Gov. Dennis Daugaard today(March 12th) signed House Bill 1054, A law establishing  consumer protection standards regarding certain insurance claim practices and provides penalties.

The legislation is part of a four-bill package, proposed by the Governor, to strengthen insurance consumer protection laws.

The earlier bills, which have already been signed into law, were:

·         House Bill 1050, “An Act to revise certain enforcement actions by the insurance director.”

·         House Bill 1052, “An Act to authorize additional disclosure regarding certain insurance investigations and examinations.”

·         Senate Bill 52, “An Act to authorize the informal settlement of insurance examinations.”

These bills define unfair claims practices and provide the Division of Insurance expanded authority to mitigate the effect of these practices on consumers.

For the first time, the Division will have the authority to impose a fine on insurance companies who violated unfair claims standards. Previously, fines could only be imposed with the consent of the insurance company. Another change allows the Division to share more information with the public about the status of unfair claims investigations.

“I appreciate the support from legislators and industry partners in passing this important reform legislation,” said Gov. Daugaard.  “These steps will allow consumers to have confidence in the value of their insurance plans.”