What You Should Know About the New Colorado Law HB 23-1004, Language Access in Insurance Documents?


The Colorado General Assembly announced a recent law, HB 23-1004, concerning the access of insurance documents to non-native English speakers. Governor Jared Polis approved the bill on April 11th, 2023, making it effective as of January 1st, 2024. Insurance companies should take note of the new law since they are required to take some additional steps in their practices.

The prime sponsors of this new bill are Representative Elizabeth Velasco and Senator Julie Gonzales. Representative Velasco introduced this new law to the Senate, and Velasco herself is also a language services provider, which may tell us we might see new bills about language access and translation laws in the future.

Let’s have a closer look at this bill so insurance companies can understand the new law better.

What does the previous law say?

Within the previous law, which is still in effect, until the new law is effective with the new year,  insurance companies are not obliged to translate their policies with a certified translator, nor do they need to certify the quality of the translation with a qualified translator.

Current law allows insurance policies to be translated into another language as long as the state insurance laws comply with the insurer’s English-language policies. No further action needs to be taken for the purposes of certifying the quality of the translation.

What does the new bill say about insurance policies?

Section 1 of the act focuses on the correct translation of insurance policies. It requires a certified translator to do the translation of the policies. If no certified translator is available to translate the policies into a specific language, a qualified translator would still be needed in order to certify the translation is correct.

The translation of these insurance policies are only allowed to be certified and approved by accredited American Translators Association (ATA) translators. So, according to this new law, only those certified translator’s translations or certifications will be accepted.

It’s solely the insurer’s responsibility to guarantee the quality and the certification of the translation. Hence, this new law should be well understood by insurance companies doing business within Colorado state.

Providing language access to people speaking other languages

Section 2 of the act highlights the importance of language access. Customers who are non-native English speakers will have the right to request insurance applications, forms, policies, and other related documents in their native language. Furthermore, if the insurance company is advertising in a language other than English, all the aforementioned documents must also be available in the corresponding language.

In other words, if the person used their native language to apply for the insurance, the insurer has to continue providing access to all their documents and services within that language. Automobile insurance, house owners and/or renters, and commercial insurance are also included in this section. 

Additionally, Section 2 explains what happens if the insurer fails to comply with these new requirements.

What should insurance companies do?

Starting on January 1st, 2024, companies providing insurance to individuals within Colorado will need to comply with this new bill or face the consequences of fines. Some of the common documents that will need to be translated and certified:

  • Insurance policies,
  • Endorsements,
  • Riders,
  • Advertisement and marketing materials,
  • EOB’s.

Since the new law is effective in less than a month, insurance companies in Colorado should schedule their cooperation with a language service provider offering certified translation services of foreign languages that are prevalent in Colorado.

A trustworthy language provider

LingPerfect is a language service provider that offers a wide range of certified translators in many languages. By utilizing certified American Translator Association (ATA) translators, you can be rest assured that your translation certification will be valid for the new law requirements.

LingPerfect has a wide range of qualified translators who are certified by the American Translators Association and are experienced in providing certified translation services to insurance companies across the United States. 

At LingPerfect, we are well aware of the new law's requirements, so do not hesitate to contact us for a quote for our services or reach out with questions regarding any certification requirements.

LingPerfect can help you comply with the new rule and certify insurance documents

We understand that translating financial documents needs extra attention and due diligence. A faulty risk assessment or a simple reporting mistake could change your company's entire policy.

LingPerfect offers financial translation services by certified ATA translators to ensure top-notch quality of your insurance and financial documents’ translation. We guarantee 100% accurate and certified translation service.

To learn more about our finance and insurance services, click here.

Key Takeaway

Insurance  companies, law firms, and marketing companies might be surprised by this HB 23-1004 law and look for a reliable language service provider in Colorado offering certified translation services. 

LingPerfect is more than just a language provider. You can rely on our quality work, quick turnaround, and certified translators. Get your quote today or schedule a call with our team. 
To get an instant quote, click here.

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