In conjunction with the Locke Lord COVID-19 task force, we are reviewing, analyzing, and compiling information from state and federal resources, including insurance trade associations, to provide clients easy access to information during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions on the subject matter below, do not hesitate to reach out. The information below relates to state and federal bulletins, emergency orders, pending/enacted legislation, and other related actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
California: On March 26th, Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a data survey to all admitted and non-admitted insurance companies, requesting information on business interruption and related coverages provided by commercial insurance policies. Responses to the Commissioner’s request are not mandatory. Response are due April 9th, 2020. All responses will be deemed non-public information. For a full breakdown of the request, please review our post here.
Colorado: On March 26th, the Colorado Division of Insurance issued Emergency Regulation 20-E-03 that requires all insurance companies to waive policy restrictions, allowing employees to continue to work while utilizing their own personal automobile for commercial food delivery.
Connecticut: On March 26th, Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais issued Bulletin Number IC-41, to all companies licensed to write auto/motorcycle liability insurance in Connecticut, urging auto insurers to broaden coverage to delivery drivers’ personal vehicles in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Hampshire: On March 26th, Governor Chris Sununu issued Emergency Order #17 ordering the closure of non-essential businesses and requiring New Hampshire residents to stay at home. All businesses and other organizations that do not provide Essential Services shall close as of 11:59 PM on March 27th, 2020, and operations shall not resume until 12:01 AM on May 4, 2020. Insurance is deemed as Essential under the Financial Services section of Exhibit A to the Order.
New York: The Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), in response to inquiries received from regulated insurance persons and entities, issued industry guidance on electronic signatures, records, and transactions. DFS encourages the insurance industry to use and accept electronic signatures and records to facilitate insurance transactions and minimize disruptions. The DFS guidance does not negate prior approval requirements for policy forms and other communications in the Insurance Law or regulations promulgated thereunder.
North Dakota: On March 25th, Commissioner Jon Godfread, issued Bulletin 2020-7, granting resident insurance producers and consultants whose license expires on March 31, a one month extension in reporting completion of their continuing education requirements.
Maryland: On March 26th, the Maryland Insurance Administration issued Bulletin No. 20-14, stating that Maryland-domiciled insurers that provide premium grace periods to policyholders may request a permitted accounting practice to waive the Statutory Accounting Principle that requires an insurer to non-admit premium receivable assets over 90 days past due. The number of days past due that will be allowed as an admitted asset will be based on an insurer’s grace period.
Mississippi: On March 25th, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney issued Bulletin 2020-3, as amended, declaring a sixty (60) day moratorium on the cancellation/non-renewal of policies for the non-payment of premiums, effective March 24, 2020. The Bulletin was issued to assist Mississippians impacted by the pandemic and the closures and quarantines it has caused. The 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.
Oregon: On March 25th, the Oregon Consumer and Business Services/Division of Financial Regulation issued an order requiring all admitted insurers that provide any type of insurance coverage in Oregon, including, life, health, auto, property, casualty, and all other lines of insurance, to extend the grace period for insurance deadlines, ensure customers have all available options to make prompt insurance payments, and suspend all cancellations and non-renewals for all active insurance policies in the state, among other things. The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until April 23, 2020.
Rhode Island: On March 25th, the Superintendent of Insurance Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer issued Insurance Bulletin Number 2020-4, requesting that insurers writing business in Rhode Island take certain steps to preserve access to insurance coverage, including flexibility regarding premium payments and claims processes. The bulletin was issued on March 25, 2020.
Washington: (Update) According to APCIA, the WA Department of Insurance has clarified that for Emergency Order 20-03 (Grace Period for Nonpayment of Premium and Temporarily Prohibiting Cancellation), Section A of the Order applies to all regulated entities, including surplus lines carriers and surplus lines brokers. Section B of the Order does not apply to surplus lines. The relevant sections of the Order are:
“A. 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.
B. 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.
Washington: On March 27th, Commissioner Mike Kriedler issued a press release urging all insurers doing business in Washington to immediately extend automobile insurance coverage for personal delivery drivers to aid people temporarily assigned this duty during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the press release, Commissioner Kreidler said his office would expedite review and approval of the endorsement filings so that affected delivery drivers can have coverage quickly.
West Virginia: West Virginia extends the due date regarding their request for Foreign Insurers to provide information regarding operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Responses are due no later than April 10, 2020.
Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.
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