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 30, 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.
|Bulletin No. 2020-03
“Due to the current COVID-19 emergency status, the Alabama Department of Insurance (“ALDOI”) hereby issues the following information and directives regarding issues in the Producer Licensing Division:
Initial License Applications: Please expect initial applications for resident license to take approximately three weeks for review.
Prelicensing Certificate of Completion; Expiration Date Extended: the Certificate of Completion for any prelicensing course which expires in March or April of 2020 is hereby extended 60 days past the stated expiration date on the certificate. Please note: limitations on repeat examinations are still in effect.
Prelicensing Certificate of Completion; Notary Requirement Waived: A Prelicensing Provider whose primary contact is working from home may forego the requirement for their signature to be notarized on a Certificate if Completion issued through the end of April 2020.”
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.
Bulletin No. 2020-05
Bulletin to all commercial and personal lines of insurance, including property, casualty, disability, accident and health, and life insurance policies. Commissioner of Insurance recommends insurers consider: relaxing due dates for premium payments; extending grace periods; waiving late fees and penalties; allowing premium payment plans which will avoid a lapse in coverage; expanding automobile coverage to allow personal vehicles to be covered while delivering food, medicine, or other essential services for commercial purposes. Insurers should also consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting all efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage.
Guidance on Temporary Producer Licensing Requirements
A temporary producer license is only valid if the temporary producer is sponsored and appointed by an insurance company. Insurance companies must register the names of their company officials authorized to appoint temporary producers. Each insurance company desiring to use temporary producers must register at least two but no more than three “authorized company officials” who will be permitted to apply online for all temporary producer applications. The effective date of an Appointment (or Termination) will be the date the transaction is processed. Upon issuance of the temporary producer license and the company appointment, the producer may act as a producer for the insurer under the supervision of the insurer. If the company appointment is terminated the license will be canceled. A Temporary Producer license that has not converted to a regular Producer license will automatically expire after six months.
“Division notifying insurers that filings are automatically extended.
–Prior Approval Forms: under AS 21.42.123 insurers will be allowed an additional 15 days to respond to objection letters for a total of 45 days. The state will be permitted an additional 30 days for a total of 60 days.
–File and Use Forms: under AS 21.42.125 filings will be automatically granted the 30-day extension. The filings must be completed within 60 days.
–Prior Approval Rates: under AS 21.39.041 insurers will be allowed an additional 15 days to respond to an objection letter for a total of 45 days. The division review may take an additional 15 days resulting in 30 days for the division to review.
–File and Use Rates: under AS 21.39.220, AS 21.51.405, and AS 21.54.015, insurers and the state will be allowed a 15-day extension. Under AS 21.57.080, insurers and the state will be allowed a 30-day extension. The waiting period is automatically extended to 60 days.”
The Alaska Division of Insurance (DOI) prohibits carriers from terminating insurance contracts due to non-payment. This effort will provide relief to affected policyholders by allowing continuing insurance coverage. In conjunction with this effort, the DOI will work with carriers to minimize the regulatory effects of such an extension, specifically financial review requirements. The extension of the grace period does not eliminate the obligation to pay the premium, but limits policy cancellation for late payment. Carriers are encouraged to work with policyholders in the collection of premiums and to waive all late fees. It is possible that electronic payment methods may not be operating correctly due to the immediate challenges of COVID-19 self-quarantining or potential closures of banks and other financial institutions. Consumers and business owners may also be facing significant financial challenges related to the emergency declaration. It is the DOl’s expectation that any problems with premium payment during the extended period would be resolved by the insurance company without a consumer complaint being filed.
Many property and casualty insurance policies calculate premiums based on exposure estimates made at the time the policy is issued. Examples of common exposure bases include miles driven, sales revenue, receipts, or payroll. Recognizing there are other difficult-to-quantify effects of the COVID-19 outbreak that will affect exposure to loss in the near term, insurers are encouraged to allow policyholders to self-audit and self-report changes in their exposure or risk profile and adjust premiums accordingly. For policies that are subject to audit, insurers are encouraged to allow self-auditing and self-reporting in lieu of physical audits to the extent that physical audits are impracticable. Prospective reductions in premium or retroactive refunds of premium made pursuant to this bulletin to accommodate COVID-19-related changes in exposure or risk profile will not be considered a rebate or unfair discrimination to the extent they are reasonable and consistently applied.
Recognizing there are other difficult-to-quantify effects of the COVID-19 outbreak that will affect exposure to loss in the near term, property and casualty insurers may allow policyholders to self-audit and self-report changes in their exposure or risk profile and adjust premiums accordingly, or may adjust premiums based on broadly averaged estimates of exposure reduction. For policies that are subject to audit, property and casualty insurers shall allow self-auditing and self-reporting in lieu of physical audits to the extent that physical audits are impracticable. Prospective reductions in premium or retroactive refunds of premium made in good faith pursuant to this Order to accommodate COVID-19-related changes in exposure or risk profile will not be considered a rebate or unfair discrimination to the extent they are reasonable and consistently applied. Reasonable and consistently applied premium adjustments or audit accommodations as described in this Order will likewise not be pursued by the division as violations of statutes governing returning premiums to policyholders or the frequency of premium changes, nor will they be considered out of compliance with approved rating plans, rules, or policy language.
The Alaska Division of Insurance (DOI) prohibits carriers from terminating insurance contracts due to non-payment. This effort will provide relief to affected policyholders by allowing continuing insurance coverage. Policyholders or their brokers shall notify insurers that they intend to continue coverage. Insurers will not be obligated to continue coverage if the policyholder obtains coverage elsewhere. In conjunction with this effort, the DOI will work with carriers to minimize the regulatory effects of such an extension, specifically financial review requirements. The extension of the grace period does not eliminate the obligation to pay the premium, but limits policy cancellation for late payment. Where carriers do not collect premium payments directly, carriers nonetheless bear the credit risk if policyholders do not satisfy their payment commitments under applicable agency bill or premium finance agreements after the grace period ends. Carriers shall work with policyholders in the collection of premiums and to waive all late fees.
Order Amending Regulatory Order R20-04 ”
Provision 1 in Regulatory Order R20-04 prohibiting carriers from terminating insurance contracts due to non-payment expires June 1, 2020.
|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.
Regulatory Bulletin 2020-04 – COVID-19 and Insurance Customer Relief; Flexibility
We urge insurers to consider offering these and other types of relief: Refraining from cancelling or non-renewing policies due to non-payment during this time of hardship; granting a grace period for premium payments to be made when practicable; or extending the time before nonpayment of premium triggers an applicable grace period; working with insureds on premium payment plans for late premium payments; waiving late fees, interest, and penalties; delaying premium increases; suspending the use of credit reports for rating.
|Bulletin No. 11-2020
The Department is temporarily halting converting any individual producer’s license status from active to inactive for failure to submit their producer renewal application or renewal fees. To avoid further disruptions, the final renewal date for individual producers has been extended and individual producer licenses shall not be converted to inactive status for the 60-day period beginning with the date Executive Order 20-03 was issued. All producer licensees may continue to operate as normal. Any continuing education hours required to be completed by an individual producer’s renewal date pursuant to Arkansas Insurance Department Rule 50 shall not be due until May 15, 2020.
Bulletin No. 12-2020
The Commissioner is issuing a 60-day moratorium on the cancellation/non-renewal of personal lines insurance policies and directs all insurers and regulated entities that personal lines insurance policies for Arkansas residents in effect on March 11, 2020 remain in effect until such time as Executive Order 20-03 expires. Insurers are directed not to cancel, non-renew, or terminate coverage for non-payment of premiums while this Bulletin is in effect. This moratorium applies to Arkansas residents who, subsequent to the date of issuance of Executive Order 20-03 and as a consequence of the COVID-19 health emergency, have been terminated, laid off, or who are self-employed or an independent contractor and have experienced a cessation of work. Citizens who apply for unemployment benefits as a result of the health emergency and are approved are presumptively subject to this moratorium. 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 employment disruption.
Bulletin No. 18-2020 – Complying with Regulatory Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Companies are still required to make all mandated electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g., quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements), as well as those that are not filed with the NAIC but filed with the AID. If your company is unable to make hard copy filings at this time, AID will accept electronic filings with electronic signatures. The Department will not conduct on-site examination work that is contrary to the spirit of any public health directive. To facilitate this, the Department may need to request more information in electronic form.
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 email@example.com 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.
“Commissioner Lara hereby orders insurers to make an initial premium refund for the months of March and April to all adversely impacted California policyholders in the following lines of insurance, as quickly as practicable, but in any event no later than 120 days after the date of this Bulletin:
• Private passenger automobile insurance
• Commercial automobile insurance
• Workers’ compensation insurance
• Commercial multiple peril insurance
• Commercial liability insurance
• Medical malpractice insurance
• Any other line of coverage where the measures of risk have become substantially
overstated as a result of the pandemic.”
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.
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) will not be issuing temporary licenses or waiving the legal requirements for applicants to pass a qualifying examination and to submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. CDI has no statutory authority to issue temporary licenses or waive a criminal background check for applicants due to the present circumstances. In view of the need for license applicants to be able to qualify for licenses during this extraordinary time, CDI will continue to administer license examinations at its Los Angeles test center on a daily basis.
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.
Notice – Re: Automatic Extension for Premium Tax Filing and Payment During COVID-19 State of Emergency
Pursuant to the Governor’s Emergency Order N-40-20, any insurer or surplus line broker filing a premium tax return that requires the payment of less than $1 million in premium tax (based on the 2019 Annual Tax Liability) is hereby granted an automatic three month extension to file its premium tax return and to pay any required premium tax. Any insurer or surplus lines broker that qualifies for the automatic extension will also be relieved automatically from any penalty or interest that would otherwise apply. This automatic extension is effective as of March 30, 2020 and will remain in effect for any premium tax return or premium tax payment of less than $1 million due on or before July 31, 2020.
|Bulletin No. 8-5.40
“Where a form certification filing is required, in accordance with Section § 10-4-633,C.R.S.,
thirty-one days advanced filing is required before an insurer may use a new policy form. For the purposes of an electronic delivery consent form or similar consent form, the thirty-one day advanced filing is not required. Insurers, where required to submit other form filings, shall continue to do so in accordance with Section § 10-4-633, C.R.S.
Insurers certifying an electronic delivery consent form, or other similar consent form, shall specify in the form filing submission the actual effective date of the use of such form. If insurers previously obtained affirmative consent from their insured for electronic delivery of documents, then insurers shall continue as such.”
Bulletin No. B-5.38
The Division directs all insurance companies issuing coverage to personal and commercial policyholders to make reasonable accommodations to prevent individuals and businesses from losing coverage due to cancellation for the non-payment of premium during this unprecedented time. Reasonable accommodations should include, but not be limited to: 1. Extension of premium grace periods; 2. Waiver of late payment fees; 3. A moratorium on cancellations for non-payment; 4. Defer any non-renewal underwriting actions; and, 5. Provide a continuation of coverage for any expiring policy. Such accommodations should be available to the policyholder, and clearly explained on the insurer’s website, for as long as the Orders are in effect or until the Bulletin is rescinded, whichever is later. Insurers should be aware the Division will request data from the insurers related to the Division’s position, including the website address where the information is displayed, and number of accommodations made or rejected by the insurer. More information will be forthcoming about the manner and method for insurers to report this information.
Bulletin No. B-5.39
“Where an insurer chooses to implement any discounts or premium relief actions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a filing shall be submitted to the Property & Casualty Rates & Forms Section.
As statistical/actuarial justification may not be immediately available, sufficient explanation detailing the actuarial assumptions and underwriting judgment the insurer utilized and relied upon to determine the amount, recipients, and duration of the discount or premium relief action, and any other relevant criteria and considerations should be included. ”
Emergency Regulation 20-E-04
A temporary continuation of license renewal deadlines and associated procedures, including continuing education requirements and licensing fees, is hereby granted for all current resident and nonresident producers, resident and nonresident insurance agencies authorized to conduct insurance business in the state of Colorado. The Commissioner will provide all current resident and nonresident producers, resident and nonresident insurance agencies, affected by the temporary continuation sixty (60) days notice to come into compliance with associated procedures prior to expiration of the emergency license continuation.
|Bulletin Number FS-36
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, in recognition that certain documents require the in-person services of a Notary Public or Commissioner of the Superior Court, has issued Executive Order No. 7K, to permit notarial acts to be performed remotely as specified therein (“virtual notarizations”). For insurance company and health care center license applications under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a-41 and Conn. Agencies Regs. § 38a-41-1 to 38a-41-6, inclusive, the CID will only be accepting NAIC UCAA electronic applications at this time. Provides for extension of due dates for first quarter financial reports and domestic annual statement supplements.
