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Association Profile: Missouri Insurance Coalition

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — The Missouri Insurance Coalition tracks about 200 insurance related bills in the Missouri General Assembly every year; that does not count financial, transportation, or other bills dealing with tangential insurance concerns.

The coalition represents hundreds of insurance companies, composed in about 80 different groups, in every realm of insurance, including automobile, homeowner, and health. It was founded in 1979 specifically to represent property insurance companies.

“We represent 18 of the top 20 auto and family insurance companies. That’s everybody you’ve ever heard of – State Farm, All State, Farmers,” MIC Executive Director Calvin Cal said. “There the one’s that helped found the organization.”

The way the coalition sets it’s legislative agenda, balancing a variety of different priorities and perspectives, is through a Legislative Committee with representatives from most companies.

Two bills the group is focusing on this session are SB 634 sponsored by Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, that provides that title insurer or agent may perform escrow or closing services in residential real estate transactions and HB 1079 sponsored by Rep. Don Gosen, R-Ballwin, that states life insurance documents can be saved, stored, and managed in electronic format.

Two of the Coalition’s past victories a bill passed in 2011 that keeps storm-chasing contractors from preying on victims of environmental disasters and a bill passed last year making it illegal for drivers without insurance to sue for pain and suffering after an accident. That bill was vetoed by the Gov. Nixon but overridden by the General Assembly.

Cal said the coalition’s combatant on most legislation is the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

“Representing your plaintiffs you like larger damage awards,” Cal said. “The more lawsuits, the more it costs the system. They’re not concerned about holding down rates.”

Cal is one of the coalition’s lobbyists. Brent Butler serves as the general counsel for government affairs. Butler has worked for the coalition for 20 years and before that he was the chief bill drafter at the capitol. The coalition also employees five other consultants that also serve as lobbyists.