Insurers lobby government over North Carolina workers’ compensation and other issues

February 26, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Blue chip insurance companies, such as Travelers and Hartford Financial Services Group, heavily lobbied the US government over North Carolina workers’ compensation (among other issues) last year, according to twin reports released on February 9th by the AP.

Travelers spent over $1.6 million in just the fourth quarter last year to lobby Congress, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, and other government agencies.

Hartford Financial Services Group spent more than $0.5 million in that same period.

In addition to lobbying on behalf of North Carolina workers’ compensation concerns, the insurers also sought favorable treatment with respect to consumer protection issues, global warming issues, and insurance regulation reform.

Travelers also lobbied on bankruptcy, asbestos loss, and coastal wind zone issues. Hartford Financial, meanwhile, lobbied on drywall safety issues, retirement securities and flood insurance, and issues concerning the National Insurance Consumer Protection Act.

What should North Carolina workers’ compensation policymakers take away from these concerted lobbying efforts? Will insurance companies substantially impact policy by throwing around their money and influence? And if so, what might insurance-company-induced changes to law and policy ultimately mean for the workers, employers and physicians who must navigate the North Carolina workers’ compensation system?

The reforms these companies seek are complex and technical. But while it might be tempting to dismiss the proposals as purely self-interested (and thus purely destructive to those who might oppose them), only an in-depth analysis of specific policy proposals can lead to any meaningful insights. And even if a particular proposal does look good (or bad) for employees, for instance, there is no way to really know how it will pan out without seeing a full-scale implementation. After all, the real world tends to change policies substantially; the so-called law of unintended consequences guarantees unpredictable outcomes.

These philosophical considerations notwithstanding, if you or a loved one or friend has specific concerns about your North Carolina workers’ compensation, connect with a qualified and highly credentialed attorney. A free consultation can simplify and improve your long-term outlook.

More Web Resources:

Hartford Financial Services Group

Travelers Insurance


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