The top Show Me State insurance regulator is backing legislation that could give him broader authority to enforce state insurance laws and regulations.

W. Dale Finke, director of Missouri’s Department of Insurance, says the Missouri state bill, S.B. 895, would give the department the authority to implement disclosure and sales suitability rules for sellers of annuities and life insurance products.

The bill also would give Missouri regulators the authority to obtain court orders requiring wrongdoers to surrender profits from illegal activity and to make wrongdoers pay restitution to consumers, Finke says.

Another bill provision would increase the maximum fine for fraudulent sales practices to $20,000 per violation, from the current level of $100, with a maximum penalty of up to $1 million for multiple violations, Finke says.

If the fraud caused a consumer to suffer a financial loss, the department could issue penalties of up to $1 million per violation with no limit for multiple violations, Finke says.