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Portable electronics insurance bill passes House committee

Portable electronics insurance bill passes House committee

Mitch Coffman
March 14, 2012
Mitch Coffman
March 14, 2012

The House Business Committee Tuesday on a voice vote approved a bill that would essentially create new licensure fees and regulations for the sale of insurance for portable electronics—cell phones, for example.

The bill now heads to the House floor with a due-pass recommendation.

House Bill 649 was an updated version to House Bill 471, which was introduced earlier in the session to very mixed reactions from lawmakers.

The new version of the bill removes some issues lawmakers saw with the original bill, which included requiring sellers of insurance for portable electronics insurance to be fingerprinted.

Still, the only opposition to the original bill also voiced opposition to this bill. Erik Makrush, a policy analyst for the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), said that although his group likes the changes in the bill, it is still overreach and the fundamentals of IFF’s previous arguments are still the same.

“This is government regulation for a solution to a problem that does not exist, at least in Idaho,” said Makrush. “Our position is that the Legislature should not add this new form of insurance or additional regulation to the state code. There is no need for this regulation.”

Colby Cameron, representing portable electronics insurer Asurion, said the bill is a good one, and the reasons behind it are simple. Asurion is one of the nation’s largest portable electronic insurers.

“What this bill seeks to do is create a vendor licensing program in the state of Idaho,” said Cameron. “What we’re asking is that, in this situation, a service that provides portable electronic insurance, say a cell phone carrier, would be asked to go ahead and sign up for a license. In this situation is requires that a vendor obtain one license that would cover all of their stores within the state.”

The bill would take portable electronics insurance and move it into the same category as pet insurance and credit insurance, which could lead to more regulation, according to an analysis by the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Note: IdahoReporter.com is published by the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

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