|House Judiciary began the mid-session week by passing Committee Substitute for HB2682, a bill requested by the Insurance Commissioner relating to the issuance of license suspensions to insurance producers and insurance adjusters who have failed to meet continuing education requirements.
It replaces the requirement that the Insurance Commissioner send license suspensions by certified mail with a requirement that the suspensions be sent by electronic mail or regular mail. Each insurance producer or insurance adjuster must report his or her respective electronic mail address to the Insurance Commissioner.
Insurance Commissioner Doddrill was asked why this change was needed. “Currently, everything goes out by certified mail,” he said, and it costs about $7500 per year plus a lot of employee time. He noted that the certified mail often comes back unclaimed if they go to the home address or because the continuing education issue has already been resolved.
Committee Substitute for HB2758, requiring the Insurance Commissioner to regulate professional bondsmen instead of the Supreme Court, as they are now, created a lot of discussion in House Judiciary.
Delegate Tom Fast, R-Fayette, noted that bail bondsmen must currently get approval from the circuit court of the county but this bill provides for a statewide list of bail bondsmen. Insurance Commissioner Doddrill answered several questions about the bill, noting that 25 states’ Insurance Commissions regulate bail bondsmen, four states outlaw them completely, and six states have judicial oversight, while other states have a system of regulation through county sheriffs. He further explained that this bill makes bail bondsmen more like insurers in how they are licensed and authorized, including consideration of their financial security.
Phil Reale, who represents bail bondsmen, told the committee that there are approximately 55 companies with three to four employees in the state. Currently, part of the problem is that each county has its own operating procedures, Reale explained, and they would like to professionalize their business and have consistency. “There is a real lack of consistency, county by county,” he said.