Many state regulators have made announcements or have required certain responses to inquiries concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19. In order to keep members up to date, we will post such information to this web page as we learn of it along with some analysis for our perspective. The relevant documents are hyperlinked to the state name in the table where available.
We are aware that some member companies have been directly contacted by regulators with information relevant to COVID-19. Please let us know if you have additional material or information we can share with the associations.
The NAICs Coronavirus Resource Center is also another valuable resource for our members.
COVID-19 Regulatory Promulgations. Last updated: Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 8:00 AM
We only reviewed the publicly available information disseminated through the websites of state service contract regulators. We did not review any executive orders to which you and/or your business may be subject. If you are aware of bulletins that were not captured in this chart that have an impact on the service contract industry, please let us know. You can forward materials to Mark@meenanlawfirm.com.
|Alabama||Bulletin No. 2020-04
Bulletin states that insurance companies, underwriters, producers (agents & brokers), related insurance claims, agency services, and related financial services are deemed essential services and operations. Insurers have a responsibility to serve their customers, adjust claims, and maintain critical technology.
|Arizona||Governor’s Executive Order 2020-17
All Department of Insurance licensees must complete renewal requirements by or before the expiration dates on license since it can be done online. Insurance producers may complete insurance continuing education online. Until social distancing recommendations are lifted, insurance producers do not need to have post-course examinations period. The Department is in the process of developing the process by which applicants who are required to pass an examination can apply for a provisional license.
|Arkansas||Bulletin No. 6-2020
Commissioner directs all insurers and other regulated entities to provide it with the appropriate email address the company has designated to field consumer contacts during this health emergency. Carriers should forward their consumer contact email address to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. The Commissioner advises all insurers and other regulated industries that they must continue to adjust claims as expeditiously as possible during this emergency in compliance with the provisions of AID Rule 43, and utilize all possible methods of adjusting claims remotely, such as telephone, email, facsimile, mobile applications, satellite imagery or 3D mapping, all the while striving to meet normal time frames for the adjustment and resolution of claims whenever possible. To assist citizens who may struggle to overcome obstacles during this health emergency, the Department is hereby issuing a sixty (60) day moratorium on the cancellation/non-renewal of insurance policies for the non-payment of premiums for Arkansans diagnosed with/positively tested for COVID-19. This moratorium extension is not automatic. To be eligible for the 60-day moratorium, affected policyholders must request this extension from their insurance carriers. Insurance carriers may request evidence of diagnosis. The 60-day moratorium period, where requested by the policyholder, is effective starting from the date of issuance of Executive Order 20-03.
Request that all insurance companies provide their insureds with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums so that insurance policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium during this challenging time due to circumstances beyond the control of the insured. This request is directed to all admitted and nonadmitted insurance companies that provide any insurance coverage in California including, life, health, auto, property, casualty, and other types of insurance.
All licensees are hereby notified that they should not attempt to enforce policy or statutory deadlines on policyholders until ninety (90) days after the end of the statewide “state of emergency” or other “state of emergency” that impacts a specific policyholder. This includes, but is not limited to, deadlines for the submission of a sworn proof of loss, other claim forms, examinations under oath, medical examinations, physical inspections of insured property, separating damaged property from undamaged property, temporary repairs to prevent further damage, and any other policy, statutory, or insurer imposed deadlines placed on the policyholder where failure to comply could result in the forfeiture, limitation, or waiver of any policyholder(s) rights to benefits under any policy of insurance.
California licensed entities are strongly encouraged to file required forms electronically via the Online Assistance System for Insurer Submittals (“OASIS”) or, for corporate affairs applications, via email submission to CAB-SF-Intake@insurance.ca.gov. In addition, CDI will accept electronic signatures/certification/notarization during the pandemic. When remote notarization is unavailable, electronically signed/certified documents will be accepted. The required paper original of a properly executed document must be submitted within 90 days of the lifting of the “shelter-in-place” order in California. The deadlines for California licensed entities to file statutory financial statements are extended for 90 days from the original due dates. Any late filing fees that would otherwise apply to such statutory financial statements will be waived while the extended filing deadlines remain in effect, but such late filing fees will be reinstated after the extended filing deadlines are concluded.