Bulletin Number FS-37
“Being mindful of the current COVID-19 restrictions, and in order to provide the CID with sufficient time in which to issue new licenses, all licenses previously issued by the CID to insurance companies, health care centers and fraternal benefit societies bearing an
expiration date of May 1, 2020 shall now be valid until July 1, 2020. Insurance companies, health care centers and fraternal benefit societies will not receive a separate license or individual notices regarding their licenses, this bulletin shall suffice as a valid documentation for each company. This extension is only being granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will not extend any future licensing expiration dates and only applies to licenses set to expire on May 1, 2020. The new licenses that are issued will only be valid through May 1, 2021.”
Bulletin Number IC-40
The Connecticut Insurance Department is requesting 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 requested grace period is intended to be applied to premiums due after the initial premium has been made to secure coverage. It is not intended to change the terms of the issued policy or be considered a forgiveness of the premium. Rather, it is intended that the insurer grant the policyholder an extended grace period for the payment of premium due without penalty or interest. This request is directed to all admitted and non-admitted insurance companies that provide any insurance coverage in Connecticut including, life, health, auto, property, casualty and other types of insurance.
Licensing Renewal Notice
The renewal date for all licensed insurance producers whose licenses expire and will need to be renewed in the period from March 24, 2020 through May 31, 2020 will be extended to June 30, 2020. All licensed insurance producers whose CE compliance period expires between March 24, 2020 and May 31, 2020 will be granted an extension of time through June 30, 2020 in order to complete the required number of CE credits.
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.
Temporary Insurance Producer License for New Resident Applicants
Effective immediately, the Department will issue Temporary Insurance Producer Licenses in accordance with C.G.S. 38a-702 to applicants meeting the requirements for licensure without requiring examination. This notice establishes the process to apply for, and the criteria for issuance of, a temporary resident producer license.
|Bulletin No. 118
Pursuant to this Bulletin, the Department is allowing insurers to request an extention of certain filing deadlines by an additional 30 to 60 days, depending on the type of filing. This flexibility is being provided in part in recognition that the Department and other state Departments of Insurance are likely to increase targeted information requests to gather COVID- 19-specific information as the crisis progresses, and insurer’s prompt attention to those information requests will be greatly appreciated.
Producers & Adjusters Bulletin No. 32
The Commissioner hereby requests that all admitted and non-admitted carriers doing business in Delaware suspend cancellations and nonrenewals due to nonpayment of premium during the pendency of the Governor’s declared State of Emergency. This request applies to all lines of insurance. Policyholders are encouraged to contact their carriers to discuss their options if they are suffering a hardship as a result of the COVID-19 related restrictions. Additionally, all producer licensees are advised to take all necessary actions to ensure their ability to promptly service claims and provide other essential services to insureds affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Producers & Adjusters Bulletin No. 33
Accordingly, the Department encourages insurers to reach out to their insureds and work with them to modify payment schedules or otherwise make premium payment modifications during the duration of the Governor’s State of Emergency. The Department will not view any accommodations made to insureds incurring economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic and the State of Emergency, including any Executive Orders issued by the Governor which close businesses or order residents to stay at home unless performing an essential activity, as violating insurance laws such as unfair inducement prohibitions. However, accommodations to insureds or policyholders should not be made in an unfairly discriminatory manner. Insurers are encouraged to file required forms electronically and utilize electronic signatures where permitted. The Department will accept electronic signatures that comply with the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Title 6 Ch. 12A. The Department is temporarily suspending the notarization requirements for documents required to be filed under Title 18. Any person or entity submitting forms to the Department without notarization pursuant to this Bulletin shall file the properly notarized documents within 60 days of the end of the declared State of Emergency, unless further extended by the Commissioner. The Department encourages insurers to allow their appraisers to rely on photographic, video, or other evidence submitted by a claimant to support their claim, and to only require an in-person appraisal inspection when it would be difficult to determine the full extent of damage through pictures or where the claimant or his/her repair shop/vendor still does not agree with the appraiser’s assessment based on the photographic review. The annual premium tax filing deadline for captive insurance companies and the quarterly filing deadline for insurance company premium tax payments is April 15, 2020. That deadline has not been extended by the Commissioner or by directive of the Governor’s Office. Due to this change, the Department will offer temporary licenses for under 18 Del. C. Ch. 17 for all license types issued pursuant to that chapter. Before issuance of a temporary license, the applicant must sign a Consent Order stating that they have 90 days from the date that Pearson Vue is back in operation to complete their exam. The applicant is also required to provide background checks and a Letter of Responsibility from an individual actively licensed in the state of Delaware.
Sixth Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency
No insurer may, without a court order, lapse, terminate or cause to be forfeited a covered insurance policy because a covered policyholder does not pay a premium or interest or indebtedness on a premium under the policy that is due during the pendency of the declared state of emergency. As used in this paragraph, (i) “covered insurance policy” means a policy for health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, property insurance, motor vehicle insurance, and commercial/business insurance, and (ii) “covered policyholder” means any individual or business entity who, as a result of the conditions imposed under the COVID-19 State of Emergency (or Modifications) or the public health emergency, was laid off or fired from their employment or was required to close or significantly reduce its business.
|CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DIRECTIVE 2020-07
“Section 1. In order to afford flexibility to applicants for insurance agent licensure who are otherwise qualified for issuance of a Florida insurance agent license, but impacted by the closure of authorized examination sites, the examination requirements provided in Section 626.221, Florida Statutes, are hereby suspended. In lieu of requiring compliance with the examination requirement, the Department of Financial Services will issue temporary licenses to Florida residents in the following classifications: Health Agent, as provided in Section 626.015(8), Florida Statutes, Life Agent, as provided in Section 626.015(12), Florida Statutes, and Personal Lines Agent, as provided in Section 626.015(17), Florida Statutes.
Section 2. Issuance of a temporary license as provided in Section 1. shall be dependent upon applicants meeting all other requirements of the Florida Insurance Code, including but not limited to:
a. The application requirements in Section 626.171, Florida Statutes;
b. The fingerprinting requirements in Section 626.202, Florida Statutes;
c. The criminal history requirements in Section 626.207, Florida Statutes;
d. The background requirements in Sections 626.611 and 626.621, Florida Statutes;
e. The requirement as to knowledge, experience, or instruction for the license applied for, as noted in Sections 626.732, 626.7851, and 626.8311, Florida Statutes, as applicable.
Section 3. The holder of a temporary license issued pursuant to this order shall be appointed by a sponsoring insurer which assumes responsibility for all acts of the temporary licensee and may only solicit insurance under the direct supervision of a licensed and appointed insurance agent authorized to sell the type of insurance being solicited.
Section 4. All temporary licenses issued pursuant to this order shall expire six months after the date on which it is issued or upon issuance of permanent license of the same type and class, whichever occurs first.
Section 5. Should a holder of a temporary license violate any provision of the Florida Insurance Code while licensed pursuant to this order, the Department shall immediately revoke such temporary license.”
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.
Commission is waiving in-person CE requirements through May 31, 2020. For any licensed agent having a CE deadline falling before May 31, 2020, that deadline has been extended to May 31st.
The Commissioner directs that, for the next 60 days, all property and casualty insurers refrain from canceling, for the cause of non-payment, any commercial policies that include business interruption or business income coverage. All in-person, onsite exams, audits and licensing requirements are suspended until conditions improve. All non-federal filing deadlines are temporarily suspended, and all applicable late filing fees are waived until the Commissioner determines business operations may return to normal. This suspension is not applicable to product filings. The Commissioner directs applicants who have not yet taken their test to compile all necessary documentation for a license and to submit it to the Department. After the test centers re-open the Department will be able to process their applications speedily.
News Release: Commissioner King Commends Georgia Auto Insurers for COVID-19 Rebates
“I want to thank Georgia’s auto insurance industry for the actions they’ve taken in recent weeks to help support families across our state who are facing an uncertain economic future during these unprecedented times,” said Commissioner King. “By providing rebates and working with those who cannot currently afford to pay their premiums, these insurers are proving their commitment to the public good and putting their customers before their bottom line.”
New producer and surplus lines broker license applicants may continue to submit their applications and pay fees online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via NIPR. Memorandum in effect for 90 days and may be extended.
“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
time of hardship and to grant a grace period for premium payments to be made; 2. Work with insureds on a structured payment plan for late premium payments; 3. Waive late fees and penalties; 4. Extend timeframes to complete property and automobile inspections or undergo medical examinations; and 5. Continue working with insureds for a period of 60 days after this health emergency has passed, or as long as reasonably practical. This Memo is directed to all admitted and non-admitted insurers in this State providing any insurance coverage including life, health, motor vehicle, property, casualty, and other types of insurance for individuals, groups, and businesses.”
|Bulletin No. 20-04
The Department hereby implements provisional resident producer licenses. Provisional resident producer licenses differ from standard resident producer licenses in the following ways: 1. A provisional resident producer license is valid for up to six months. Provisional resident producer licenses do not renew automatically at the end of the license period. 2. Provisional resident producers cannot serve as the designated responsible producers for an agency. 3. Applications for provisional resident producer licenses must use the paper application found on the Department’s web site. 4. Applicants for a provisional resident producer license do not have to submit a complete set of fingerprints to the Department with the application. Applicants will be required to disclose their criminal history. The Department may conduct alternative criminal background checks for applicants as needed. 5. Provisional resident producer licenses use an alternative licensing examination. Information about this examination is available on the Department’s web site. 6. Applicants for a provisional resident producer license must obtain a suitable sponsor who is a licensed resident producer and who assumes responsibility for all actions of the provisional resident producer.
BULLETIN NO. 20-05
“Therefore, pursuant to authority in Idaho Code section 41-210(2) and 41-210(5), the Department hereby notifies insurance carriers that during the state of emergency, the Department will not regard certain activities as unfair trade practices or unfair methods of competition, and encourages carriers to consider implementing said activities during this state of emergency. These activities include but are not limited to:
Waiver of fees, penalties, or other charges relating to an insured’s temporary inability to submit premium payments or otherwise respond to an insurer’s inquiries; Extensions of grace periods for payment of premiums; Additional time before non-renewals or cancellation become effective; Extensions of proof of loss deadlines; For policies that are subject to audit, allowance of self-auditing and self-reporting in lieu of physical audits to the extent that physical audits are impracticable; Encouraging policyholders to use electronic payment technology on websites, apps and electronic bank transfers whenever possible to avoid in person payments; and Expanding automobile coverage to allow personal vehicles to be covered while delivering food, medicine, or other essential services for commercial and charitable purposes. In addition to the list above, the Department notifies insurance carriers that the Department will consider specific proposals from insurers designed to quickly adjust to changes in the insurer’s risk exposure. Such a proposal may, for example, temporarily reduce premium prospectively, refund premium retroactively, or both. During the emergency, the Department may waive enforcement of relevant provisions of law and rule, and may allow carrier deviation from filed rates or contractual language, so long as: 1) Such actions are applied uniformly and without prejudice, to all similarly affected insureds; and 2) The carrier has notified the Director in writing of their specific proposal and justifications.”
