The Alaska Division of Insurance (the “Division”) issued two new bulletins this week in the wake of Governor Mike Dunleavy declaring a public health disaster emergency for COVID-19.
On March 18th, in an effort to provide relief to affected policyholders by allowing continuing insurance coverage, the Division issued Bulletin B 20-80 (the “Cancellation Bulletin”), prohibiting insurers from terminating insurance contracts due to non-payment.. The Cancellation Bulletin states that the Division 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.
The Cancellation Bulletin remains in effect until June 1st, 2020.
On March 16th, the Division issued Bulletin 20-06 (the “Filing Bulletin”), notifying insurers that effective immediately rate, form, and advertisement filings will be extended as permitted by statute. The Filing Bulletin extension guidelines are as follows:
“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.”
Additionally, insurers may request filings originally submitted as File and Use be treated as Prior Approval if their company experiences operational challenges due to COVID-19. The Division reserves the right to treat File and Use filings as Prior Approval if deemed necessary by the director.
Locke Lord will continue to monitor these developments.
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.