Robert Bentley on Wednesday discussed legislative approval of a series
of bills aimed at improving access to affordable homeowners insurance.
bills will empower consumers and expand their options," Governor
Bentley said. "The lack of affordable homeowners insurance is an issue
affecting many people
across the state, especially those living along the Gulf Coast. The
2012 regular legislative session was a very productive session
addressing this issue, and I commend lawmakers for working in a
collaborative manner. We remain committed to continuing to address
this issue, and today, I'm glad to announce we have made major
Bentley was joined at a news conference by Baldwin County Judge Tim
Russell, who serves as chairman of the Governor's Affordable Homeowners
of the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission and I are very
grateful for the outstanding work of legislators in passing major
insurance bills and for the
support of the Governor," Judge Russell said. "With these bills, we now
have major incentives for homeowners to establish savings accounts to
better prepare for any future disasters. Insurance companies will have
good opportunities to underwrite some of our
coastal exposures and enjoy the benefits of tax incentives. We are all
excited about moving forward to solve property insurance challenges
throughout the state."
Recently-approved insurance legislation includes the following bills:
- Senate Bill 230:
This measure gives tax credits to insurance companies that write
insurance policies in particular areas of Mobile and Baldwin counties.
- House Bill 166:
The "Homeowners' Bill of Rights." This helps consumers understand more
clearly what their policies contain so they can make sure
they are purchasing the coverage they need. This will help people avoid
getting caught off-guard without proper coverage in the event of a
- Senate Bill 210:
This measure requires insurance companies to send information to the
Department of Insurance on numbers of policies written, premiums
collected, and losses due to claims. The department will aggregate this
information and make the data available online to the public via zip
code searches. This is good for transparency in the insurance process.
- Senate Bill 227:
This measure allows homeowners to create a "catastrophe savings
account" that could be used toward a deductible and other uninsured
losses related to storm damage.
- House Bill 323: This measure clarifies what insurance fraud is and assigns civil and criminal penalties to such fraud.
- Senate Bill 164:
This measure allows insurers in Alabama to have more flexibility in
their investments by allowing them to make new, out-of-state
investments. By helping insurance companies in this regard, the
companies will, in turn, be able to better help their customers. The
measure makes Alabama more attractive for insurance companies to do
business in the state.
- House Bill 405:
This bill allows a homeowner to cancel a roofing contract within 10
days of signing the contract if the homeowner's insurance company
says it will not cover part or all of the cost.
our work is not complete, the passage of these reform bills represents
an important step on the path toward comprehensive homeowners insurance
reform," said Senator
Ben Brooks of Mobile County.
legislation is a big win for consumers," said Representative Steve
McMillan of Baldwin County. "Alabama is now on par with neighboring
states as far as information
and fairness. We were one of a handful of states without an insurance
fraud law until we passed this legislation. Also, due to this
legislation, Alabama now has a 'Homeowners' Bill of Rights' pertaining
to insurance coverage."
goal is to make sure affordable insurance options are available to
people all across the state," Governor Bentley said. "I want to thank
the Affordable Homeowners
Insurance Commission, the Alabama Department of Insurance, legislators,
consumers, and the insurance industry for working together on this
important series of bills."