BULLETIN NO. 20-06 – Complying with Regulatory Requirements during the Public Health Emergency
“At this time, companies are still required to make all required electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g., quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements), or for those that are not filed with the NAIC but to the Department analyst assigned to your company. However, upon a request from an insurer, the Department may allow insurers additional time to complete the following filings, as described below. The Department reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances of that company deemed applicable to that company. If your company believes that it will not be able to meet any of the original financial filing deadlines as shown below, please submit your request for extension of specific deadlines to Nathan Faragher and Weston Trexler at the Department at Nathan.Faragher@doi.idaho.gov and Weston.Trexler@doi.idaho.gov. “
|Company Bulletin #2020-10 – Company Delays in Filing CGAD Due to COVID-19 Emergency
Article VIII 1/3 of the Code (215 ILCS 5/Article VIII.33) requires insurers or insurance groups to provide the Director a summary of the insurer’s or insurance group’s corporate governance structure, policies, and practices to permit the Director to gain and maintain an understanding of the insurer’s corporate governance framework. Please refer to Company Bulletin 2020-01 for guidance on completing the filing. The first Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure (CGAD) submission is due to the Illinois Department of Insurance by June 1, 2020. Under the Code, “[a]ny insurer failing, without just cause, to timely file” the CGAD as required in Article VIII 1/3 will be required to pay a penalty of $200 for each day’s delay. 215 ILCS 5/130.7 (emphasis added). To provide our Illinois insurance companies adequate time to prepare a complete and responsive CGAD, the Director has determined that the COVID-19 emergency is “just cause” for an untimely filing of any Illinois insurer or insurance group that is required to make an Illinois CGAD filing under Article VIII 1/3 of the Code. Thus, the Director is waiving the $200 daily penalty for a late filing until August 1, 2020 where delay in filing was caused by the COVID-19 emergency. All Illinois insurers or insurance groups who can meet the deadline of June 1, 2020 are encouraged to do so. Any delays in filing up to August 1, 2020, caused by the COVID-19 emergency, do not require prior approval from the Director, but the filing should note that the delay was caused by the COVID-19 emergency.
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.
Company Bulletin 2020-09
The Department hereby requests that all insurers licensed or authorized to transact insurance business in this State immediately consider implementing the following protective measures. Insurers need not file policy or rating manual changes to implement these measures. 1. Moratorium on cancellations and nonrenewals. Insurers should seek to postpone or withdraw any previous notice of cancellation or nonrenewal in which the cancellation or nonrenewal occurs on or after March 9, 2020 on any in-force policy. Insurers should consider postponing the issuance of any new cancellation or nonrenewal notices through April 30, 2020, or a later time if considered reasonable given an individual consumer’s circumstance. Insurers are asked to continue coverage, even in cases of unpaid premium, through at least April 30, 2020. 3. Other insurance-related time-period extensions. Insurers are requested to consider granting an extension of any policy provisions or other requirements that impose a time limit for an insured or claimant to perform any act, including the submission of a claim or proof of loss, reporting of information, or submission of bills. The Department asks that such extension be for at least 30 days from the last date allowed or required under the contract or allowed or required by the insurer, or longer if considered reasonable given an individual consumer’s circumstance.
Requests that all insurance companies and HMOs in Indiana institute a moratorium on policy cancellations and non-renewals of any insurance policy in effect for a policyholder in Indiana for a period of 60 days. Moratorium only applies to cancellations and non-renewals attributed to a failure to pay premiums directly during the 60 day period for any premium payment due from March 19, 2020 to May 18, 2020. The Department requests insurers and HMOs to take into consideration that persons may be unable to receive notice of cancellation or non-renewal during COVID-19 emergency. IDOI implements 60 day grace period relating to renewals and cancellations for all licensees, certificate holders, and registrants. Any penalties assessed due to late payment during this pe will be waived.
The Division will be waiving the classroom method requirement and proctor requirements for continuing education until further notice. Continuing Education requirements can now be met by completing self-study courses or classroom equivalent webinars. Producer License Renewals can be submitted up to 90 days in advance and should be submitted online at www.nipr.com
Iowa Insurance Division has developed a process to issue temporary licenses to those persons undergoing training, but not yet able to take the required insurance licensing examinations. The temporary licenses may be obtained under the authority of the Commissioner’s Order until June 1, 2020 or as amended by Order of the Commissioner. Temporary licenses will expire on the last day of the third full month following the date of the license issuance. To obtain a temporary producer license, the applicant must have an Iowa licensed resident producer in good standing supervise the business of the individual.
The Department will continue to utilize its available resources to ensure timely processing of applications and filings, to the extent reasonably prudent. However, this bulletin shall serve as notice to all filers that rates and forms shall not be deemed approved or used until such rate or form has received affirmative approval from the Department.
To uniformly provide regulatory relief and provide company by company relief as is appropriate, the Kentucky Department of Insurance is adopting the NAIC Model Bulletin on Complying with Regulatory Requirements during the Public Health Emergency. The Department is willing to allow insurers an additional 30 days to complete most of the following filings (and 60 days for some). To receive this extension, companies must submit a written request for late filing. The Department reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances deemed applicable to that company. The NAIC hard copy, original signature, and related filing requirements are currently waived. However, companies are expected to keep a list of all filings that were made electronically in lieu of hard copy filings so that they can file all the hard copies within 60 days after Kentucky has allowed a return to work.
Per the Governor’s Office directive dated March 16, 2020, Department of Insurance examinations are suspended at all Kentucky locations until further notice. This directive is given for the purposes of maintaining social distancing under the CDC guidelines and to promote the health and well-being of the general public. We apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause and when allowed to have in-person governmental services, we will increase testing hours to accommodate the needs. Insurance applicants whose testing window expires during this closure, must contact our office if an extension is needed.
DOI Announcement on CE Extensions
Due to the COVID-19 emergency status, the Department of Insurance will be extending the time requirements for completion and submission of continuing education hours for March and April licensees. Those who are due by March 31, 2020 will now have until May 31, 2020. Those licensees who normally would be required to complete all continuing education hours by April 30, 2020 will now have until June 30, 2020 to complete the hours. The reporting period of the completion of the continuing hours to the Department is also extended appropriately. This action only extends CE deadlines, and does not extend license renewal deadlines. License renewal is completed electronically, and currently has a 60-day grace period.
Guidance re Continuity of Operations
Accordingly, insurance offices are deemed essential and are allowed to operate during the orders put in place by Governor Beshear and various governmental entities within the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Insurance company employees should seek to work remotely, or behind locked doors when possible, and should follow CDC guidelines that include social distancing and other recommended practices when in-person interaction is necessary.
|Emergency Rule 39
Commercial insureds can seek adjustment of premium via audit.
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.
F. As set forth in §4033, Emergency Rule 40 shall not prevent an insurer from cancelling or terminating an insurance policy for fraud or material misrepresentation on the part of the insured.
§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.”
Emergency Rule 44—Extension of Renewal Date
§4407. Extension of Time to Renew A. Every insurance producer and adjuster license with a renewal date of April 30, 2020 is extended until May 12, 2020. B. Insurance producers and adjusters shall complete all continuing education requirements and submit a renewal application and payment on or before 11:59 p.m. on May 12, 2020. C. Renewals submitted in compliance with Emergency Rule 44 shall not be subject to a late fee. D. Subsequent renewals will return to the last date of the birth month of the individual for the renewal period following this extension.
“Carriers must prioritize consumers’ needs, must make every effort to expedite claims approvals and payments and other essential customer service functions, and must
make all reasonable accommodations for late payments and other problems that are beyond the consumer’s control.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has altered insurers’ assumptions about risks in various property and casualty lines. Motor vehicle insurance is a notable example because many policyholders have cut back greatly on their driving because of “stay at home” orders. This has decreased the frequency of claims in this line. Some motor vehicle insurers have already contacted the Bureau about reducing or refunding premiums so that insureds can share the financial benefit of decreased loss expenses. The Superintendent commends these voluntary efforts and encourages other insurers to do the same where possible. This bulletin provides guidance to property and casualty insurers for implementing premium reductions and refunds in compliance with Maine law. The Superintendent will not consider prospective reductions in premium, or refunds of premium made to accommodate COVID-19-related changes in exposure or risk profile, to be an unfairly discriminatory rating practice to the extent that they are reasonable and consistently applied. Likewise, the Superintendent will not regard reasonable and consistently applied premium adjustments or audit accommodations, as described in this bulletin, as violations of statutes that govern the return of premium to policyholders, limit the frequency of premium changes, prohibit
improper rebates to induce the purchase or retention of insurance, or impose a duty to adhere to approved rating plans.”
Effective immediately, the Maine Bureau of Insurance will issue temporary insurance producer licenses to applicants who otherwise meet the requirements for licensure without requiring the successful completion of an examination.
It has come to the Superintendent’s attention that some insurers have notified their policyholders that their policies will not cover COVID-19 risks. This would be acceptable if the policy at issue clearly and unambiguously excludes these risks and the insurer is merely reminding the policyholder of the exclusion. However, no admitted or surplus lines insurer may use COVID-19 as a reason to attempt to narrow or cancel the coverage of a policy already in effect. Any such attempt will be considered a violation of Maine’s Trade Practices and Frauds law. The emerging threat of COVID-19 may not be treated as a “substantial change in the risk” justifying policy termination or unilateral policy modification when the exposure to COVID-19 is coincidental to risks that the policy already covers.
|Bulletin No. 20-10
In light of these difficult circumstances, I encourage all Life & Health Carriers and Property and Casualty Insurers doing business in the State to make reasonable accommodations so that individuals and businesses do not lose coverage due to non-payment of premium during this emergency. Reasonable accommodations may include suspension of premiums due, extension of billing due dates and premium grace periods, and waiver of installment and late payment fees.
Bulletin No. 20-11
With respect to claims handling best practices, we encourage our licensees to utilize remote claim handling technologies to the greatest extent possible. In all situations where on-site claim handling activity must take place, employees, contractors, vendors, policyholders and other interested parties must follow social distancing protocols published by the CDC and the Maryland Department of Health to the greatest extent possible. Prompt payment of known claim obligations should be a top priority
Bulletin No. 20-12
We note that some insurers may have implemented rate relief measures without making a filing with the Insurance Administration. Per Bulletin #20-12, the Insurance Administration has waived filing fees for these situations and we have relaxed standard practices to allow insurers to implement rate relief measures without delay. If your company has implemented rate relief measures without making a filing, please make the filing promptly. These filings are required and allow us to keep track of the activity in our market.
Bulletin No. 20-17
“1) Claim Reporting / First Notice of Loss:
Virtually all policies require the insured to provide notice of a claim promptly. We recognize the importance of this policy condition. In the event that an insured is unaware of a loss or unable to provide notice of a claim, due to factors beyond their control directly as a result of COVID-19, insurers are requested to be lenient in the application of this policy language and consider whether or not late notice of a claim was preventable and if the late-notice actually prejudiced the insurer’s ability to adjust the claim.”
Bulletin No. 20-20
“Some commercial insurers utilize credit / financial rating reviews of applicants and insureds for pricing and / or payment plan eligibility. The Insurance Administration requests insurers that utilize credit / financial rating reviews in this manner to take into consideration the unforeseeable economic impact of COVID-19 and to minimize to the greatest extent possible adverse pricing impact and eligibility outcomes for applicants and insureds resulting from the crisis. To the extent possible, insurers should weight such reviews heavily on pre-COVID-19 data; and, minimize the impact of COVID-19 by reviewing an insured’s or applicant’s credit / financial history over a period of several years. The Insurance Administration requests all insurers to waive or reduce to the greatest extent possible short-rate cancellation penalties during the COVID-19 crisis. All insurers writing commercial policies rated on the basis of payroll or revenue should work with producers to accommodate policyholder requests for mid-term revisions to premium based on COVID-19 related changes in payroll or revenue rather than waiting for actual payroll / revenue results at the close of a policy period.”
“Carriers’ Flexibility in Issuance and Administration
All Carriers (whether issuing property and casualty, life and annuity, or health products) are advised to provide employers and individuals with as much flexibility as is reasonably possible during the period of the COVID-19 public health crisis to maintain their existing coverage, despite policyholders’ growing concerns about being able to send their premiums in on time.
• Carriers should explore ways to streamline or delay the submission of administrative paperwork that may jeopardize the maintenance or issuance of coverage.
• Carriers should explain grace periods that usually allow distressed policyholders experiencing significant financial hardship to delay payments without coverage being terminated.
• On a case-by-case basis, Carriers should also work with employers or individuals experiencing financial hardship to find the best ways to address concerns with the timing of premium payments in order to delay any cancellation of coverage for non-payment and collection activity.
• Carriers should explore all possible ways to relax due dates for premiums payments; to extend grace periods; waive late fees, non-sufficient funds fees, installment fees and penalties; allow payment plans for premiums payments; assist affected policyholders to find ways that insurance policies do not lapse; and consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting other efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage.”
“Extension of Insurance Licenses Pursuant to the Licensing Order, all individual insurance licenses “”in good standing”” as of the date of the Emergency Declaration that expire during the state of emergency are extended and shall
remain valid for a period of 90 days following the termination of the state of emergency. The Licensing Order makes clear that a license “”in good standing”” has not been revoked, surrendered, suspended, or subject to disciplinary restrictions. Any insurance license that lapsed prior to
March 10, 2020, whether due to failure to complete continuing education requirements or otherwise, is not “”in good standing”” and is not extended.
