A South Dakota legislative panel has endorsed a package of proposals aimed at improving state regulation of insurance companies and protecting the companies' customers.
The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously Friday to send four bills to the full House for further debate.
The proposals were drafted after reports that an insurance company had seriously hurt people. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said current laws do not give the state Division of Insurance enough authority to protect insurance customers properly.
One of the bills sets standards and allows penalties to be imposed on insurance companies that engage in unfair handling of claims. Another allows the state Insurance Division to disclose more information about actions it has taken against insurance companies. A third allows officials to impose penalties without an insurance company's agreement.
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