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Issue: # 1February 4, 2014
2014 Unicameral Short Session In Full Swing
The Big "I" Still Supports Increasing Minimum Auto Liability Limits

The 2014 Unicameral "short session" started on January 8 - and IIAN Legislative Representative Jim Cavanaugh is there - representing independent agents from the first day to "sine die", scheduled for April 17, 2014.  Wednesday, January 22 was the last day for new bill introduction in the Unicameral this year.  Out of the 460 bills introduced this session, IIAN's Legislative committee, chaired by Bob Hoppe of Columbus, is in the process of reviewing at least 34 which impact insurance agents, consumers, or the industry - including six new bills to change WC laws.  "Priority" bills which will be named by senators, committees, and Speaker Greg Adams by February 21, stand the best chance of being acted upon this session.


Of special interest - LB's 862 and 893, which would both increase the amount recoverable under the Nebraska Hospital-Medical Liability Act; LB 939, which would make false presentation of proof of financial responsibility a Class I misdemeanor and require suspension of vehicle registration unless proof is filed for three years; and LB 971, which would allow stacking of UM/UIM limits.  IIAN will continue to support increasing Nebraska's auto financial responsibility minimum limits (see LB 80 carried over from the 2013 "long session" - click here for IIAN talking points).  


Check www.iian.org every Monday for Jim Cavanaugh's "Week In Review" report for updated status on all of the bills IIAN is watching - see this week's update here.  


IIAN members are encouraged to let us know if there are bills or issues you would like IIAN to address!   Go to www.nebraskalegislature.gov to see the full text and status of any bill.

Take 3-Minute Grassroots Survey - Win $50 Gift Card!

Your involvement and input at the grassroots level is essential to our success in the political arena! Your IIAN Legislative Committee needs to know if YOU know a Nebraska Senator and/or Unicameral candidate, and/or U.S. Congressman/Senator - and the issues that are important to you.  Click here to take the 3-minute survey - thank you!  You'll be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift card!

Young Agents Wanted To Go To Washington DC

Two $1,000 Scholarships Available For IIABA Legislative Conference - Apply By March 7

If you're a Young Agent (age 45 or under, or 6 or less years in insurance), and you'd like to join IIAN's officers and hundreds of other agents from across the country for IIABA's annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 9-10, 2014, fax or e-mail your application for one of two $1,000 scholarships to the IIAN office by March 7, 2014! 
    Each $1,000 scholarship should be sufficient to cover conference registration, air fare, and one night's lodging.  Scholarship winners can stay for IIABA's Conference events April 10-11 at their own expense - including a Young Agents party and fundraiser, and a political panel of well-known journalists and political commentators!

Click here to download application


Flood Insurance Bill With Agent Licensing Reform Passes U.S. Senate

Amendment To Gut Multi-State Licensing Provision Soundly Defeated

In a historic win for independent insurance agents, on January 30 the U.S. Senate acted on two of the top legislative priorities of the Big "I" - flood insurance and agent licensing reform - in one fell swoop. The Senate passed S. 1926, the "Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013," in a 67-32 vote.  The bipartisan bill would make changes to Biggert-Waters in order to help with the "sticker shock" some consumers are facing regarding two provisions that create drastic premium increases.          The bill passed by the Senate also included the text of "NARAB II" to streamline the nonresident licensing process for agents and brokers. This legislation has been a top priority for the Big "I" for a number of years, and this marks the first time it has been passed by the Senate. The Big "I" is especially encouraged that an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), which would have allowed states to opt out of NARAB II, was resoundingly defeated in a 24-75 vote . Both Nebraska Senators voted against the bill, but also against the Coburn amendment.  The full story. 

Federal Judge Grants Injunction Against Missouri Navigator Law

A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction last Thursday against Missouri's law requiring a state license to serve as a navigator to help consumers sign up for coverage through the new health insurance marketplace. U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith's ruling also denied the state's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The judge's ruling said that since Missouri decided not to run its own exchange, it can't impose additional requirements or limitations. Although the ruling only applies to Missouri's law, it could have major implications for other states that passed similar laws or regulations. Missouri is among 17 states with federally-run marketplaces that enacted legislation imposing requirements on navigators, including Nebraska.  IIAN was instrumental in getting the Navigator Registration Act passed into law by the Unicameral last yea.  

   Regarding the Missouri decision, Larry Case, executive vice president of the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA), said the ruling eliminates any meaningful oversight for navigators and flies in the face of state regulation of insurance. "In many respects, the judge has created a Wild West 'buyer beware' environment for consumers who deal with navigators," he said. "This provides opportunity for convicted felons or unscrupulous individuals who may have been denied an insurance license or had their license revoked to become a navigator or certified application counselor and gain access to personal information of Missouri consumers."

How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
Carol McClelland, CAE, Executive Director

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell

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