Although the Licensing Order grants an extension for individual licenses that expire during the state of emergency, insurance licensees may, and are encouraged to, submit a renewal application corresponding to their original renewal date. The Division is accepting renewal applications electronically through the National Insurance Producer Registry (nipr.com) or by mail (sent to the Division’s office).
Continuing Education All individual insurance licensees are encouraged to complete any required continuing education (e.g., as outlined in M.G.L. c. 175, §177E and 211 CMR 50.00) in advance of their original renewal
date. To assist individual licensees with the satisfaction of these requirements, the Division has approved many online (self-study) courses, eliminating the need for in-person attendance and supporting initiatives to slow the spread of COVID-19. A listing of approved courses is available through Prometric at https://ceo.experioronline.cmo/Features/ApprovedCourses/ACLMain.asp.
Consistent with the standards for social distancing outlined in the Public Health Advisory issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on March 24, 2020, during the state of emergency, the Division is also waiving the proctor requirement for all approved online continuing education courses.
All providers of continuing education courses for resident insurance producers are encouraged to expand their offerings and provide an online option for those courses that are currently approved for in-person classroom credit. Any approved classroom courses being offered online during the state of emergency do not have to be re-filed for approval. However, a course provider offering approved classroom courses online, must notify Prometric within 30 days of delivering such a course online to ensure continuing education credit is properly recorded.
Prometric testing centers are closed and all in-person insurance licensing exams have been suspended until at least April 16, 2020. Anyone with an existing appointment at a Prometric testing center will be contacted by Prometric to reschedule the exam. Rescheduled exams will not take place until after April 16.”
All claims must continue to be processed and paid in a timely manner.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 1211b(1)(d) of the Insurance Code, MCL 500.1211b(1)(d), the Director has determined that circumstances exist in which “the public interest will best be served by the issuance of temporary insurance producer licenses.
” Director strongly encourages insurers to 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. Insurers may effectuate this directive by offering payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments (without incurring interest), extending payment due dates, and/or waiving late or reinstatement fees. DIFS encourages insurers to allow for payment plans for the backdue premium at the end of an insured’s 60-day grace period, in lieu of a balloon-type premium bill. Furthermore, automobile and home insurers offering insurance under the Essential Insurance Act should consider allowing flexibility related to eligibility determinations related to non-payment of premium. The Director urges insurers to work with their insureds experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss specific policy options available to them that may modify the amount of premium owed. For example, a consumer who is laid off or teleworking may wish to change the designation on their auto policy to remove commuting from their driving use; or a consumer may want to look at modifying deductibles amounts or types of coverage. the Director asks that insurers make adjustments to claim filing deadlines to accommodate insureds who may encounter difficulty in timely providing notice of a claim. When an insured is unaware of a loss or unable to provide timely notice of a claim as a result of COVID-19, insurers are requested to be lenient in the application of any policy language that requires prompt notice of a claim, or that a claim be filed within a certain time period. Similarly, many policies include a requirement that an insured submit a sworn statement in proof of loss within a specific time period, or that an insured submit to an examination under oath. Insurers should consider waiving or allowing flexibility in fulfilling these requirements, including the ability to do so electronically whenever possible. Insurers must memorialize these arrangements with their insureds in writing.”
This Bulletin additionally provides those entities or persons may request that the Director allow a 30 or 60 day delay in submitting certain regulatory filings.
This bulletin applies to automobile insurers that plan to issue refunds or premium waivers to their customers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and advises them of the filing requirements for these plans. In light of the COVID-19 emergency, DIFS will expedite its review and urges insurers to submit the following information as soon as possible. DIFS has created a special filing type of “COVID-19 Refund/Premium Waiver” in SERFF. Filing requirements are detailed on the Supporting Documentation tab and include a filing memorandum.
|Regulatory Flexibility Guidance
“In order to provide relief or safe harbor from legal obligations with respect to
licensees or other persons regulated by the Department of Commerce, or to ensure continuity of department operations and processes, the Commissioner has delayed, stayed, or waived the deadlines and requirements set forth in Regulatory Guidance 20-18, which is incorporated into and made part of this Order.”
Regulatory Guidance 20-01, 20-02, 20-04
Individuals due to renew a Minnesota insurance producer or insurance adjuster license by the end of March now have until April 30, 2020 to complete all renewal requirements, including continuing education hours and the required application and fee. These renewal applications can be submitted anytime between now and 11:59 PM Central time on April 30.
Temporary License Process
As part of this ongoing work, Commerce staff are working with the agency’s technology partners on an online process for issuing temporary producer licenses pursuant to Minn. Stat. §60K.42.
“At this time, companies must still make all required electronic filings with the NAIC (e.g.,
quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements). If your company is not require to file electronically with the NAIC, these filings must continue to be submitted to the analyst assigned to your company. However, companies may request an additional thirty (30) days to complete the subject filings in accordance with the 2020 Annual Statement Instructions Filing requirements. Please note that the MID reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances of that company. If your company believes that it will not be able to meet any of the financial filing deadlines required by law or by order, please contact the MID and submit an electronic request for waiver of the filing deadline. This allowable extension of time does not apply to any filings with an original due date beyond July 1, 2020. Please note that for non-domiciliary companies, the MID will defer to guidance regarding any extension of time or waiver as approved by the domiciliary regulator. A copy of the approval will need to be provided to the email address provided below.”
With regard to commercial insurance policies rated using auditable exposure bases, including but not limited to payroll, sales, enrollment, attendance, occupancy rates, square footage or any other basis now impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn, the Commissioner strongly encourages insurance companies to allow, when requested, mid-term audits, self-audits or other adjustments to rating bases thereby reducing the associated premium and more accurately reflecting annual exposure projections. This Bulletin is not intended to waive carriers’ rights or responsibilities to perform a final audit at policy expiration.
“To assist Mississippians impacted by this pandemic and the closures and quarantines it has caused, the Mississippi Insurance Department (“Department”) is hereby issuing a sixty (60) day moratorium on the cancellation/non-renewal of policies for the non-payment of premiums, effective March 24, 2020. This moratorium shall apply to all policies issued or issued for delivery in this State.
Policyholders are advised that this moratorium is not a waiver of premium; rather, it is a moratorium on the cancelation or non-renewal of policies for the failure to pay premiums during the applicable 60-day period. Insurers are directed to work with impacted policyholders in paying the premiums that become due during the moratorium period by either allowing a payment plan or a further extension of the due date for the amount in full.
If a policy is to be canceled or non-renewed for legally recognized reasons other than a failure to pay premiums, the cancellation or non-renewal may be made pursuant to statutory notice requirements.”
“(1) Insurers may issue cancellation/non-renewal notices for non-payment of premiums during the sixty (60) day moratorium period.
(2) When such notices are issued during the sixty (60) day moratorium, notice periods required by statute or the policy may begin to run, but in no event may a cancellation/non-renewal for non-payment be effective until after the sixty (60) day moratorium period expires.”
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been quarantined and people have been encouraged to shelter in place. The Mississippi Insurance Department (“MID”) is aware that as a result of these necessary actions, insurance producers, adjusters and bail bondsmen in this State may be unable to complete their continuing education (“CE”) requirements in a timely fashion.
Mississippi insurance producers, adjusters and bail bondsmen whose CE compliance periods end in March, April, May, or June 2020, should timely contact the MID requesting an extension for completing CE requirements in order to meet license requirement for renewals. This includes Mississippi nonresident adjuster with Mississippi as the Designated Home State. The MID will work with these licensees to ensure that they are given an appropriate opportunity to meet their CE requirements.”
“Pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. Section 83-17-69(1)(d), the MID is allowing initial applicants who have completed all pre-licensing requirements except for the pre-licensing state examination to receive a temporary insurance producer license. The temporary license is effective for 180 days, during which time these licensees shall have the opportunity to take and pass their pre-licensing state examination in order to receive an insurance producer license. Please note that the temporary license is not renewable and the receiving applicant will not be eligible to receive another temporary license.”
News Release: Mississippi Drivers Get More than $60 Million Back From Auto Insurers
“I am happy to approve these premium reductions so that Mississippians receive discounted rates,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney. “Many people are not driving as much right now because of shelter-in-place, emergency declarations, and working from home. It only makes sense to discount what people are paying for automobile insurance and to provide them some financial relief.
All COVID-19 filings related to premium relief will receive an expeditious review, if the insurer provides advance notification of the SERFF tracking number by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective today, the Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (the “Department”), under the authority of Executive Order 20-04 issued by Governor Parson on March 18, 2020, will begin issuing temporary resident insurance producer licenses for the following lines of business: Life, Variable Life and Variable Annuity, Accident and Health, Property, Casualty, Personal Lines and Crop. The Department will temporarily waive the licensing requirement of successfully passing an examination for these lines of business provided a currently licensed Missouri insurance producer will sponsor the applicant.
INSURANCE BULLETIN 20-05
Coverage for residents of the State of Missouri should continue under all insurance policies in effect as of March 13, 2020, and shall remain in effect until such time as Executive Order 20-04 is terminated or this bulletin is rescinded, whichever is later. Insurers are strongly encouraged not to cancel, nonrenew, or terminate coverage while this Bulletin is in effect. This grace period is a period of time during which consumers can take those actions necessary to keep their policies in force. The Department is not requiring insurers to waive any premiums or other consideration owed on any policy or contract during this period of time. The Department anticipates that a failure to pay premiums or remit consideration may subject the policy to a retroactive cancellation, in accordance with the policy terms. Nothing in this bulletin should be construed as the Department requesting any insurer to refrain from terminating coverage on the basis of fraud on the part of an insured.
|INSURANCE BULLETIN 20-05
“Flexible payment solutions for families, individuals, and businesses; providing additional time to make payments; allowing grace periods to delay premium payments
Suspending premium billing for small businesses such as restaurants, bars, and others that have been shut down or had their operations severely reduced, for a specific number of days or billing cycles
Waiving insurance premium late fees and other fees for families, individuals, and businesses
Pausing cancellation of coverage for motorists due to temporary non-payment and policy expiration
Expediting/expanding automobile coverage to allow personal vehicles to be covered while delivering food, medicine, or other essential provisions for commercial purposes
Streamline administrative processes and paperwork to ease consumer burdens and facilitate continuous coverage”
|Remotely-Proctored Exams Option Available to Candidates
Effective today, the Nebraska Department of Insurance has the option available for candidates to take remotely-proctored exams called ProProctor. Visit Prometric’s Nebraska insurance testing page at www.prometric.com/nebraska/insurance to learn more about taking the Nebraska Insurance Exam. Please note that there is currently an influx of candidates, and capacity is limited. Prometric is in the process of onboarding new proctors and ramping up testing capacity as quickly as possible.
|Information for Nevada Consumers: National Flood Insurance Program Extends Grace Period to Renew Flood Insurance Policies from 30 Days to 120 Days
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which administers the NFIP, has extended the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. This extension applies to NFIP flood insurance policies with an expiration date between February 13, 2020, and June 15, 2020. To avoid a lapse in coverage, there is typically a 30-day grace period to renew NFIP policies. However, due to the widespread economic disruption arising from this pandemic, FEMA has recognized that flood insurance policyholders may not meet the standard policy renewal deadline.
Statement Regarding Nevada Property & Casualty Market Due to COVID-19
“The focus of all of the actions below should be on the industry’s consumer service obligations.
o Providing an extended grace period before cancellation of coverage.
o Providing flexibility with due dates for premiums.
o Waiving late fees and penalties.
o Payment plans for premiums to avoid a lapse in coverage.
o Only cancel or non-renew if all other efforts are exhausted. The goal is to try and continue coverage when possible for home and personal vehicle coverage for consumers affected by the COVID-19 emergency in the state to the extent practical.
The Division will also support the following measures in claims handling to ensure consumer protection measures aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We require notification from the carrier before the implementation of such practices in the state.
o Virtual inspections of property.
o Use of electronic means for conducting inspections or audits.
o Increased use of electronic delivery methods for consumer notifications and interactions.”
|April 23, 2020 Release – Auto Insurance Companies Step Forward to Provide Premium Relief during COVID-19 Pandemic
While New Hampshire residents observe the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order, there are fewer cars on the road and fewer car crashes. As a result, auto insurance companies have reported fewer claims than expected. “I want to thank these companies for stepping up to assist their customers during this challenging time,” said Insurance Commissioner Chris Nicolopoulos. “This will result in fairer premium rates for consumers and lowered costs at a time when many families would greatly benefit from anything that limits their household expenses.” “I am really pleased that these auto insurance companies have decided to pay back premium to their customers,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “I’m thankful that so many companies have decided to do the right thing for New Hampshire’s residents.”