In connection with Executive Order No. 7S, insurers have asked whether written notice is required to be provided to insureds notifying them of the 60-day grace period for the payment of insurance premiums as outlined in the Executive Order. Given the circumstances facing the State, the Department believes that it would be appropriate for insurers to notify insureds, brokers and producers of the 60-day grace period by any reasonable means including, but not limited to, electronic communications. Written notice is not required. Pursuant to Bulletin IC-40, the company is considered to be in compliance with Executive Order No. 7S even if such 60-day period ends prior to June 1, 2020. Any extended grace period issued on or after April 1, 2020 is not required to go beyond June 1, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order No. 7S.
All companies regulated by OIR are directed to review and update their Business Continuity Plans and/or Continuity of Operation Plans immediately. The plans must provide a framework for the continuation of company operations, including key insurance functions such as policy issuance, premium collection, claims adjustment and payment and policyholder service. The continuity plans should also account for DOH and CDC guidance surrounding COVID-19, including executive orders issued at the state and national level. Companies should consider all potential impacts of COVID-19 within their continuity plan, including impacts to essential operations, key personnel, supply chain, vendors, contractors and policyholders. If an insurer or other entity regulated by OIR activates its Business Continuity and/or Continuity of Operations Plan in response to COVID-19, the company must notify OIR within the same day.
Regulated entities are encouraged, when prudently possible, to be flexible with premium payments in order to avoid a lapse in coverage. Such flexibility can include: 1. Relaxing due dates; 2. Extending grace or reinstatement periods; 3. Waiving late fees and penalties; and 4. Allowing payment plans. Regulated entities are encouraged to only consider cancellation of policies if all possible efforts to work with consumers to continue coverage have been exhausted. Therefore, regulated entities, agents, consumers, and employers are strongly encouraged to explore virtual options for underwriting and adjusting claims in lieu of in-person property inspections and for premium audits of employers’ records. OIR will accept electronic signatures and electronic notarizations that comply with Chapters 668 and 117, Florida Statutes, or equivalent laws in the regulated entity’s domiciliary jurisdiction, on documents regulated entities are required to file with OIR through May 1, 2020.
The Insurance Commissioner encourages insurers to work with their insureds to ensure coverage continues during this time, policies do not lapse, and to consider the following: 1. Refrain from cancelling or non-renewing policies due to non-payment during this
|Illinois||Company Bulletin 2020-06
We are working to process and respond to filings, applications, and consumer inquiries as quickly as possible, but understand that the response time may be extended, particularly for anything sent via U.S. mail. As a result, if you must file documents or send any communications to the Department, please submit information electronically, whenever possible. In addition, applications for producer and administrative licenses may encounter delays. Lastly, the Department requests that all insurers adjust their internal procedures to allow Illinois consumers to transact business remotely wherever possible.
|Louisiana||Emergency Rule 40
§4005. Cancellation, Nonrenewal, and Nonreinstatement A. Emergency Rule 40 hereby suspends any notice of cancellation, notice of nonrenewal, nonreinstatement or any other notice related to any of the kinds of insurance enumerated in §4003 that was in force and effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 12, 2020, and any such notice shall be null and void and have no force of effect. Furthermore, any such notice shall be reissued de novo to the insured in accordance with existing statutory requirements after the expiration of Emergency Rule 40 as provided for in §4043. B. Insurers may issue a notice of cancellation for nonpayment of premium during the pendency of Emergency Rule 40. When any such notice is issued during the pendency of Emergency Rule 40, the applicable notice period required by statute or the policy may begin to run, but in no event may the insurer cancel the insurance policy for non-payment of premium until after the expiration of Emergency Rule 40. C. No policy shall be cancelled or nonrenewed solely because of a claim that is filed during or occurs during the COVID-19 emergency. D. Unless otherwise expressly authorized in writing by the commissioner, the cancellation, nonrenewal or nonreinstatement of any insurance policy related to any of the kinds of insurance enumerated in §4003 is hereby suspended and shall not be allowed until after the expiration of Emergency Rule 40 as provided for in §4043. E. All cancellation, nonrenewal, or nonreinstatement provisions, including, but not limited to, R.S. 22:272, 22:887(F), 22:978, 22:1068, and 22:1074 are hereby suspended, except to the extent such provisions apply to acts or practices constituting fraud or intentional misrepresentations of material fact.
