Members of Missouri House and Senate have given final approval to S.B. 66, a bill that would expand the authority of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration.

Members of the House approved an amended version of the bill 125-33 Tuesday, and members of the Senate voted 33-1 to approve the bill Wednesday.

The original version of the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, Mo., would have expanded the Missouri department’s oversight over matters such as life insurance company sales practices.

Lawmakers kept the original provisions and added provisions that would give the department more authority over title insurers and medical discount card companies.

One section of the final version of S.B. 66 would allow the Missouri department to establish disclosure and suitability rules for producers that sell annuities and life insurance policies.

Another provision would give the department authority to impose fines of up to $1 million per violation if fraudulent insurance practices cause financial loss to consumers.

Missouri insurance regulators supported S.B. 66, and Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, appears to be likely to sign it.

Blunt put out a statement praising Missouri lawmakers for passing the bill.

“This legislation will close the consumer protection gap in variable annuity sales,” Blunt says in the statement.

Links to the text of the bill and other information about the bill are available