA assistant vice president of state government relations, said regarding 37,000 letters forwarded to DeSantis on the matter. “Florida drivers are overwhelmingly concerned because they already pay the highest premiums in the country for full auto insurance coverage, and this change could mean their costs may be driven up even higher, making coverage unaffordable for many.”

Per the APCIA, the average auto insurance policy would be increased by as much as 23 percent or $344 if the legislation is signed into law.

“Consumers and businesses have already suffered significant financial hardship due to the unprecedented pandemic, and now is simply not the time to make drastic changes to Florida’s 50-year-old no-fault auto insurance system that are likely to increase costs for Florida drivers, especially those who can least afford it,” McFaddin said. “APCIA, alongside the many Floridians who have written letters, is urging Gov. DeSantis to take action to protect Florida drivers from higher auto insurance costs and from more uninsured drivers on Florida’s roads by vetoing SB 54.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/apcia-urging-florida-gov-desantis-to-veto-legislation-repealing-no-fault-auto-insurance-system/

Insurance groups support new Texas law enhancing annuity protections

Three consumer advocacy organizations are espousing the benefits of recently passed Texas legislation that lawmakers said would bolster protections for those seeking lifetime income through annuities.© Shutterstock The measures enhance the standards financial professionals are mandated to follow while preserving consumers’ ability to access tools needed for a secure retirement, per the American Council of […]

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Three consumer advocacy organizations are espousing the benefits of recently passed Texas legislation that lawmakers said would bolster protections for those seeking lifetime income through annuities.

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The measures enhance the standards financial professionals are mandated to follow while preserving consumers’ ability to access tools needed for a secure retirement, per the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI); Texas Association of Life and Health Insurers (TALHI); and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

“Unlike a fiduciary-only approach that limits choices for consumers, these measures make sure savers, particularly financially vulnerable middle-income Americans, can access information about options for long-term security through retirement,” ACLI President and CEO Susan Neely. “We hope additional states adopt these new standards so that more consumers planning for retirement can benefit from these protections.”

TALHI President and CEO Jennifer Cawley said running out of money is among retirees’ biggest fears.

“Annuities are the only product on the market that can provide a guaranteed stream of income and address this concern,” she said. “Thanks to the Texas Legislature’s leadership, Texans planning for retirement will have the tools they need to secure peace of mind no matter how long they live.”

NAIFA–Texas President Danny O’Connell said the new legislation imposes strict requirements on financial professionals, ensuring they will act in the best interest of Texas consumers they serve.

“Life insurance companies and agents strongly support this new law,” he said. “It provides Texans planning for retirement confidence that financial professionals will offer savings recommendations that address the unique situations of individuals and families, rather than their own financial interest.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/insurance-groups-support-new-texas-law-enhancing-annuity-protections/

American Property Casualty Insurance Association wary of Rhode Island legislation

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is concerned with two Rhode Island bills that could increase consumer auto costs.© Shutterstock The APCIA said the concern stems from H. 6324 and H. 6325, which the organization noted threaten to add costs related to parts, materials, sublet services, and a new industry standard markup loophole. “House […]

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The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is concerned with two Rhode Island bills that could increase consumer auto costs.

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The APCIA said the concern stems from H. 6324 and H. 6325, which the organization noted threaten to add costs related to parts, materials, sublet services, and a new industry standard markup loophole.

“House 6324 would effectively allow the autobody industry to use whatever part invoicing system they want, including several known to be open to potential manipulation, and an insurer would be required to pay without contest as long as an invoice is produced,” Frank O’Brien, vice president of Government Relations for the APCIA, said. “Even more concerning for consumers, it includes a broad but ambiguous list of services for which an auto body facility must be compensated in addition to a separate ‘industry standard markup.’ Together these changes translate to a blank check for the autobody industry to add exorbitant costs to an already overburdened system.”

Meanwhile, Harry Hall of Hall’s Garage in Scituate, R.I., and president of the Auto Recyclers Association of Rhode Island, said House Bill 6325 would ban the use of quality recycled parts Rhode Islanders rely on to repair their cars cost-effectively.

“Genuine recycled automotive parts sold by our members meet the highest standards of product assurance, quality control, and requirements for fit, finish, durability, reliability, and safety of the original equipment manufactured (OEM),” he said. “This legislation makes no sense.”

Hall said the bill would hurt small businesses and Rhode Island drivers who will be forced to pay higher costs for automobile repairs.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/american-property-casualty-insurance-association-wary-of-rhode-island-legislation/

Pennsylvania House passes bill to support integrity of banking system

The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives approved a bill last week that seeks to support the integrity of Pennsylvania’s banking system.© Shutterstock The legislation, House Bill 859, was introduced by Pennsylvania State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland). It now moves to the State Senate for a vote. The bill references the Banking Fund, which holds semi-annual […]

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The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives approved a bill last week that seeks to support the integrity of Pennsylvania’s banking system.

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The legislation, House Bill 859, was introduced by Pennsylvania State Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland). It now moves to the State Senate for a vote.

