State Insurancew Law Reform Approved by State House

Article excerpt

A bill to make Oklahoma insurance law uniform with federal law was passed 92-3 Monday by the Oklahoma House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate.

Principal author Loyd Benson, D-Frederick, said House Bill 1983 is important to insurance companies in the state because its provisions bear on their ability to do business in other states. Co-authors are Rep. Kevin Cox and Sen. Ben Brown, both D-Oklahoma City.

Provisions of the bill include:

Financial statements would be required to be prepared in accordance with National Association of Insurance Commissioners procedures.

Control of a company would be presumed when any person owned, controlled, held with the power to vote, or held proxies representing 10 percent, rather than 25 percent or more, of the voting securities of any person.

Removed from current law would be language that deems mergers or acquisitions to be approved if any order to disapprove is not entered 30 days after the hearing.

Language would be added that requires discovery proceedings to be concluded not later than three days prior to the beginning of the public hearing. The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner would be permitted to retain experts, at the acquiring person's expense, to assist in reviewing proposed acquisitions of control.

Removed would be language in current law that requires certain information to be mailed by insurers to their shareholders.

Information required to be filed in Form B registration statements would be expanded.

Specific transactions that are forbidden between a domestic insurer and a person in its holding company system without 30 days' prior notice to the commissioner would be increased.

Criteria for determining the adequacy of a company's surplus would be amended to include past and projected trends in the size of the insurer's investment portfolio.

The definition of extraordinary dividends would be amended from "the greater of" to "the lesser of" 10 percent of the insurer's surplus as regards to policy holders as of Dec. …