Champions of changes to the insurance code that would benefit policyholders, both commercial and individual, are not giving up hope on the idea behind HB3160, which was to remove the exemption of insurance companies from the Oregon Unfair Trade Practices act. One key component of that effort was to enact a private right of action for violations of Oregon’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA). At this point the consumer protections in that law are only enforceable by the Insurance Division, which does not have the resources to act on every instance of insurer misbehavior, and has limited ability to make consumers whole. The insurance industry howled at the idea of being subject to the Unfair Trade Practices Act, so legislators are now proposing a more focused amendment to the UCSPA in SB 414, available here. While not perfect, this legislation would be a broad-based improvement that would help level the incredibly uneven playing field that Oregon’s small businesses now must play on to get their insurance companies to honor their contracts and step up when called upon.