Bill would penalize insurance companies for late payment

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The House passed a bill Thursday that would require insurance companies to pay interest if they're late paying claims. The bill would also shorten the time insurance companies have to respond to claims.

''This is a movement that has been adopted by 39 other states,'' said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Joe Green, R-Anchorage.

Current regulations give insurance companies 30 working days to respond to claims, which is closer to 45 calendar days, said Katie Campbell, an actuary at the state Division of Insurance. Under House Bill 113, insurance companies would have 30 calendar days to either pay a claim, deny it or request more information.

The bill also states that, once an insurance company receives information it has requested, it must pay the claim or deny itl. That is also a shorter time than the current regulations, Campbell said.

Companies late paying claims would have to pay 15 percent interest on the amount due.

The bill passed 34-1, with Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla, casting the only no vote. The bill now goes to the Senate.

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