NU Online News Service, March 22, 2004, 12:26 p.m. EST – The Kansas House is considering a bill that would set rules for insurers that want to issue policies in languages other than English.[@@]

The bill, S.B. 311, would authorize insurers to offer translations of the English versions of contracts and explanatory materials.

The insurers would have to provide copies of the English versions, and the insurer would have to inform the customer that the English versions were the controlling versions, according to the bill text.

Insurers that failed to provide the English versions or warn customers that the English versions were the controlling versions would be violating the state’s unfair trade practice law, according to the bill text.

The Senate approved the bill 40-0 Feb. 4, and the House Insurance Committee recently recommended that the House pass the bill.

State Farm Insurance Companies, Bloomington, Ill., lobbied for the bill and pointed out that a high percentage of Kansas residents speak languages other than English, according to a note prepared by state legislative analysts.

The bill text is on the Web at http://www.kslegislature.org/supplemental/2004/SN0311.pdf