H. B. 4501
(By Delegates Beane, Mahan and Hutchins)
[Introduced February 11, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Banking and Insurance then Finance.]
A BILL to amend article two, chapter thirty-three of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
ten-a, relating to empowering the insurance commissioner by
order to suspend and replace deadlines for steps in the
claims settlement process that are imposed by legislative
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article two, chapter thirty-three of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
ten-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.
§33-2-10a. Insurance emergencies -- suspension of deadlines.
Upon finding that an insurance emergency has occurred, the
commissioner, by order, may suspend any deadlines established by
rule that apply to actions taken in the course of evaluating or
settling claims and, may establish new deadlines in place of
those that have been suspended. For purposes of this section,
"insurance emergency" means an event, either natural or man-made,
which in the opinion of the commissioner is reasonably likely to
produce a volume of claims, for a particular place and time, that
significantly exceeds the number of claims normally arising in
that place and for that time. The commissioner shall limit the
order to accommodate the anticipated increase in claims by
specifying the geographic area in which claims to which the new
deadlines apply arise, the time period during which the claims
arise, the cause or nature of the claims or other characteristics
of the claims that the commissioner considers appropriate.
NOTE: This bill permits the insurance commissioner in
emergency situations to temporarily suspend the ordinary time
frames in which insurers are required to settle claims.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.