COLUMBUS — Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor today applauded members of the Ohio General Assembly for passing legislation that will offer more protection to insurance consumers. Specifically, House Bill 341 strengthens Fraternal Benefit Societies by establishing greater safeguards for their insurance products to the benefit of consumers.
“I want to thank Representative Henne for sponsoring the bill as well as President Niehaus, Speaker Batchelder, Chairman Hottinger and Chairman Bacon for their leadership on this issue,” Taylor said. “I advocated for these changes because Ohio consumers need to know their insurance policies are safe and reliable. The legislature’s favorable vote demonstrates their continued commitment to protecting Ohio consumers and Ohio’s strong insurance market.”
House Bill 341 requires those who are selling life or annuity products in Ohio on behalf of Fraternals to obtain an insurance license. The legislation also increases the amount of capital needed by some Fraternals operating in Ohio, ensuring that Fraternal Benefit Societies are financially sound. Fraternals will also be required to disclose additional information to the Department when applying to sell insurance products in Ohio and to consumers when selling them insurance products.
“I also want to recognize the philanthropic work done by the Fraternal Benefit Societies throughout Ohio,” Taylor added. “Partners such as the American Fraternal Alliance played a significant role in our efforts to modernize regulation of Fraternals and to promote the importance of solvency safeguards to the benefit of policyholders.”
The bill also makes improvements to Ohio’s insurance claim review process providing consumers with additional protection. In addition, House Bill 341 makes changes to Ohio’s investment code based on a National Association of Insurance Commissioners model act. These changes will make insurance carriers operating in Ohio stronger and more competitive.
House Bill 341 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 91-0 and the Ohio Senate by a vote of 32-0. The bill now goes to Governor Kasich for his signature.