Rep. Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge will spend most of Tuesday morning in front of the House Committee on Insurance where he has three bills up for consideration.
Huval explained the intent of the bills in a telephone interview.
“HB273 would give the commissioner of insurance the power to deny companies the ability to use deceptive trade names,” Huval said. He pitched the bill as a consumer protection bill.
“Some companies might try to use their trade name to give the impression that they are a type of governmental entity in order to fool consumers,” Huval said. “It’s a deceptive trade practice and my bill would give the commissioner the power to stop it.”
Huval said his bill would not apply to companies that are already using such trade names in other states.
HB407, Huval said, would provide for agents who sell health insurance to apply an agency fee to policy transactions.
“Some agents will find coverage for clients almost as a favor, but because that is not their main line of work, they don’t make any money off the sale. My bill would enable them to collect an agency fee.”
Huval said the bill does not set a cap or range on the agency fee, but that the market would set that.
“I can tell you that if one agent is charging a much larger fee than others, it’s going to catch up with them in the market,” Huval said. “They’re going to lose business.”
His third bill, HB480, would remove the renewal fees of claims review companies operating in the state.
“If an insurance claim is denied, you can review that denial to an Internal Review Organization,” Huval, a property and casualty insurance agent, explained. The legislation creating these claims appeal organizations was enacted in 2013 with a provision that the work of each organization be reviewed every two years by the Department of Insurance. Huval’s bill would remove the fee tied to that review of the companies after their initial certification, as long as their work was deemed satisfactory.
Huval said he did not know how many Internal Review Organizations were doing business in the state.