WASHINGTON — Under pressure of skyrocketing liability insurance costs, the House on Tuesday approved an expansion of the rights of business, government and professional organizations to save money by forming self-insurance and insurance-buying groups.
The bill, similar to one approved by the Senate, won approval on a voice vote. Rep. James J. Florio (D-N.J.) said such groups must "never again be left with no alternative to traditional forms of insurance."
The measure would preempt state laws barring businesses and others from forming such so-called risk-retention groups.
Differences must now be resolved between the House bill and the version passed by the Senate, where far more sweeping legislation to overhaul the product liability insurance system is being debated.
Amends 1981 Law
The risk-retention plan amends a 1981 law that provides such groups with a green light to band together to buy product liability insurance or self-insure against product liability risks.