NU Online News Service, Feb. 22, 3:35 p.m. – South Dakota Gov. William Janklow has signed a bill, Senate Bill 37, that gives the state insurance director the authority to expand the list of exclusions allowed in life insurance policies.

The bill, which was introduced by the state Senate Commerce Committee, keeps four of the five exclusions permitted in the past. Life insurers can still refuse to pay benefits for deaths resulting from war, aviation, specific hazardous occupations, or suicide within two years after the purchase of the policy.

The bill eliminates an exclusion for deaths occurring outside the United States or Canada, but it adds a new section allowing the insurance director to use the normal regulatory process to promulgate any exclusion or restriction found to be in the best interest of the insurance-buying public.

The text of the bill is available at http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2002/bills/SB37enr.htm