A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AMEND THE INSURANCE LAWS CONCERNING THE CANCELLATION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE AND TO ALLOW ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN AN INSURER AND THE INSURED IN PLACE OF WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Changes the short and long titles.
Amends GS 58-36-105(b), specifically the provisions regarding the methods for service of process for written notices of cancellations, providing that notice can be given by registered or certified mail (previously, notice by registered or certified mail was required). Establishes that notice of cancellation can also be given by any method permitted for service of process pursuant to Rule 4 of the NC Rules of Civil Procedure.
Enacts new GS 58-2-255, Electronic insurance communications and records, providing the terms and definitions to be used in this section, including communications, delivered by electronic means, insurer, and party. Establishes that when any insurance law or regulation of NC, exempting specified laws and regulations, requires a communication to be provided to a party in writing, signed by a party, provided by means of a specific delivery method, or retained by an insurer, those requirements will be deemed satisfied if the insurer complies with GS Chapter 66, Article 40. This applies to any communication required or permitted under the insurance laws and regulations of North Carolina or otherwise provided by an insurer in conducting insurance business in North Carolina. Further provides that, notwithstanding other requirements:
(1) All communications required under the insurance laws and regulations of North Carolina to be delivered by a specific delivery method may be delivered by electronic means;
(2) All records that an insurer is required to maintain under the insurance laws and regulations of North Carolina, including any for which the original must be retained, can be retained in electronic form; and
(3) Any communication, which under the insurance laws and regulations of North Carolina must be signed, can be signed electronically.
Provides that delivery in accordance with the above provisions will be considered equivalent to any delivery method required under insurance laws and regulations of North Carolina. Verification of communications delivered by an electronic means will constitute proof of mailing in any civil or administrative proceedings as well as under any insurance laws or regulations in North Carolina.
Establishes that a recording of an oral communication between an insurer and a party that can be reliably stored and reproduced by an insurer will constitute an electronic communication or record. If a written communication is required, compliance with the above recorded oral communication will suffice for this requirement. Similarly, when a communication is required to be signed, an oral statement in accordance with the above will satisfy this requirement.
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