PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has received a report from Secretary Pam Roberts, head of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, on the state Division of Insurance (DOI).
Earlier this month the Governor had requested a review of the division’s investigative procedures for consumer complaints on long term care insurance providers. After reviewing the report, Gov. Daugaard has accepted the recommendations and directed that they be implemented.
“I thank Secretary Roberts and the division for their efforts,” said Gov. Daugaard. “The Division of Insurance has the difficult task of balancing consumer protection and business needs. While perfect equilibrium will never be possible, implementing these recommendations will increase the balance between the division’s priorities.” Recommendations from the report include increasing oversight from supervisors and the Secretary, enhancing communication between DOI staff members, establishing an informal settlement process, setting new timelines and posting completed market conduct examination reports on the department’s website. Some of the proposed changes would require legislation.
Under existing law, the division can suspend, revoke or refuse to renew a license until fines are paid, but cannot independently fine insurers or agents without their consent. “Once DOI has revoked a license, they no longer have leverage over a licensee to ensure future compliance with South Dakota law and regulations,” Roberts says in the report. “Consumers are then left with insurance contracts that are still in force with an insurance company DOI no longer has authority to regulate.”
Roberts will draft legislation for the Governor to consider introducing in 2014 to allow the division to independently fine companies and order restitution to consumers. - See more at: http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=14784#sthash.HJQ62AXP.dpuf