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Insurer Reporting Requirements

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Insurer Reporting Requirements

David L. Strickland
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
February 25, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 37 (Monday, February 25, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12623-12625]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04300]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 544

[Docket No. NHTSA-2013-0024]


Insurer Reporting Requirements

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule repeals NHTSA's regulation requiring motor 
vehicle insurers to submit information on the number of thefts and 
recoveries of insured vehicles and actions taken by the insurer to 
deter or reduce motor vehicle theft. NHTSA is repealing this regulation 
because the agency's only available statutory authority to require 
insurers to submit this information was removed by the Motor Vehicle 
and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2012 (Mariah's Act) (incorporated 
into the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)). 
Given that NHTSA no longer has the authority to require insurers to 
submit this information and thus has no discretion to take any action 
other than rescinding the regulation, the agency did not issue a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) prior to this final rule. Under those 
circumstances, public comment to the rulemaking is unnecessary.
    The repeal of the authority to maintain and enforce the insurer 
reporting requirements reduced the paperwork burden on the public by 
13,375 hours and reduced the cost to the government in collecting the 
information by $64,000.

DATES: Effective date: This final rule is effective February 25, 2013. 
Petitions for reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this 
final rule must be received not later than April 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Any petitions for reconsideration should refer to the docket 
number of this document and be submitted to: Administrator, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West 
Building, Ground Floor, Docket Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carlita Ballard, Office of 
International Policy, Fuel Economy and Consumer Programs, NHTSA, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, by electronic mail to 
Carlita.Ballard@dot.gov. Ms. Ballard's telephone number is (202) 366-
5222. Her fax number is (202) 493-2990.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 33112, Insurer Reports and Information, NHTSA 
issued a regulation requiring certain passenger motor vehicle insurers 
to file an annual report with the agency. Each insurer is required to 
report information about thefts and recoveries of motor vehicles, the 
rating rules used by the insurer to establish premiums for 
comprehensive coverage, the actions taken by the insurer to reduce such 
premiums, and the actions taken by the insurer to reduce or deter 
theft. This statute also gives NHTSA the discretion to exempt small 
insurers from the reporting requirements if the agency finds that such 
an exemption will not significantly affect the validity or usefulness 
of the information in the reports, either nationally or on a state-by-
state basis.
    In order to carry out 49 U.S.C. 33112, NHTSA promulgated 49 CFR 
part 544, Insurer Reporting Requirements, which requires insurers to 
submit information about the make, model, and year of all vehicle 
thefts, the make, model, and year of all vehicle recoveries, whether 
the vehicle was recovered in whole or in part, the dollar amount of the 
insurer's claims paid out due to theft, the rating rules used by the 
insurer to establish premiums for comprehensive coverage, the actions 
taken by the insurer to reduce such premiums, and the actions taken by 
the insurer to reduce or deter theft. The following insurers are 
subject to the reporting requirements:
    (1) Issuers of motor vehicle insurance policies whose total 
premiums account for 1 percent or more of the total premiums of motor 
vehicle insurance issued within the United States;
    (2) issuers of motor vehicle insurance policies whose premiums 
account for 10 percent or more of total premiums written within any one 
state; and
    (3) rental and leasing companies with a fleet of 20 or more 
vehicles not covered by theft insurance policies issued by insurers of 
motor vehicles, other than any governmental entity.
    This final rule repeals Part 544 because 49 U.S.C. 33112, which 
gives the agency the authority to require insurers to submit 
information about motor vehicle thefts, was repealed by Mariah's 
Act.\1\ Apart from 49 U.S.C. 33112, the agency does not have any 
statutory authority on which it could rely to require insurers to 
submit the information required under Part 544. NHTSA has the authority 
under 49 U.S.C. 32303, Insurance Information, to require insurers to 
submit accident claim information about physical damage, repair costs, 
and personal injury but that statute does not provide the agency with 
the authority to collect information from insurers about motor vehicle 
thefts. Furthermore, 49 U.S.C. 33102, Theft Prevention Standard for 
High Theft Lines, states that NHTSA's general authority to issue theft 
prevention standards does not authorize the agency to require any 
person to keep records or make reports related to motor vehicle thefts 
unless the agency has express statutory authority to do so. NHTSA has 
statutory authority to issue motor vehicle safety standards, recall 
defective and noncompliant vehicles, ensure that imported vehicles 
comply with Federal motor vehicle safety standards, issue bumper 
standards, prevent odometer fraud, issue fuel economy standards and 
issue theft prevention standards. None of the statutory provisions that 
authorize those activities give NHTSA the authority to continue to 
require insurers to submit information about motor vehicle thefts. 
Because the statute authorizing NHTSA to require insurers to report 
information about motor vehicle thefts has been repealed and the agency 
does not have any other basis to require insurers to submit this 
information, we are issuing this final rule to repeal Part 544.
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    \1\ Public Law 112-141.
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    The effective date of this final rule is the date of publication. 
However, Part 544 ceased to be enforceable on October 1, 2012, the 
effective date of the provision in Mariah's Act removing the

[[Page 12624]]

agency's authority to require insurers to submit this information.