§4013. Claims Notification A. All claims notification procedures, including, but not limited to, R.S. 22:975(A)(3)-(5), Regulation 33, Regulation 74, and Regulation 77, are suspended.
§4015. Premium Offset A. All insurers subject to Emergency Rule 40 receiving a claim from an insured owing a premium may offset the premium owed by the insured from any claim payment made to the insured under the insurance policy. §4015 shall not apply to health insurance issuers as defined in §4001.C.
§4017. Obligation of Insured to Pay Premium Unless otherwise cancelled pursuant to the provisions of §4009 herein, nothing in Emergency Rule 40 shall be construed to exempt or excuse an insured from the obligation to pay the premium otherwise due for actual insurance coverage provided.
|New Jersey||Bulletin No. 20-04
Consistent with prudent insurance practices, relaxing due dates for premium payments and insurance policy based loan payments, extending grace periods, waiving late fees and penalties, allowing forebearance with regard to the cancellation/non-renewal of policies, allowing payment plans for premium payments, extending timeframes to complete property and automobile inspections or undergo medical exams, and exercising judicious efforts to assist affected policyholders and work with them to make sure that their policies do not lapse.
The Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has identified several areas of
|Pennsylvania||Notice Number 2020-04 – Notice to Insurance Companies Regarding Policyholders Affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Insurers should consider the following actions: consistent with prudent insurance practices, relaxing due dates for premiums payments, extending grace periods, waiving late fees and penalties, and allowing payment plans for premiums payments to otherwise avoid a lapse in coverage. Insurers should consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting other efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage. This Bulletin shall apply to commercial and personal, property, casualty, accident and health and life policies. Affected policyholders should notify their insurance carriers and agents and explain their individual situation and difficulties complying with payment schedules
|South Carolina||Bulletin Number 2020-02
To all insurers, HMO’s and other licensed or authorized entities and individuals, the Director of Insurance expects the insurance industry to work with those South Carolina citizens and business directly impacted and to provide relief from certain insurance requirements:
|Washington||Advisory notice regarding COVID-19 claims
The disruption and damage caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has contributed to widespread suspension of business operations and loss of business income for many insureds in Washington state. When you are contacted by an insured regarding a claim under their policy, I fully expect that you will follow the minimum standard of claims handling regulations found in WAC 284-30-330 through WAC 284-30-380. This includes implementing a prompt investigation and fully disclosing all pertinent benefits and coverages of the insurance policy under which the claim is presented. If a claim is denied, the Insurer must provide a written communication to their insured that cites the specific policy provision, condition, or exclusion that is the basis of the denial. When a claim is accepted, the Insurer will promptly pay what it owes as soon as it knows a payment is owed under the policy
Emergency Order 20-03
Between March 25, 2020, and May 9, 2020, all Regulated Entities transacting any property and casualty insurance business shall provide grace periods for nonpayment of premium and shall waive otherwise applicable charges and fees associated with nonpayment of premium, such as late fees and reinstatement fees.
Between March 25, 2020, and May 9, 2020, no property and casualty insurer shall cancel a policy issued for nonpayment of premium, unless specifically directed to do so by the insured.
|West Virginia||Emergency Proceeding: 20-EO-02
Insurers and other regulated entities must not issue a cancellation notice or nonrenewal notice pertaining to any insurance policy, plan or contract if the reason for cancellation or nonrenewal is a result of circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding State of Emergency, Executive Order 2-20, any subsequent executive orders or other governmental actions.
Insurers, producers and all other insurance-related entities subject to regulation by the Commissioner in the State of West Virginia should consider the difficulties experienced, and to be experienced, by both private citizens and businesses as a result of the current State of Emergency, Executive Order 2-20 and any subsequent executive orders or other governmental actions with respect to collection of premiums, cancellations, nonrenewals, claim or other documentation, rating or rates charged, and other requirements or policy provisions.