Bulletin Docker No.: 20-26-AB Compliance with Financial Regulation Filing Requirements and Financial Examinations Through August 1, 2020 during COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department is providing flexibility for its licensees by adjusting financial regulatory requirements due to the current state of emergency with the understanding that (1) the Department may request additional information to gather more details from the companies and (2) insurance companies shall timely respond to said requests.
Bulletin Docket No.: 02-030-AB COVID-19 P&C Expedited Reviews and Application of Certain Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Laws
The Commissioner Commends these efforts and continues to encourage other insurers to follow suit where appropriate by making form and/or rate filings consistent with one or more of the approaches described in Bulletin 20-025-AB. The Commissioner will not consider the above-detailed types of COVID-19-related changes to be unfairly discriminatory practices to the extent that they are reasonably and consistently applied. [T]his bulletin applies to all lines of property and casualty insurance.
Bulletin No. 20-021-AB
Electronic signatures allowed
Bulletin No. 20-023-AB
To assist in the difficulties caused by COVID-19 related disruptions, the Department is extending the deadline for March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020 RSA 402-J license renewals by a period of two months. The renewal deadline for licenses that are set to expire on March 31, 2020 is now May 31, 2020. The renewal deadline for licenses that are set to expire on April 20, 2020 is now June 30, 2020.
Bulletin No. 20-025-AB
The department will provide expedited review of auto insurance payback and credit programs.
|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.
Bulletin No. 20-15
“In response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the Department is directing all licensed property and casualty insurance carriers to provide their insureds who may be experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 with at least a 90-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. A policyholder may elect this 90- day emergency grace period to begin retroactively on April 1, 2020 or opt for the grace period to begin on May 1, 2020. During this extended grace period, insurers shall not cancel any insurance policy for nonpayment.
Insurers are also directed to: Waive late payment fees otherwise due, and not report late payments to credit rating agencies, during the 90-day period; Allow premiums due but not paid during the 90-day period to be paid over the remainder of the current policy term or up to 12 months in up to 12 equal installments, whichever is longer, except that an insurer may permit a longer repayment period; and Ensure that late payments during the 90-day period are not considered in any future premium calculations at any time (i.e. applicable late payments should not be counted for any rating, pricing, tiering attributes, etc.).”
“In response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, the Department is directing all licensed
property and casualty insurance carriers to provide their insureds who may be experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 with at least a 90-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. A policyholder may elect this 90- day emergency grace period to begin retroactively on April 1, 2020 or opt for the grace period to begin on May 1, 2020. During this extended grace period, insurers shall not cancel any insurance policy for nonpayment. Insurers are also directed to:
• Waive late payment fees otherwise due, and not report late payments to credit rating
agencies, during the 90-day period;
• Allow premiums due but not paid during the 90-day period to be paid over the remainder
of the current policy term or up to 12 months in up to 12 equal installments, whichever is
longer, except that an insurer may permit a longer repayment period; and
• Ensure that late payments during the 90-day period are not considered in any future
premium calculations at any time (i.e. applicable late payments should not be counted for
any rating, pricing, tiering attributes, etc.).
This grace period is intended to be applied to all installment payments, including renewal
down payments, provided that the insured provides notice to the insurer that the insured wishes to continue coverage. It is not intended to change the terms of the issued policy or be considered a forgiveness of the premium. Rather, it is intended that the insurer grant the policyholder an extended grace period for the payment of premium due without penalty or interest. Insurers are further directed to, in addition to posting information on their website, provide each policyholder with an easily readable written description of the terms of the extended grace period offered pursuant to this guidance, which shall be submitted to the Department through the System for Electronic Rates and Forms Filing (“SERFF”) as an informational filing.”
“In response to the disruption caused by the outbreak, I am requesting that all insurance companies refrain from cancelling or non-renewing policies of businesses and individuals negatively impacted by the disiuption due to the non-payment of premiums during this public health emergency, or at a minimum, provide extended grace periods for payment ofpremiums. We encourage implementing these practices as soon as possible and consider extending them for a minimum of ty (30) days affer the emergency is declared over.
I also request that all insurance companies work with their insureds after the public health emergency is over to allow the insureds to catch up on past due premiums in installments without loss of coverage. “”Balloon”” payments are likely to be unaffordable. Economic distress and loss of income in these times are due to circumstances beyond the control of the insureds.”
REGULATORY COMPLIANCE/GOVERNMENT RELATIONS CONT ACT AND COMMUNICATION. ACTION REQUIRED.
This bulletin requires each New Mexico authorized insurer to designate at least one individual, position or department to serve as its Regulatory Compliance/Government Relations contact. The contact person(s) will receive broadly disseminated directives from OSI concerning regulatory matters, and within one week of the publication of this Bulletin, each such contact must subscribe to the “Regulatory Compliance/Government Relations” newsletter through the OSI subscription page located at: https://newsletter.osi.state.nm.us/.
|Insurance Circular Letter No. 5 (2020)
“To that end, DFS requires that each regulated entity submit a response to DFS describing its plans of preparedness to manage the risk of disruption to its operations and the financial risk arising from COVID-19. Responses are to be provided to DFS as soon as possible and in no event later than thirty (30) days from the date of this letter.
The entity’s plan, at a minimum, should include the following:
Preventative measures tailored to the entity’s specific profile and operations to mitigate the risk of operational disruption, which should include identifying the impact on consumers and vendors;
A documented strategy addressing the impact of the outbreak in stages, so that the entity’s efforts can be appropriately scaled, consistent with the effects of a particular stage of the outbreak;
Assessment of all facilities, systems, policies and procedures necessary to continue critical operations and services if members of the staff are unavailable for longer periods or are working off-site, including the effectiveness and security of remote access;
Employee protection strategies, critical to sustaining an adequate workforce during the outbreak, including employee awareness and steps that employees can take to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19;
Assessment of the preparedness of critical third-party service providers and suppliers;
Development of a communication plan to effectively communicate with consumers and vendors, and to deliver important news and instructions to employees, along with establishing forums for questions to be asked and addressed;
Testing of the plan to ensure that the policies, processes, and procedures are effective; and
Governance and oversight of the plan, including identifying the critical members of a response team, to ensure ongoing review and updates to the plan, including the tracking of relevant information from government sources and the entity’s own monitoring program.”
Insurance Circular Letter No. 7 (2020)
“In response to this crisis, DFS is issuing guidance to urge all regulated entities during this outbreak to do their part to alleviate the adverse impact caused by COVID-19 on those consumers and small businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship caused by COVID-19, including taking reasonable and prudent actions to support affected New Yorkers by:
Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments at no cost, extending payment due dates, or waiving late or reinstatement fees, where consumers are unable to make timely payments of premium or fees due to COVID-19-related disruptions;
Working with consumers to avoid cancellation of insurance policies for (a) failure to pay premiums on time, (b) discovery of acts or omissions that may have increased the hazard insured against, or (c) physical changes in the property insured subsequent to issuance or last renewal that result in the property no longer meeting the insurer’s underwriting standards;
Working with consumers to avoid non-renewal of insurance policies where a consumer fails to timely respond to a non-renewal notice;
Increasing resources as necessary to accommodate increased claim submissions and increased inquiries from consumers about policy coverage benefits, including reviewing staffing plans to ensure that sufficient personnel are available to field claim submissions or inquiries and are informed on the most up-to-date developments relating to COVID-19;
Preparing clear and concise descriptions of coverage benefits that may be triggered as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, which should be posted prominently on insurance company and producer websites and sent in response to policyholder inquiries;
Alerting consumers to the heightened risk of scams and price gouging during financial disruptions, and reminding consumers to contact their insurance providers before purchasing unsolicited insurance policies or changing the terms of current insurance policies;
Ensuring that consumers do not experience a disruption of service if regulated entities close their offices, including making available other avenues for consumers to continue to manage their products and to submit inquiries and claims;
Providing flexibility regarding proof of death, disability, or other condition that triggers benefits under life insurance policies or annuity contracts;
Providing consumers with information and timely access to all medically necessary covered health care services, including testing and treatment for COVID-19, in accordance with all applicable DFS guidance, including DFS Guidance on Preparedness for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and DFS Guidance on Coronavirus and Telehealth Services; and
Proactively reaching out to customers via app announcements, text, email, or otherwise to explain the above-listed assistance being offered to consumers.”
“The Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has identified several areas of
heightened cybersecurity risk as a result of this crisis. As called for by DFS’s
cybersecurity regulation, 23 NYCRR Part 500, regulated entities should assess the
risks described below and address them appropriately.”
“The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) today adopted an emergency regulation requiring New York State regulated issuers of life insurance and annuity contracts, property and casualty insurers and premium finance agencies to provide relief to New York consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums for ninety (90) days. Consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for sixty (60) days.
DFS requires property and casualty insurers to provide the following relief to consumers and small businesses who can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19:
Provide a 60-day grace period for the cancellation, conditional renewal or non-renewal of a policyholder’s insurance policy;
Allow premiums due but not paid during the 60-day period to be paid over the course of the following year in 12 equal monthly installments; and
Waive any late payment fees, and not report late payments to credit rating agencies, during the 60-day period.”
“If you are an affected policyholder, there is a moratorium on your insurer cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing your property/casualty insurance policy for a period of 60 days. If you do not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment or report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment.
The regulations also require your insurer to permit you, as an affected policyholder, to pay the overdue premium over a 12-month period if you did not make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This also applies if the insurer sent you a nonpayment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.
If your insurance policy has been financed through a premium finance agency, and you, as an affected policyholder, do not make an installment payment, the premium finance agency may not cancel your policy for a period of at least 60 days, including any contractual grace period, and subject to the safety and soundness of the premium finance agency. In addition, if you do not make a timely installment payment to the premium finance agency, the premium finance agency must extend the due date for the installment payment by at least 60 days, may not impose any late fees relating to that installment payment, and may not report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding that installment payment.
If you, as an affected policyholder, are unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit to your insurer or premium finance agency, as applicable, a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the insurer or premium finance agency, as applicable, shall accept as satisfactory proof. Such statement is not required to be notarized.”
NEW 11 NYCRR 229 (INSURANCE REGULATION 216) INSURER PRACTICES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
“With regard to a policyholder who does not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an insurer shall not:
(a) impose any late fees relating to such premium payment; or
(b) report the policyholder to a credit reporting agency or refer the policyholder to a debt collection agency
with respect to such premium payment.
(5) In the case of a property/casualty insurance contract where the property insured does not make the first installment payment to the premium finance agency after the conclusion of the 60-day period described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision and the premium finance agency cancels the property/casualty insurance contract based on such nonpayment at any time prior to the next succeeding installment payment, the property/casualty insurer shall return to the premium finance agency for the benefit of the property insured, in accordance with the terms of the property/casualty insurance contract but no later than 60 days after the effective date of such cancellation, the gross unearned premiums that are due under the property/casualty insurance contract on a pro rata basis, calculated as if the property/casualty insurance contract had been canceled 60 days prior to the effective date of such cancellation. ”
“NCGS 58-2-46 provides the specifics pertaining to extensions, deferrals, and other extra requirements applicable to the entities as referenced therein. Such entities are required to provide their customers adversely affected in the disaster area specific relief of the insureds’ payment, submission of claims and other responsibilities.
NCGS 58-2-46 provides, in part:
“”All insurance companies, premium finance companies, collection agencies, and other persons subject to this Chapter shall give their customers who reside within the geographic area designated in the proclamation or declaration the option of deferring premium or debt payments that are due during the earlier of (i) [the time period covered by the proclamation or declaration or (ii)] the time period prior to the expiration of the Commissioner’s order declaring subdivisions (1) through (4) of this section effective for the specific disaster, as determined by the Commissioner. This deferral period shall be 30 days from the last day the premium or debt payment may be made under the terms of the policy or contract.”
