Shawn Hanson Quoted by Law360 on Insurance Regulation to Watch in 2017

Law360 has quoted Akin Gump litigation partner Shawn Hanson in the article “Insurance Legislation And Regulation To Watch In 2017,” discussing the growth of new insurance products that have been introduced by so-called InsureTech companies.

InsureTech companies, as the article notes, encompass everything from pay-as-you-go insurance administered through a mobile app, to online-only claims handling programs. The article reports that these companies faced some opposition from several state regulators in 2016. In Washington state, for example, the insurance commissioner concluded that the state’s anti-rebating and inducement laws prohibit companies like Zenefits from offering valuable software functions or other benefits for free or at less than fair market value.

Hanson observed, “The commissioner’s position potentially affects not only Zenefits but other companies in this space that are using cutting-edge technologies to provide enhanced administrative services to medium-sized and small businesses, or individuals.” He added that the statutes in Washington “were intended to protect consumers from higher prices induced through unfair business practices. The order seems to turn this idea on its head. It’s a good example of regulation not evolving to keep up with innovation in the marketplace that benefits consumers.”