The bill references the Banking Fund, which holds semi-annual assessments paid by Pennsylvania’s state-chartered banks and credit unions to finance the regulation of the industry. However, in recent years, over $40 million from the fund has been transferred to balance operating budgets for state agencies.

“House Bill 859 would prevent state government from accessing dedicated revenue in order to balance budgets,” Delozier, a former majority chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said. “Moving the assessment dollars to a trust fund with the sole purpose of paying for the regulation and oversite of the industry and protecting the consumer in the case of a failure is good fiscal policy and consumer protection.”

She said the changes made by House Bill 859 would help to keep the banking industry regulated appropriately, without taxpayer dollars, “while allowing the institutions to remain good community partners, as they were this past year administering millions of dollars to our small businesses through the federal loan programs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/pennsylvania-house-passes-bill-to-support-integrity-of-banking-system/

Rep. Ryan applauds expansion of Child Tax Credit

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) said the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) recently passed in conjunction with the American Rescue Plan Act would prove life-changing for working families across Ohio. © Shutterstock Officials indicated the tax credit would benefit more than 2.3 million Ohio children and 137,000 children in the 13th Congressional District – adding […]

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U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) said the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) recently passed in conjunction with the American Rescue Plan Act would prove life-changing for working families across Ohio.

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Officials indicated the tax credit would benefit more than 2.3 million Ohio children and 137,000 children in the 13th Congressional District – adding the initiative would be transformative for working families while aiding the process of lifting millions out of poverty.

“They will help hard-working families make ends meet and to be able to put more money towards food, childcare, health services, clothing, and other essentials for qualifying families,” Ryan said. “We need to ensure that these changes become permanent as we work to lift generations of children out of poverty and help working and middle-class families with the financial resources they need to take care of each other.”

Through the provision, all qualifying families will receive the same monthly payments – $250 per month per child age 6-17 and $300 per month for every child under the age of six. Additionally, advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit will be made regularly from July through December to eligible taxpayers.

Per legislative guidelines, the increased amounts are reduced for incomes over $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and qualifying widows or widowers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $75,000 for all other taxpayers.

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APCIA opposes Washington state emergency insurance regulations

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is pursuing legal action in response to emergency regulations filed by Washington state officials banning credit-based insurance scores in rating and underwriting insurance. “APCIA and our members that write auto, home and renters insurance policies in Washington strongly oppose the unilateral action taken recently by Washington Insurance Commissioner […]

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The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is pursuing legal action in response to emergency regulations filed by Washington state officials banning credit-based insurance scores in rating and underwriting insurance.

“APCIA and our members that write auto, home and renters insurance policies in Washington strongly oppose the unilateral action taken recently by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler,” Claire Howard, APCIA senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, noted via a statement. “The Commissioner’s extreme action exceeds his authority, bypasses the legislature, and robs consumers of the benefits of a highly competitive private market.”

The APCIA indicated a petition for declaratory and injunctive relief has been filed in Thurston County Superior Court, asking the Commissioner’s action be declared invalid and enjoin its enforcement.

Additionally, the APCIA maintains consumers save money when credit-based insurance scores are used to assess how much is paid for insurance. Insurance scores are not credit scores like those used by banks to offer loans or credit cards.

“Insurers use specific information about how consumers use credit as one factor to give consumers the most affordable and accurate rate,” Howard concluded. “Many other factors go into how much you pay for insurance, but not race or income. Without these tools, insurance rates could go up for more than a million Washingtonians who are already struggling to pay bills during the COVID-19 pandemic recession.”

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Nebraska measures bolster annuity protections

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is supporting Nebraska state measures providing citizens statewide with enhanced consumer protections when buying annuities. © Shutterstock Officials said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts recently signed legislation focusing on the best interest of consumer interests in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation. […]

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The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is supporting Nebraska state measures providing citizens statewide with enhanced consumer protections when buying annuities.

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Officials said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts recently signed legislation focusing on the best interest of consumer interests in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

“Nebraska’s new law continues a drive by policymakers and elected leaders across the country to enhance protections for consumers seeking lifetime income in retirement,” ACLI President and CEO Susan Neely said. “At the same time, these new standards safeguard lower- and middle-income families’ access to important information they need for a secure retirement. We hope more states take similar actions, so all consumers are protected no matter where they live.”

The measures garnered strong support from Nebraska Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge and were championed in the state legislature by State Sen. Matt Williams (R-Dist. 36). The action offers bolstered state and federal protections while ensuring savers are not discriminated against and have information about options for long-term security through retirement.

“Running out of money is one of consumers’ biggest retirement fears,” Nebraska Insurance Federation Executive Director Robert M. Bell said. “As the only financial product that guarantees lifetime income, annuities can help alleviate this anxiety. Thanks to Sen. Williams, Gov. Ricketts, and the Nebraska Legislature, Nebraskans planning for a secure retirement will have access to important information about annuities to help them make informed decisions.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/nebraska-measures-bolsters-annuity-protections/

Gary, Indiana regains local housing authority control

After being under Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receivership since 2013, the Gary Housing Authority (GHA) is now transitioning back to local control. © Shutterstock “The Gary Housing Authority has made significant progress over the past several years,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. “I’m pleased that we are able to take this important […]

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After being under Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) receivership since 2013, the Gary Housing Authority (GHA) is now transitioning back to local control.