II. Public Comment

    NHTSA did not issue an NPRM prior to this final rule. While the 
Administrative Procedure Act requires that agencies publish a general 
NPRM in the Federal Register prior to issuing a final rule, an agency 
is not required to publish an NPRM if the agency is able to make and 
makes a good cause finding that notice and public comment is 
``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' \2\ 
Because NHTSA no longer has the authority to require insurers to submit 
information on thefts under Part 544, we cannot enforce those 
provisions and must repeal them. Given that the agency has no 
discretion as to the outcome of this rulemaking, public comment on it 
is unnecessary.
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    \2\ 5 U.S.C. 553.
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III. Regulatory Notices and Analyses

A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under 
Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the DOT's regulatory 
policies and procedures. This final rule was not reviewed by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) under E.O. 12866, ``Regulatory Planning 
and Review.'' It is not considered to be significant under E.O. 12866 
or the Department's regulatory policies and procedures.
    This final rule repeals regulations requiring motor vehicle 
insurers to submit certain information about vehicle thefts. The repeal 
of the authority to maintain and enforce the insurer reporting 
requirements reduced the paperwork burden on the public by 13,375 hours 
and reduces the cost to the government in collecting the information by 
$64,000. Because there are not any costs or savings associated with 
this rulemaking, we have not prepared a separate economic analysis for 
this rulemaking.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 60l et 
seq., NHTSA has evaluated the effects of this action on small entities. 
I hereby certify that this rule would not have a significant impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The final rule would affect 
motor vehicle insurers, but the entities that qualify as small 
businesses would not be significantly affected by this rulemaking 
because the agency is repealing existing requirements that these 
entities submit information on motor vehicle thefts to the agency.

C. Executive Order 13132

    NHTSA has examined today's rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 
(64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and concluded that no additional 
consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is 
mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded that 
the rulemaking would not have sufficient federalism implications to 
warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation 
of a federalism summary impact statement. The final rule would not have 
``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' Because 
this final rule is repealing existing requirements, this final rule 
will not preempt any state law.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this final rule for the purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that implementation 
of this action will not have any significant impact on the quality of 
the human environment.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995, a person is not required to respond to a collection of 
information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid 
OMB control number. The repeal of the authority to maintain and enforce 
the insurer reporting requirements reduced the paperwork burden on the 
public by 13,375 hours and reduced the cost to the government in 
collecting the information by $64,000.

F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 
(NTTAA) (Pub. L. 104-113), ``all Federal agencies and departments shall 
use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary 
consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means 
to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies 
and departments.'' This Final Rule does not adopt any voluntary 
consensus standards because this rulemaking repeals existing 
requirements.

G. Civil Justice Reform

    With respect to the review of the promulgation of a new regulation, 
section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice Reform'' (61 FR 
4729, February 7, 1996) requires that Executive agencies make every 
reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies 
the preemptive effect; (2) clearly specifies the effect on existing 
Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct, while promoting simplification and burden reduction; 
(4) clearly specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately 
defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting 
clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the 
Attorney General. This document is consistent with that requirement.
    Pursuant to this Order, NHTSA notes as follows. The preemptive 
effect of this final rule is discussed above. NHTSA notes further that 
there is no requirement that individuals submit a petition for 
reconsideration or pursue other administrative proceeding before they 
may file suit in court.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires agencies to 
prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits and other effects 
of proposed or final rules that include a Federal mandate likely to 
result in the expenditure by State, local or tribal governments, in the 
aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million annually 
(adjusted for inflation with base year of 1995). This final rule would 
not result in expenditures by State, local or tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector in excess of $100 million 
annually.

I. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 18, 2001) applies to any 
rulemaking that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as 
defined under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significantly adverse 
effect on the supply of, distribution of, or use of energy; or (2) that 
is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. This rulemaking is 
not subject to E.O. 13211.

J. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier 
number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of 
Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center 
publishes the Unified

[[Page 12625]]

Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained 
in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in 
the Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 544

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Tires, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, under the authority of Sec. 
31313, Public Law 112-141, NHTSA amends 49 CFR Chapter V as set forth 
below:

PART 544--[REMOVED AND RESERVED]

0
1. Part 544 is removed and reserved.

    Issued in Washington, DC on February 13, 2013 under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.95.
David L. Strickland,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2013-04300 Filed 2-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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