The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration now has the authority to step in earlier when it believes insurers are in trouble.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, D, has signed S.B. 583. The bill will create a law that will describe standards the Missouri department can use when deciding whether an insurer is in a hazardous financial condition, department officials say.

The new statute will give the department the ability to intervene before an insurer is insolvent, according to John Huff, the Missouri insurance director.

Intervening earlier may increase the likelihood that the department can rehabilitate a troubled insurer rather than liquidating it, Huff says.

The S.B. 583 provisions are based on standards set by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.

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