Bulletin Number 20-B-07
“On March 27, 2020, Insurance Commissioner Causey issued an order that activated the state of disaster automatic stay of proof of loss requirements, and premium and debt deferrals as authorized under the provisions of NCGS 58-2-46 for residents of all 100 counties in North Carolina. The March 27, 2020 Order expires at midnight on April 26, 2020.
On April 21, 2020, Insurance Commissioner Causey issued an Extended Order which goes into effect at 12:01 am on April 27, 2020. This Extended Order will expire 30 days from the effective date of April 27, 2020. Pursuant to NCGS 58-2-46, this bulletin pertains to all insurance companies and includes a service corporation, HMO, MEWA, surplus lines insurer, the underwriting associations defined in NCGS 58-455(1) and NCGS 58-46-5, premium finance companies, collections agencies, and other persons subject to Chapter 58 of North Carolina General Statutes.
Pursuant to NCGS 58-2-46, this bulletin pertains to all insurance companies and includes a service corporation, HMO, MEWA, surplus lines insurer, the underwriting associations defined in NCGS 58-455(1) and NCGS 58-46-5, premium finance companies, collections agencies, and other persons subject to Chapter 58 of North Carolina General Statutes.”
“NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Commissioner of Insurance by North Carolina General Statute § 58-2-46, IT IS ORDERED AND DECLARED:
SECTION 1. Subdivisions (1) through (3) of North Carolina General Statute 58-2-46 continue to be effective for this disaster in all 100 North Carolina counties for an additional 30 days.
SECTION 2. Compliance with the provisions North Carolina General Statute § 58-2-46 is required of all insurance companies, premium finance companies, collection agencies, and other persons subject to North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 58.
SECTION 3. The deferral of premium and debt payments and required under North Carolina General Statute § 58-2-46(2) will apply to all payments coming due under this Extended Order, including payments previously deferred under the Order of March 27, 2020, as amended March 30, 2020.
SECTION 4. The March 27, 2020 Order, as amended on March 30, 2020, expires at midnight on April 26, 2020 and this Extended Order immediately goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 27, 2020. This Extended Order will expire 30 days from the effective date of April 27, 2020, which is May 27, 2020. ”
Guidelines for submitting COVID-19 Filings
Standard business interruption policies are not designed to provide coverage for viruses, diseases, or pandemic-related losses because of the magnitude of the potential losses. Insurability requires that loss events are due to chance and that potential losses are not too heavily concentrated or catastrophic. This is not possible if everyone in the risk pool is subject to the same loss at the same time. Consider the difference, for example, between losses suffered from a hurricane and the losses resulting from COVID-19. The hurricane losses affect certain areas on the coast where the event occurred but the losses from this pandemic cover the entire nation. Therefore, mandating coverage for this size and type of loss while canceling existing exclusions in the policies would end the very existence of the business interruption insurance market as we know it. Recent estimates show that business continuity losses from COVID-19 just for small businesses of 100 employees or fewer could amount to between $220 billion to $383 billion per month. Meanwhile, the total reserve funds for all of the U.S. home, auto, and business insurers combined to pay all future losses is only $800 billion. This type of loss could cripple the insurance industry causing many companies to fail, which would put the protection of homes, automobiles, and businesses at risk.
The Bulletin provides clarity to insurers based on questions the Department has received and discusses the application to policy cancellations, non-renewals, automatic deferments, and more.
“While the statute requires the companies to “offer” a deferral, it does not require that companies notify all policyholders or consumers through mass communication of the availability of a deferral. Instead, it is up to the policyholder or consumer to notify the company that there is a payment issue, which then requires the company to make the offer to defer payment. Anytime the company has an occasion to speak to a policyholder or consumer during the deferral period about a payment, the company must make the offer to defer available.”
“As a result, Commissioner Causey has asked the state’s insurance industry to consider the following actions:
Relax due dates for premiums payments.
Extend grace periods.
Waive late fees and penalties.
Allow payment plans for premiums payments to otherwise avoid a lapse in coverage.
Consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting other efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage”
Issued notice that the Company Licensing and Examinations division will accept filings electronically
The Insurance Department encourages producers, carriers, agencies and adjustors to practice social distancing and to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for businesses and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. To facilitate social distancing, the Insurance Department encourages producers to only contact consumers by telephone or through electronic means, such as email or video chat. Producers are furthermore encouraged to post notices that consumers are to initiate contact by phone or email. Agencies are encouraged to facilitate social distancing by closing offices to the public and allowing employees to work remotely. This includes the forwarding of phone calls to personal phones and providing employees with a computer to be used at home. The Insurance Department recognizes that adjusters are often obliged to have in-person interactions with consumers. The Insurance Department encourages adjusters to contact consumers by telephone or through electronic means, such as email or video chat, as much as possible. When required to meet with a consumer, adjusters are encouraged to maintain a distance of six (6) feet from the consumer, to wear protective gloves while handling the consumer’s property, and to thoroughly wash their hands following the interaction. Additionally, carriers are encouraged to implement policies which provide for remote appraisals in a nondiscriminatory fashion for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continuing Education Requirements”
In consideration of the public health crisis, producers and consultants whose license expires on March 31, 2020 are not required to provide the Insurance Department with a request for extension, written or otherwise, and are granted a CE reporting extension to April 30, 2020. Considering the continued evolution of public health crisis resulting from COVID-19, the Insurance Department may provide future amendments to this bulletin allowing a further extension.
Assistance for consumers, claimants, and covered persons impacted by COVID-19”
The North Dakota Insurance Department encourages all licensed insurers, producers, adjusters, and other persons licensed by the Department to extend premium deadlines, offer grace periods, offer additional time before non-renewals or cancellations become effective, relax time limitations, extend proof of loss deadlines, waive late fees, develop creative payment plan structures.
Bulletin 2020-9 Continuing Education Requirements
Producers and consultants whose license expires on April 30, 2020 are not required to provide the Insurance Department with a request for extension, written or otherwise, and are granted a CE reporting extension to May 31, 2020.
Insurance Commissioner Announces Availability of Online Producer Licensing Testing
“North Dakota is one of the first states to allow online testing for our insurance industry. This is especially important during times of social distancing, and will also better serve our rural population,” Godfread said. “There has been a national call to issue temporary licenses; by doing remote testing, we can continue to ensure individuals selling and negotiating insurance are the highly qualified professionals we have always had in North Dakota. During troubled times there is an increased risk for fraud and scams, and as Insurance Commissioner, I wanted to make sure we have the tools in place to protect our consumers, and this is one of those tools”
“This bulletin pertains to all insurers (“Insurers”) providing property and casualty, life, and long term care insurance policies (“policies”) in the State of Ohio. The purpose of this bulletin is to notify Insurers that they must provide their insureds with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums or submit information.
Accordingly, the Superintendent hereby orders Insurers to 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 the state of emergency. This means Insurers should offer payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments at no cost, extending payment due dates, or waiving late or reinstatement fees, where consumers are unable to make timely payments of premium or fees due to COVID-19-related disruptions.
The Superintendent is not requiring Insurers to waive any premiums or other consideration owed on any policy or contract during this period of time. Further, the Superintendent anticipates that a failure to pay premiums or remit consideration by the end of the grace period may subject the policy to a retroactive cancellation, in accordance with the policy terms.
Further, the Superintendent hereby orders Insurers to provide at least a 60-day grace period as to any policy provision that imposes a time limit on an insured or claimant to perform any act, including the submission of information or funds, with respect to a contract for insurance. This means Insurers are to extend such time limits by at least 60 calendar days from the last day allowed under the terms of the contract, or any longer period that may be deemed reasonable under the specific circumstances related to that insured or claimant.”
“Therefore, having determined the public interest will be best served by issuing licenses to individuals who meet certain criteria, and in accordance with R.C. 3905.09(A)(4), the Superintendent will issue temporary major line resident agent licenses (“”temporary licenses””) to qualifying individuals.
Effective immediately and continuing until the end of the Stay at Home Order and only under [certain] conditions, temporary licenses will be issued to major line resident agent license applicants without requiring examination or criminal records checks.”
However, the Department is willing to allow companies an additional 30 days to complete most of the financial filings identified in “Attachment A” of this Order (and 60 days for some), but must receive a written request for late filing from your company, and reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances of that company deemed applicable to that company.
Licenses that expire during the state of emergency remain valid and may be renewed until no later than 90 days after emergency ends or December 1, 2020, whatever comes first. Pre-license examination certificates will not expire until 30 days after the examination centers reopen.
|Complying with Regulatory Requirements during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
OID is willing to allow insurers an additional 30 days to complete [certain requried] filings (60 days for some). The OID must receive a request for late filing from your company, and reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances of that company deemed applicable to that company.
PC BULLETIN NO 2020-01
“All carriers should review their internal processes and continuity of operations, including ability to telecommute, to ensure that they are prepared to serve their members, including by providing insureds with information and timely access to all services. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, carriers should continually assess their readiness and make any necessary adjustments. This includes notifications to producers and brokers to keep consumers up to date. Access to accurate information and avoiding misinformation are critical. Therefore, carriers should inform insureds of available benefits specifically related to business interruption insurance, quickly respond to insured inquiries, and consider revisions needed to streamline responses and benefits for insureds. Carriers should make all necessary and useful information available on their websites and staff their helplines accordingly.
Property and casualty carriers should extend their applicable grace period for nonpayment of premium by an additional forty-five (45) days. This grace period extension does not relieve an insured of the obligation to pay premiums but merely is a deferral of the payment due date. The provisions of this bulletin are in effect until the state emergency is no longer in place.”
Property and casualty carriers should extend their applicable grace period for nonpayment of premium by an additional forty-five (45) days. This grace period extension does not relieve an insured of the obligation to pay premiums but merely is a deferral of the payment due date.
SECOND AMENDED EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-7
All occupational licenses issued by any agency, board or commission of the State of Oklahoma that expire during this emergency shall be extended so long as this Order is in effect. All occupational licenses extended during this Order will expire fourteen (14) days following the withdrawal or termination of this Order.
Temporary Producer and Apprentice Adjuster Licenses/Process
The Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), led by Commissioner Glen Mulready, has made available temporary Producer and Apprentice Adjuster license due to the recent closure of PROMETRIC testing centers nationwide in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Currently, a new resident producer and new resident adjuster license is not available if you haven’t passed the testing examination. The Oklahoma Insurance Department is still working toward a remote option for license examinations. Both temporary licenses are in effect until 30 days after the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-07 expires.
|Bulletin No. DFR 2020-11
“The division encouraged insurers to extend coverage for personal delivery drivers and to limit the application of commercial delivery exclusions during the COVID-19 outbreak. 1 Some insurers have offered to remove exclusions or otherwise offer coverage on a temporary basis. One instance is private passenger automobile policies extending coverage for drivers delivering food, prescriptions, or other products for their employers.
Insurers with previously approved endorsements planning to expand coverage for the remainder of a policy term do not need to file new forms. Insurers who want to extend coverage on a temporary basis for matters excluded under their policy should file proposed endorsements or any revisions to policies with the division in the System of Electronic Rates and Forms Filing (SERFF). The division is requesting the insurer to label these filings as “”COVID-19″” in the Product Name field for identification and priority review. The SERFF filing description must include an explanation of how changes in coverage and pricing will be communicated to policyholders. The insurer must provide 30 days’ notice to its customers on any reduction in coverage.
Some insurers are proposing to reduce rates based on reduced exposure from the COVID-19 emergency orders. These requests should be made in SERFF as a rule filing, and the Product 1 See DFR Bulletin 2020-08. Name field should indicate this is a “”COVID-19″” plan. The request should indicate the amount of the rate reduction, the duration of the reduction, and the classes to which the reduction applies. The insurer should explain how the rate reduction will be applied to in-force policies and whether the rate reduction applies to new business. The Policyholder Notice should state how long the temporary reduction will be in place. The insurer must provide 30 days’ notice to its policyholders on any increase in rates.”
March 25 – Memorandum
Consistent with ORS 731.482, insurance companies may not withdraw from, fail to renew, or cancel any commercial liability line of insurance or class of business, such as a child care facility, without supplying appropriate written justification and approval by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services.
News Release: Auto Insurance Refunds, Credits, and Extended Coverage Coming to Oregonians
“several auto insurance companies have been working with the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation to provide auto insurance premium refunds and credits to Oregonians.
