Changes in store for HO notice requirements
Among the numerous insurance-related pieces of legislation we worked on during the 2017 session was House Bill 291/Senate Bill 279. Signed into law last week by Gov. Larry Hogan, the legislation relates to the Maryland Insurance Administration’s (MIA) ongoing efforts to streamline notice requirements for homeowners' policies. The new law authorizes a homeowners’ insurer to send certain offers, renewal notices and statements to an insured or applicant using electronic means provided that both parties have consented to that method of delivery.
The legislation also addresses an issue we worked on during the 2016 legislative session interim when the MIA convened a Homeowners' Disclosure Workgroup to review the current mandated homeowners’ insurance disclosures and to determine which disclosures should be consolidated into a single notice. Our IA&B government affairs team had a seat at the table during the workgroup discussions last summer and fall, and the MIA incorporated our suggestions into the final draft document. The legislation signed into law last week permits the MIA to draft regulations providing for the adoption of this new form.
The new law takes effect on Oct. 1, 2017.