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“The Gary Housing Authority has made significant progress over the past several years,” HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said. “I’m pleased that we are able to take this important step with (Gary, Indiana) Mayor (Jerome) Prince to return the GHA to local control, where it will continue to serve its residents and the community. HUD looks forward to ensuring a successful transition under the oversight of the Board of Commissioners. We could not take this important step without the partnership of the housing authority and the local government.”

The Agency’s recovery team collaborated with the community to provide GHA the tools and support to correct issues and turn the agency around. GHA is no longer designated as troubled in its public housing program, and its Housing Choice Voucher program has achieved a high performer designation.

“This is a great moment for the people of the City of Gary and for the Gary Housing Authority,” Prince said. “Under Director Taryl Bonds, we’re looking forward to exceeding our GHA residents’ expectations and providing them with the best possible service. I especially want to thank Secretary Fudge for her leadership and vision.”

Officials indicated GHA received an overall passing Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) for GHA’s properties; improved physical condition and inspection scores; increased occupancy rates; produced an unmodified financial audit with no findings; initiated the demolition of more than 400 blighted units at six sites; and approval to demolish approximately 600 additional obsolete units at four sites.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/gary-indiana-regains-local-housing-authority-control/

APCIA examines Florida’s insurance system proposal

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) maintains a pair of Florida proposals eliminating the state’s existing no-fault auto insurance system could increase costs for some drivers.© Shutterstock The APCIA noted House Bill 719 and Senate Bill 54 would replace the no-fault auto insurance system with a mandatory bodily injury coverage system projected to have […]

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The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) maintains a pair of Florida proposals eliminating the state’s existing no-fault auto insurance system could increase costs for some drivers.

© Shutterstock

The APCIA noted House Bill 719 and Senate Bill 54 would replace the no-fault auto insurance system with a mandatory bodily injury coverage system projected to have a financial impact on low-income drivers purchasing low coverage limits.

“Low-income drivers who purchase minimum limits in Florida are likely to be hit the hardest financially if Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system is eliminated and replaced with a mandatory bodily injury coverage system,” Logan McFaddin, assistant vice president of state government relations for the APCIA, said. “This could result in even more uninsured motorists on Florida’s roads, which is a serious concern as Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured motorists in the nation at approximately 20 percent.”

According to APCIA data, approximately 40 percent of Florida drivers carry minimum limits below what would be required via the proposals. Drivers could see their auto insurance costs rise by $165 to as much as $876 annually.

“Florida drivers already pay the highest premiums in the country for full auto insurance coverage,” McFaddin said. “With the pandemic putting financial strains on consumers and businesses, now is not the time for lawmakers to implement major policy changes that will likely increase costs drastically for those who can least afford it.”

McFaddin said Florida’s court system is experiencing a backlog of more than one million cases in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and indicated it is not the time to send additional auto insurance claims to court by repealing the no-fault auto insurance system.

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/apcia-examines-floridas-insurance-system-proposal/

Florida governor announces initiative to attract FinTech companies

Florida officials have launched an effort designed to encourage the start, relocation, and expansion of financial technology (FinTech) companies within the state.© Shutterstock Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Monday with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis, Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson, Mayor Lenny Curry and business and community leaders […]

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Florida officials have launched an effort designed to encourage the start, relocation, and expansion of financial technology (FinTech) companies within the state.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Monday with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis, Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson, Mayor Lenny Curry and business and community leaders from the Jacksonville area.

“From day one, we’ve made it a priority to create a regulatory environment that provides opportunities for businesses in the financial technology and banking sectors to thrive without being impeded by high taxes and burdensome regulation,” DeSantis said. “The initiatives demonstrate that we are committed to making Florida the top destination for FinTech companies to grow and succeed.”

DeSantis is directing DEO and Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) to expedite the review of Florida Job Growth Grant Fund proposals providing workforce training programs in the financial services industry, with a focus on FinTech skills training; DeSantis and Patronis announced they plan to pursue legislation to create a regulatory sandbox for FinTech companies in Florida; and DeSantis and Patronis revealed the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) is a signatory of the American Consumer Financial Innovation Network (ACFIN) – adding the purpose of this coalition is to facilitate consumer-driven innovation in markets for financial products and services through increased coordination among federal and state officials.

“I’m proud to partner with Governor DeSantis today as we are focused on fostering an environment to support growth and innovation here in Florida through FinTech,” Patronis said. “We must ensure common-sense regulations are put in place to guarantee a stable market that protects consumers. To the global financial system—the Sunshine State is open for business.”

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Read more / Original news source: https://financialregnews.com/florida-seeks-to-attract-fintech-companies/