The refunds and credits are due to the reduced risk of auto accidents because of Gov. Kate Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives executive order. The division encourages all carriers to consider providing refunds that reflect the reduced risk of auto liabilities due to the emergency order. This includes taking steps to reclassify vehicle usage, and properly adjusting any mileage-based policy metrics. “Thank you to the insurance companies that have stepped up to provide these refunds to their customers,” said Andrew Stolfi, Oregon insurance commissioner. “Our division is proud to help insurance companies provide this much needed relief to Oregonians.” In addition to the premium refunds, the division has asked all insurers to provide temporary private passenger auto insurance coverage for drivers delivering food, prescriptions, and other products for their employers.”
State issues grace period order for insurance deadlines
Insurance companies must take steps immediately to do the following until the order is no longer in effect: Institute a grace period for premium payments on all insurance policies issued in the state; Suspend all cancellations and nonrenewals for active insurance policies; Extend all deadlines for consumers to report claims and communicate about claims; Provide consumers the ability to make premium payments and report claims while maintaining safe social distancing standards.
|COVID-19 Guidance – Temporary Individual Resident Producer Licensure, Notice 2020-12
. Pursuant to section 609-A of Act 147 of 2002 (P.L. 118), 40 P.S. § 310.9, the Department will be commencing the issuance of temporary producer licenses to those qualifying individuals desiring to become Pennsylvania resident insurance producers.
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
Notice Number 2020-05 – Notice to Insurance Companies Regarding Filings
In an effort to prevent further disruption of the business being conducted by our insurance companies and other licensees, the Office of Corporate and Financial Regulation will, for a limited time, accept filings electronically.
SERVICES FOR LICENSEES
In response to the COVID-19 spread in the Commonwealth and pursuant to 40 P.S. 310.8(e), the Pennsylvania Insurance Department is extending the licensing renewal deadline for licenses expiring on March 31, 2020. Licenses expiring on March 31, 2020 will remain in active status until further notice.
|Insurance Bulletin Number 2020-3 – Insurance Licensing during the COVID-19 Emergency
Insurance producers with licenses expiring on March 31, 2020 will have their licenses automatically extended until April 30, 2020. Those licensees affected will receive an email directly to the business email address associated with their license.
Insurance Bulletin Number 2020-4 – Flexibility in insurance during the COVID-19 Emergency
The Rhode Island Insurance Division requests that insurers writing business in our state take the following steps to preserve access to insurance coverage during this emergency: Provide as much flexibility as possible to allow insureds to maintain their existing coverage by implementing and extending grace periods for premium payments, allowing payment plans for premium payments and instituting whatever other measures necessary to assist insureds in avoiding or delaying cancellation or a lapse of insurance coverage; Institute alternative methods of payment for those insureds whose normal method of payment is affected by this emergency. For example, insurers could provide for electronic premium payments as an alternative to in-person payment; Insurers should institute additional flexibility in the form of waivers of late, insufficient funds and installment fees and penalties, extension of billing due dates and premium grace periods; Insurers should explore ways to streamline or delay the submission of administrative paperwork that may jeopardize the maintenance and/or issuance of coverage; Insurer should consider filings to alter policies to reflect the anticipated effects of the emergency. Insurers should explore ways to make claims processes easier and more responsive such as electronic delivery of claims payments and remote adjustment of damages.
|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:
• Extension of premium payment deadlines;
• Additional time before non-renewals or cancellations become effective;
• Extension of proof of loss deadlines;
• Waiver of fees, penalties or other charges relating to an insured’s temporary inability to submit premium payments or otherwise respond as a result of this pandemic.”
Bulletin Number 2020-03
On April 2, 2020, the Department authorized temporary licenses for producers.
|Bulletin 20-03 Temporary Insurance Producer Licenses
“Under the authority of SDCL §§58-30-165 and 58-30-166, the Director of the South Dakota Division of Insurance (“Division”) has found that circumstances exist where the public interest will best be served by the issuance of temporary insurance producer licenses.
Qualifications for Temporary License 1. Applications for temporary licenses will be available beginning April 20, 2020, and will be accepted until the COVID-19 emergency is concluded. 2. The applicant must be a South Dakota resident otherwise qualified for a producer’s license if the applicable insurance examination was available. 3. The applicant must complete a Temporary Producer License Application located on the Division’s website. 4. The applicant must submit additional materials to supplement the application: a. A completed Responsible Licensed Producer Form designating the South Dakota licensed producer responsible for the applicant’s activities during the temporary license period; b. A copy of the applicant’s valid, acceptable form of identification; c. A check for $10.00; and d. Any additional information required by the application questions. 5. Temporary license applicants may only apply for insurance lines held by their Responsible Licensed Producer. Conditions of Temporary Licensure 1. Temporary licenses will automatically expire 180 days from the date of issue or 60 days after the COVID-19 emergency concludes, whichever is sooner No exceptions will be made. 2. Temporary licenses are not renewable and do not qualify for license reciprocity in any other state or jurisdiction. 3. Temporary licensees must obtain company appointments and comply with the Insurance Code. 4. Temporary licensees may apply for a producer’s license once examination vendors have resumed operations. If an examination is passed and an application for a producer’s license is approved, the temporary license will terminate. 5. The Division of Insurance will contact applicants and licensees when the COVID-19 emergency has concluded, at which time no further temporary licenses will be issued for this emergency.”
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance requests carriers provide employers and individuals with as much flexibility as practicable during the period of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Carriers should work with policy holders who have concerns about their ability to timely pay premium to ensure that policy holders can maintain their existing insurance coverage. Carriers across all lines of business, upon request or upon calls about coverage, should explain to consumers affected by COVID19 options to maintain continuous coverage during this difficult time. Carriers should explain existing applicable grace periods that may allow policyholders to delay premium payments without losing coverage. Additionally, carriers should explore ways to eliminate late fees, non-sufficient funds fees, and installment fees. Carriers should also work with employers or individuals to find the best ways to address concerns with the timing of premium payments in order to delay any cancellation of coverage for non-payment and collection activity. Finally, carriers should explore ways to streamline administrative processes and paperwork to facilitate continuous coverage and ease burdens on policy holders.
At this time, companies are still required to make all required electronic filings (e.g., quarterly financial statements, audited financial statements) with TDCI and the NAIC. However, TDCI is willing to allow insurers an additional 30 days to complete most of the following filings (and 60 days for some), but TDCI must receive a request for late filing from your company, and TDCI reserves the right to reject any such individual company requests based upon the financial condition and unique circumstances of that company deemed applicable to that company.
|Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0008-20
“Governor Greg Abbott approved suspension of certain licensing requirements and fees for Texas licensed insurance agents and adjusters. For licenses that expired on or before February 29, 2020, the renewal period is extended to May 31, 2020. For licenses that expire between March 31, 2020, and April 30, 2020, late fees and continuing education fines will be waived if the license is renewed by May 31, 2020. All current temporary licenses and new temporary licenses issued will remain active until further notice. The $100 additional fee for a temporary license is waived until further notice. The requirement that temporary agent licensees obtain training in a classroom setting is waived. Instead, applicants seeking a temporary license may take approved webinars and courses listed as “classroom equivalent” to satisfy the 10 hours of classroom training. The requirement to submit fingerprints for a temporary license is delayed until further notice. The requirement that, during any two consecutive quarters, at least 70% of an organization’s applicants for temporary licenses take the required licensing examination is waived.”
Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0021-20
TDI encourages insurers to accept verbal requests for credit exceptions in lieu of written requests as stated in Insurance Code Section 559.103. Insurance Code Section 559.103 applies to personal insurance, which includes personal automobile, residential property, residential fire and allied lines insurance policies, and it also applies to noncommercial insurance policies covering a boat, personal watercraft, snowmobile, or recreational vehicle.
Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0022-20 Notices of Material Change
“The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) reminds insurers that under the Insurance Code and TDI rules notices of material change must be: clear; written in plain language;
appear in a conspicuous place; and provided to the insured at least 30 days before renewal or the date the policy expires. TDI has received complaints about insurers not fulfilling some of these requirements. We encourage all insurers to review the requirements carefully, verify their compliance efforts, and report any suspected violations. Self-reporting may be considered as a mitigating factor in any potential disciplinary action.”
“Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0007-20
Prompt payment deadline extension & Premium payments grace period”
“Taken together, the Governor’s suspension and the Commissioner’s declaration have the effect of extending claim-handling deadlines imposed by the state’s prompt payment laws for an additional 15 days to help carriers respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This extension will be in effect until the Governor’s suspension and Commissioner’s declaration are lifted. Carriers must continue to: Promptly identify, evaluate, and resolve claims; Promptly acknowledge receipt of a claim; and Promptly make appropriate assignments for the investigation of a claim.
TDI expects all carriers to work with policyholders who may experience financial hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak. TDI encourages carriers to use grace periods for payments, temporary suspension of premium payments, payment plans, and other actions to allow continuing insurance coverage as appropriate. TDI will work with carriers to minimize the regulatory effects of an insurer’s actions to provide policyholder relief, specifically for financial review requirements. The term “suspension” is not intended to mean the forgiveness of the premium. Automatic bank drafts for premium payments may continue according to a carrier’s written agreement with a policyholder, unless a policyholder notifies a carrier of a specific hardship. This should be weighed against the potential disruption to a carrier’s business model or the inconvenience caused to the policyholder by multiple payments. It is TDI’s expectation that carriers will work directly with policyholders to resolve issues and minimize the effects of any penalties or additional charges.”
Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0009-20
You may submit financial filings with electronic signatures and without sworn statements, affidavits, or notarization, and TDI will contact you later. You may submit financial filings without fingerprints, and TDI will contact you later.
Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0020-20
For policies calculated using an auditable exposure that may have changed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, TDI encourages insurers to: Conduct midterm premium audits if requested by policyholders. Many policies allow midterm audits and do not require an onsite audit. Allow policyholders to self-audit and report changes in the auditable exposure the company used to calculate the premium. Consider any reduced risk for businesses that change operations or elect to continue paying employees when they are not working. Make other adjustments to reduce the premium as appropriate. A midterm audit, self-audit, or other premium adjustment does not replace a final audit permitted or required by the policy.
TDI adjusts licensing, continuing education requirements
TDI will Issue temporary agent licenses, without required testing or additional fees. All training can be completed online, and fingerprints will be submitted later. Temporary applications should be submitted online. Paper applications will not be accepted. Temporary licenses will remain active until further notice. TDI will waive the additional $100 fee for a temporary license. TDI will issue only emergency adjuster licenses until testing and fingerprinting sites reopen.
TDI expedites review of COVID-19 filings
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is expediting approvals for property and casualty filings that provide additional coverage or relief to policyholders during the COVID-19 outbreak.
TREC and TALCB has extended its waiver of all renewal and application deadlines through June 30.
|Utah||Order Establishing Standards for Obtaining and a Process for Issuing a Temporary Resident Individual Producer License
“Consistent with Utah Code § 31A-23a-114(1)(a)(ii)(A), the public interest will best be served by providing standards for obtaining and a process for issuing a temporary resident individual producer license.
Consistent with Utah Code § 31A-23a-114(5)(a)(i), the limitations on the authority of a temporary licensee as set forth in the Order below are necessary to protect insureds and the public. ”
|DFR Approves Several Insurer Plans to Refund Auto Insurance Premiums during Stay-Home Stay-Safe Order
All Vermont-based auto insurance companies, along with most major out-of-state insurers, have developed refund plans for Vermonters, which combined, represent approximately 90% of all personal auto policies in Vermont. Each of these insurers has seen a reduction in claims as Vermonters do their part to stay home to comply with the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe directive. “I’m grateful the insurance industry is acknowledging the reduced risk of auto claims as a result of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order,” said Governor Scott. “These reduced rates provide additional relief at a critical time for many Vermonters, and I appreciate the Department of Financial Regulation’s ongoing work with industries to help save Vermonters money.
Insurers Encouraged to Offer Policyholders Flexibility with Premiums
The Department of Financial Regulation requests that all insurance companies provide their policyholders with a reasonable grace period to pay insurance premiums to avoid policies being cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
|Administrative Letter 2020-02
Because of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Bureau will grant most insurance companies an additional 30 or 60 days to complete the filings listed in the letter.
COVID-19 Update: Insurance Licensing Exam Centers
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance extended the timeframe for applicants to submit required documentation from 30 days to 90 days. Application processing may exceed 15 business days.
Forbearance: Payments-terminations-regulated entities
“The Bureau encourages those it regulates to consider taking the following actions, consistent with prudent insurance practices:
• Insurers should consider relaxing due dates for premium payments, extending grace periods, waiving late fees and penalties, and allowing payment plans for premium payments to otherwise avoid a lapse in coverage.
