It's no surprise that the top legislative issue for the property/casualty insurance industry in 2015 is ride-sharing or transportation network company (TNC) bills. The issue of the new and innovative activity raising insurance coverage concerns emerged during 2014 but legislative calendars allowed for only 10 states to consider bills and just three states—Colorado, California and Illinois—plus the District of Columbia to enact laws. Consequently, as industry representatives prepared for the 2015 session it was expected that many states would be taking up bills.

During the first six weeks of 2015, no less than 25 states began debating the issue, with bills in Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Washington. NAMIC and other industry organizations are highly engaged in the effort—not to block innovation, but to ensure proper insurance requirements are part of the laws creating a framework for TNC operations. In our view, any bill that gets enacted should recognize that TNC services start when a driver logs on to the smartphone app and ends only when the ride has been completed and the driver has logged off the system. Additionally, bills should make clear that Personal Auto insurers have the ability to exclude commercial activity including TNC services and that specific coverage is necessary to protect drivers and riders.

Insurance advocates could have their hands full dealing only with TNC bills this year, but this issue only tops the list of what is proving to be a very active year for insurance. Other areas that NAMIC and partner advocates will focus on in 2015 include e-commerce, civil justice reform, financial regulation, as well as a smattering of property- and auto-related issues.

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