Senate Bill No. 511
(By Senator Helmick)
[Introduced February 16, 2000; referred to the Committee
on Banking and Insurance; and then to the Committee on 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 rule.
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.