• Insurers should also consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting all other reasonable efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage.”
Requirements of § 38.2-510 of the Code of Virginia and 14 VAC 5-400-10 et seq.
The Bureau encourages insurers to continue to adjust/process claims during this public health emergency as expeditiously as possible and to utilize all possible methods of adjusting claims remotely, such as telephone, mail, and mobile applications while striving to meet normal time frames in place for adjusting/processing claims whenever possible. The Bureau also recognizes that some claims must be adjusted in person and that strict adherence to normal time frames may not be possible because of staffing and social distancing due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, once an insurer has received the necessary supporting documentation on a claim, the insurer must issue the claim payment or properly deny the claim without delay.
|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. ”
Remote testing means that you may take your exam at home. In order to qualify for this option, there are specific requirements. When you register to take your test remotely, you’ll need to have a laptop or desktop computer (not a smartphone or tablet). Your device will be tested for compatibility at the time you register. If your device or internet connection do not meet the criteria, you’ll have to set an appointment to test at a physical PSI location. Remote testing is a new testing platform that was released Oct. 1, 2019.
Kreidler finds most business insurance policies in state exclude pandemic, virus coverage
Kreidler’s office reviewed 226 sample notices to policyholders from 84 individual insurance companies and insurance groups doing business in Washington. The insurers reported over 194,000 commercial policies had at least one type of business interruption or civil authority coverage in effect as of March 15, with an estimated premium totaling $437 million. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association estimates that closure losses just for businesses with 100 or fewer employees are running $255 billion to $431 billion a month. For small businesses, it estimates losses are approximately 43 to 72 times their monthly commercial property insurance premiums
|20-EO-06 – COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY, DOOR-TO-DOOR/IN-HOME INSURANCE TRANSACTIONS
insurance institutions, including insurance companies, underwriters, agents (producers), brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services, their employees or representatives are prohibited from engaging in door-to-door/in-home solicitation of new insurance business or other door-to-door/in-home insurance activity or transactions during this insurance emergency and/or State of Emergency unless all of the following conditions exist: (1) they are servicing or conducting another essential transaction regarding a current policy or policies, (2) they are engaging in the door-to-door/in-home activity at the request of the policyholder or other insured, (3) such policy servicing or other essential transaction cannot be accomplished electronically or otherwise remotely, and (4) the door-to-door/in-home transaction is to be done only with the use of personal protective equipment and/or appropriate social distancing.
Bulletin No. 20-07
“Emergency Order 20-02, issued by the Insurance Commissioner on March 18, 2020, states that insurers 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 adverse circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding State of Emergency issued by the Governor of West Virginia on March 16, 2020, or any subsequent governmental orders. Emergency Order 20-02 is not meant to prohibit the cancellation or nonrenewal of all insurance policies and does not apply to insureds or policyholders who were already delinquent or who were or are cancelled/nonrenewed for other valid underwriting reasons.
Further, Emergency Order 20-02 does not excuse insureds or policyholders from the obligation to pay premiums for insurance coverage provided or contractual benefits received. Insurers should be willing to, and are encouraged to, be flexible with insureds or policyholders by voluntarily instituting moratoriums on cancellations or premium collections and allow for alternative payment arrangements, deferred premium payments, premium holidays and acceleration or waiver of underwriting requirements so that policyholders do not become delinquent during and as a result of the crisis. ”
Emergency Proceeding: 20-EO-01
It is hereby ORDERED that that normal time frames for claim handling and settlement as set forth in West Virginia Code of State Rules Title 114, Series 14, Section 5 and subsections 6.2, 6.3, 6.7, 7.3.c, and 7.5 are suspended in the State of West Virginia until further notice. It is further ORDERED that insurers and other regulated entities shall continue to adjust claims as expeditiously as possible during this insurance emergency, and shall 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. The Commissioner recognizes that some claims must be adjusted in person and that strict adherence to normal time frames may be impractical in those certain circumstances and others related to staffing and social distancing because of the COVID-19 crisis. Insurers should prioritize claims adjustment and resolution strategies during this insurance emergency to ensure that high priority claims are addressed before lower priority claims. It is further ORDERED that this Emergency Order shall remain in full force and effect until further notice. ENTERED this 13th day of March, 2020.
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.”
Emergency Proceeding: 20-EO-04
It is hereby ORDERED that any insurance company licensed to do business in West Virginia may submit to the Commissioner an application requesting appointment and authorization of one or more emergency insurance adjusters for the purpose of adjusting claims in West Virginia during the pendency of the current COVID-19 insurance emergency. Each application for an emergency insurance adjuster shall state the names of any individuals that the company wishes to have authorized as an emergency insurance adjuster as well as any other information the Commissioner requires. Emergency insurance adjusters shall only be authorized to act as such after approval of the application by the Commissioner. An emergency insurance adjuster license is valid only for so long as the Commissioner specifies, but not to exceed a period of one hundred twenty (120) days unless extended for a period of an additional ninety (90) days. An emergency insurance adjuster license granted hereunder is valid only for the COVID-19 insurance emergency. During the time an individual is licensed as an emergency insurance adjuster, he or she has the same power, authority and responsibility as other licensed insurance adjusters in this state. It is further ORDERED that applicants for an emergency adjuster license must complete the emergency insurance adjuster licensing application that can be found on the Commissioner’s website at www.wvinsurance.gov/Divisions/Licensing and submit the completed application via email to OICAgentLicensing@wv.gov. A link to the application can also be found under the red “COVID19” tab on the Commissioner’s website. Due to remote working restrictions, the Commissioner will not accept applications via facsimile or U.S. Mail at this time. Any failure to complete the application fully or to return the completed emergency insurance adjuster application in the correct manner may delay action upon the application by the Commissioner or the Licensing and Education Division of the Offices of the Insurance Commissioner.
Pre-licensing Certificate NOTICE
Due to the Covid-19 emergency all pre-licensing certificates have been extended from the standard four months to six months until further notice. Pre-licensing will be valid from six months from the date of completion on the certificate. Please contact email@example.com for further questions. Please also visit https://home.pearsonvue.com/Test-takers.aspx for the latest developments on testing opportunities.
WEST VIRGINIA INSURANCE BULLETIN No. 20 – 04a
The Offices of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) understands that many insurers have plans in place to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the Commissioner is issuing this Bulletin to provide guidance on what the OIC expects from insurers in regard to continuity of operations and preparedness plans to address any operational risks, and to ensure that insurers are identifying, monitoring, and managing the financial risk posed by the COVID-19 crisis. It is critical that insurers establish plans to address how they will assess and manage disruptions and other risks to their services and operations. An entity’s preparedness plan should be sufficiently flexible to effectively address a range of possible effects that could result from COVID-19, and reflect the entity’s size, complexity and activities.
“WEST VIRGINIA INSURANCE BULLETIN
No. 20 – 06”
“Effective immediately, under the authority of W. Va. Code § 33-12-16, the Commissioner will issue a temporary producer license to applicants for a producer license, on a case-by-case basis, without requiring testing or fingerprinting, where it is determined that applicants are unable to complete the requisite testing or obtain fingerprinting due to third-party vendor operations suspensions or closures. Such temporary licenses will only be issued to applicants who will, when licensed, engage in the business of insurance while employed by an existing agency, brokerage or insurer and under the direct supervision of a producer who is currently licensed and in good standing with the Commissioner.
Temporary licenses will be issued for a period of up to 180 days and will be subject to being sooner rescinded depending upon the duration of the current insurance emergency. Upon rescission of the temporary producer license, the licensee will no longer be licensed, will immediately revert to the status of applicant, and must then complete all usual requirements for licensure in order to obtain a producer license.
Recipients of such temporary producer licenses will be subject to any and all limitations on the authority of such temporary license as specified in the license or in documentation furnished with the temporary license. Notwithstanding the foregoing, every such temporary producer licensee shall be required, when engaging in the business of insurance pursuant to temporary licensure, to do so only while under the direct supervision of a producer who is currently licensed and in good standing with the Commissioner.”
|Bulletin, April 21, 2020, Special COVID-19 Session Law 2019 Wisconsin Act 185
“This bulletin provides a summary of the provisions that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) will be implementing. The insurance provisions contained in the COVID-19 law are summarized [herein] by topic. This summary is intended as information only, and not an interpretation of the law by OCI. ”
Bulletin, March 19, 2020, Proctoring of Online Courses – Personal Attestation Form
OCI will allow providers to deliver currently approved classroom courses via webinar without having to re-file those courses with OCI. Providers will not be required to submit separate course applications for these webinar courses prior to delivering these courses to students. However, providers are required to provide OCI with a list of classroom courses that will be conducted via webinar and submit a written statement as to their process in determining participation of students. OCI encourages providers to submit these lists as soon as possible. Providers must submit the list and statement to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulletin, March 20, 2020, Complying with Regulatory Requirements during the Public Health Emergency
Insurers are encouraged to offer flexibility to insureds who are incurring economic hardship. This flexibility can include offering non-cancellation periods, deferred premium payments, premium holidays and acceleration or waiver of underwriting requirements. OCI will not view any accommodations made to insureds incurring economic hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency as violating insurance laws such as unfair inducement prohibitions. Accommodations should not be applied in an unfairly discriminatory manner.
“OCI has several required regulatory filings that are deemed approved by OCI if the filing is not disapproved within a certain time period. For example, extraordinary dividend requests are deemed approved if OCI does not disapprove the request within 30 days in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 617.225. OCI is receiving a high number of inquiries related to the COVID-19 virus and cannot ensure that any filing will be reviewed in the time period specified by statute. Further, because OCI staff is working remotely, OCI cannot guarantee that any filing that is submitted through the mail will be received in a timely manner.
For this reason, during the pendency of the public health emergency related to COVID-19, all filings that are deemed approved if OCI does not disapprove the filing within a certain period of time are hereby disapproved. This disapproval is preliminary and OCI will continue to review the filing to determine if a final disapproval or approval is warranted. OCI will review those filings in as timely a manner as possible and will endeavor to provide a final determination within the statutory time frame.”
DFI Issues Emergency Guidance on Remote Notarization
“Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, remote online notarization is now authorized in this state, subject to several safeguards to ensure the integrity of the notarial process,” said DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld.
Insurance Commissioner Announces Agent Licensing Exams May Be Taken Online
Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable today announced that insurance agent licensing exams can now be taken online using a platform called ProProctorTM from Prometric. The online platform allows individuals to take the agent licensing exam from home during the State’s Safer at Home order. Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance originally pursued remote testing software to expand access to agent licensing exams for individuals with limited access to transportation or those individuals with restrictive schedules. The technology is now available to support individuals pursuing a career in insurance during the national public health emergency.
Auto Insurance Flexibility During COVID19 Crisis April 22, 2020
Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Jeff Rude noted “a large number of insurance companies operating in our state are offering a variety of options to give consumers more flexibility.” Some companies are promising consumers an extension on their grace period, for those missing a payment because of COVID19, for example. Other companies are offering premium reductions since the number of miles being driven and the number of accidents has declined. “There are a lot of different options, but insurance companies can only enact flexibilities if they’re aware of your situation.” said Commissioner Rude. He encouraged any Wyomingite unable to make a payment or facing financial duress because of COVID19 to reach out to their insurance company as soon as possible. “Call your insurance company and tell them that because of the COVID19 crisis you have been laid off. Or, tell them, I’ve got some issues here. I am not going to be able to make this payment, what can we do? How do we keep this coverage in place?” Rude explained. Several insurance companies have notified the Wyoming Department of Insurance that they intend to offer as much flexibility as possible.
WY Licensing Updates Related to COVID-19
“The Commissioner will consider waiving license late/reinstatement fees for licensees who are directly affected by COVID-19 (those who test positive or are a primary care giver of someone who test positive) and are unable to renew their insurance license timely. These requests for exception must be emailed to the Licensing Section (email@example.com) and should include the licensee’s name, Wyoming
license number, expiration and a brief summary of how their situation requires an exception. The Commissioner will not waive initial license or renewal fees, only late fees. Requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis for the remainder of 2020. Licensee’s who request an exception will be notified of the approval or disapproval of their request via email. Individuals who are granted an exception, will be given specific instructions on how to proceed with their license. Please contact the licensing section with any questions regarding this.”