Various newly enacted and pending legislative changes target P&C claims and underwriting functions, with differing effective dates. This will present challenges throughout the year for those tasked with assessing the impact on the business while ensuring compliance. A case in point is a newly instated claims settlement requirement in Virginia.

Effective July 1, 2013, SB 984 outlines notification parameters for insurers in certain settlement situations. The requirement states if the insurer sends a settlement check of at least $5,000 to a claimant’s attorney, then it must also send notification of this action to the claimant directly. Additionally, the insurer must send a copy of the notice simultaneously to the attorney or representative of the claimant or judgment creditor.

Except as provided and authorized by the statute, it prohibits insurers from otherwise communicating directly with claimants known to be represented by an attorney or other person regarding the settlement of a claim or satisfaction of a judgment without the written consent of such attorney or other representative.   

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