LATEST PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Annuity Best Interest Training Guidance
On July 5, 2023, the Department’s revised Ch. 64: Regulation Governing Suitability in Annuity Transactions will take effect. The revisions to Chapter 64 implement new training requirements for producers that sell, solicit, or negotiate annuities in Wyoming. The new training requirements are:
All producers must complete a 4 credit hour course on the appropriate sales practices, replacement and disclosure requirements under the amended regulation before selling, soliciting, or negotiating annuity insurance policies.
Producers that completed 4 credit hours of annuity suitability training between February 22, 2018 and July 5, 2023 need only take a 1 credit hour course on the appropriate sales practices, replacement and disclosure requirements under the amended regulation before selling, soliciting, or negotiating annuity insurance policies.
Producers that have completed the required annuity best interest training prior to July 5, 2023 will be in compliance.
All training requirements must be completed prior to January 5, 2024.
Continuing education providers filing courses that comply with the revised requirements of Chapter 64 should use the “Annuity” category when applying for course approval. These course titles should indicate that the course complies with the NAIC annuity best interest standards, and indicate the credit hours approved. For example, “Annuity Best Interest - 4 hours”. Any 1 hour courses filed will be inactivated on January 5, 2024.
Compliance with these regulations shall be verified by both the producer selling annuity products and the insurer represented by the producer.
If you have any further questions please contact the licensing section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Malpractice Reporting Requirements
This Memo is being provided to update insurers writing medical malpractice insurance in Wyoming regarding recent legislative changes.
During the 2023 General Session of the Wyoming Legislature, changes were made regarding the requirement to report claims against health care providers. Specifically, pursuant to Enrolled Act No. 16 (23LS0-0292; SF005), W.S. § 26-3-124 was amended to read:
26-3-124. Annual statement; reporting of claims against health care providers; confidentiality; abstract of statistics.
(a) At the discretion of the commissioner and after notice provided under subsection (d) of this section, any insurer writing coverage for health care malpractice in this state, by March 1 of each year, may be required to file with the commissioner a report of all claims against a health care provider and a report of all awards or settlements given in cases against health care providers. The report shall contain the following information only for the preceding calendar year:
(d) The commissioner shall give insurers not less than three (3) months notice if the information in subsection (a) of this section will be required to be reported to the commissioner.
Effective July 1, 2023, insurers writing medical malpractice insurance in Wyoming will no longer be required to file the medical malpractice reports previously required pursuant to W.S. § 26-3-124 unless three (3) months advance notice of the requirement is provided.
If there are any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact the Staff Attorney, Becky McFarland, or Tana Howard, Deputy Commissioner.
Bulletin: Depreciation of Labor and Insurance Claims
This Bulletin is intended to provide guidance regarding determining costs when adjusting insurance claims involving damage to property other than claims under a motor vehicle policy.
Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 26-13-124, an insurer is required to settle claims based upon all the available information obtained after a reasonable investigation. It is understood that the cost of materials and labor may vary from place to place and that settlement of claims may be affected by the location specific costs associated with the repair. Because of these differences in costs based on the location of the damaged property, what is the "usual and customary" expenses associated with any given repair may vary by location. Insurers should be prepared to provide documentation of how they determined the usual and customary costs of materials associated with any repair to property based on what is the usual and customary charges in the area where the repair is being done. After conducting a reasonable investigation regarding the usual and customary costs of materials in a given location, depreciation may be deducted from the total amount paid to the consumer in Actual Cash Value (ACV) policies where the contract language allows for the deduction of depreciation.
However, the cost associated with an insurance claim regarding damage to property involves not only the cost of the materials, but also the cost of the labor involved to install the materials and make the necessary repairs. The cost oflabor may also vary according to the location of the damaged property. As with the usual and customary costs associated with materials, the insurer should be prepared to provide documentation regarding how labor rates were determined in the location where the repairs are being made. As stated above, the cost of materials may be depreciated in ACV policies when the contract language allows for depreciation. The depreciation is allowed under the theory that the existing materials of the property have experienced wear and tear and are therefore less valuable than new materials. However, the cost of labor is separate from the materials and does not undergo wear and tear. Because labor does not undergo wear and tear like materials, it has been a longstanding position of the Department that labor may not be depreciated when adjusting a claim for damage to property. Accordingly, any policy form filed with the Department should not contain language allowing for the depreciation oflabor. Any policy forms filed with language allowing for depreciation of labor will not be approved by the Department until the language regarding depreciation of labor has been removed.
For any adjustment to insurance claims involving damage to property, insurers selling either ACV or replacement cost policies should be prepared to identify the policy language upon which they rely if they intend to pay an amount less than the actual cost of the repair, including the basis for the amount of depreciation applied. Finally, an insurer should be prepared to provide documentation that they communicated the basis of their decision to pay less than the full amount of the repair to the consumer, and, where appropriate, that they provided the consumer the opportunity to utilize a more competitively priced contractor or materials, prior to incurring expenses beyond what would be paid by the insurer.
If there are any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact the Staff Attorney, Becky McFarland or Tana Howard, Deputy Commissioner.
The mission of this agency is to enforce the insurance laws and regulations of the State impartially, honestly, and expeditiously; to serve the consumer of insurance; to encourage a healthy insurance marketplace; and to promote change to better serve the public interest. To this end, the highest ethical, professional, and work quality standards will be exercised in all formal and informal relationships with individuals, agencies, and companies affected by the policies and actions of the department. It is our commitment to be the best insurance regulatory agency in the United States.