S.C. Bill requires insurance policies be written in English

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Mar 2 14:15:56 UTC 2006

 Posted on Wed, Mar. 01, 2006

Bill requires insurance policies be written in English

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Insurers could advertise in a foreign language, but offer
policies only in English, under a bill that cleared the House on
Wednesday. The bill makes the English-language contract, and not a
translation, the policy of record. "Some words in the English language
don't translate to their language,"  said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Adam
Taylor, an insurer. "If there is a misunderstanding of coverage based on
an advertisement, you have to refer to the English language policy."

The Laurens Republican said the issue has become a problem in other states
with a large influx of immigrants, and he wanted to stem the problem here
before it starts. He said a dozen other states have passed similar
legislation. Writing policies in other languages is not realistic, he
said, because insurers lack mutlilingual staff. "We're basically saying
English is the predominate language," said Rep.  Harry Cato, R-Travelers

Under the bill, insurers could advertise in any language they wish, as
long as the ads specify that the contract will be in English. Any ads,
information sheets or translations offered for non-English-speaking
clients could not change the policy's meaning. The bill now heads to the
state Senate.


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