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Issue: #4April 25, 2014
2014 Unicameral Session Wrap Up

Few Insurance Measures Pass In Contentious Session

 

The dust has now settled on the 2014 Nebraska legislative session, which ended last week on April 17.  The session was marked by contentious debate on issues such as Medicaid expansion, tax relief, increasing the minimum wage, and hunting mountain lions. IIAN's Legislative committee, chaired by Bob Hoppe of Columbus, kept watch over 34 bills with impact on insurance agents, consumers, or the industry. 

    IIAN Legislative Representative Jim Cavanaugh testified in committee hearings for bills this session which IIAN supported, including LB 716, which would have allowed electronic delivery of insurance notices and documents if the insured opts in.  We now have concerns about potential E&O exposure for agents, and will participate in an interim study on this issue, before the 2015 legislative session begins next January.

 

   The Governor has not vetoed any of the insurance-related bills that did pass this year, including: - LB 816 (IIAN supported), which allows drivers to provide proof of insurance on a portable electronic device (ie, tablet or cell phone).
- LB 876, which prohibits Homeowners and OL&T policies from excluding loss due to bodily injury sustained within a building and caused by smoke, fumes, vapor, or soot produced by or originating from a heating system or ventilation system, on policies effective on or after January 1, 2015.

-LB 916, which was amended extensively, and includes a provision which increases the amount recoverable under the Nebraska Hospital-Medical Liability Act for occurrences after December 31, 2014, from $1.75 million to $2.25  million.  The bill was passed without the original language to make the exclusive remedy protection for the employer inapplicable under Workers' Compensation law (at the option of the employee), in cases where the WC Court has determined that the injury is due to the willful negligence of the employer.  It also includes provisions similar to five other bills, including LB895 to ensure that the wage used to calculate workers' compensation indemnity benefits for volunteer fire or emergency service personnel is 1.5 times the maximum state average weekly wage or wages from his or her regular employer, whichever is higher; and LB951 to clarify that a lump sum settlement that is not required to be submitted for approval by the state Workers' Compensation Court shall be final and conclusive unless procured by fraud. 

 

      A bunch of bills impacting insurance died with this session -  including:

- LB 849, which would have prohibited an auto liability policy from excluding or altering coverage solely because the driver is a permissive user. 

- LB 939, which would have made 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 have allowed stacking of UM/UIM limits.

 

Click here for a complete final session wrap up from Jim Cavanaugh. 

 

Go to www.nebraskalegislature.gov to see the full text and status of any bill.

Make Your Voice Heard For 4 Cents A Day - Join The Circle of Eagles

2014 General Election For Governor and U.S. Senator Will Shape Your Future

 

 
 
Did you know . . . 
that in 2012, IIAN's political action committee (IIAN-PAC) distributed $14,500 for the General Election, and scored a 96% victory rate in 24 Unicameral races on November 6 - missing only in the District 2 race? 
 
Or that your national Big "I" political action committee (InsurPac) is now a "$1,000,000 PAC", representing more than 5,000 independent agents nationwide, and distributed more than $1.8 million in the 2012 campaign cycle resulting in a 84% congressional victory rate

With so many industry-related issues before Congress and the Unicameral - and elections in Nebraska for Governor and a U.S. Senator this coming November - your support is needed now more than ever.  Our goal is to expand our "Circle of Eagles" - a significant group of Nebraska independent agents who pledge their support of the Big "I" government affairs agenda by investing in InsurPac and IIAN-PAC.  Click here to see who joined the Circle last year.
    Because we all work and make our living in one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country, we are all involved in politics!  Laws are passed and regulations promulgated that impact your clients and affect your ability to make a living! Sitting it out is not an option for any of us. 
The reality is that even the best lobbyists and effective grassroots action can't get the job done without our ability to speak with a unified voice through our two Big "I" Political Action Committees.

    For as little as 4 cents a day (Bronze Level), you can make
 your voice heard and invest in your future. Click here  to join the Big "I" "Circle of Eagles" today! 

 

How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
cavanaughlawfirm@aol.com
Carol McClelland, CAE, CEO

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell
carol.mcclelland@biginebraska.org

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