In conjunction with the Locke Lord COVID-19 task force, we are reviewing, analyzing, and compiling regulatory updates 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.
All Lines of Insurance
Iowa: On April 21, 2020, the Iowa Division of Insurance issued Bulletin 20-08 notifying all insurance producers and continuing education providers that the transition to a new version of the State Based System (SBS) in May will be delayed until June 10, 2020.
Indiana: On April 21, Indiana released Bulletin 253, which, among other things, (i) requests that medical malpractice carriers extend coverage for temporary healthcare facilities established pursuant to the pandemic, (ii) recommends that temporary healthcare facilities be associates with, and operate under a primary hospital which provides liability insurance cover (iii) encourages the use of telemedicine where possible, and (iv) encourages health carriers to cover early RX drug refills.
New Mexico: On April 21, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent and Insurance (OSI) issued Bulletin 2020-010 advising insurers 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 matter. Within one week of publication of the Bulletin (by April 29), the contact shall subscribe to the Regulatory Compliance/Government Relations newsletter through the OSI subscription page.
North Carolina: On April 21, the North Carolina Department of Insurance issued Bulletin No. 20-B-07 to all insurance companies, service corporations, HMO, MEWA, surplus lines insurers, the underwriting associations defined in NCGS 58-45-5(1) and NCGS 58-46-5, premium finance companies, collections agencies, and other persons subject to Chapter 58 of North Carolina General Statutes regarding an Extended Order issued by Insurance Commissioner Causey effective on April 27, 2020. All entities that are subject to North Carolina’s External Review Law, NCGS 58-50 Part 4, are directed to allow consumers, whose requests may have been impacted by the disaster, additional time for their requests to be received and reviewed. Additionally, for cases that have been accepted and additional information is being submitted, the timeframes for receiving this information will also be extended.
Pennsylvania: On April 22, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance issued guidance to all Pennsylvania insurers, insurance agencies, and interested parties regarding the issuance of temporary producer licenses to those qualifying individuals desiring to become Pennsylvania resident insurance producers. The temporary producer license allows the individual to operate in Pennsylvania as a resident temporary producer. Temporary producers are not eligible for non-resident licenses in other states. Sponsoring Insurers must submit applications for the temporary license electronically at www.sircon.com through a subscriber account. To apply for the temporary license, the sponsoring insurer must be a Sircon account holder. The application process will take approximately 20 to 25 days from pre-licensing education to issuance of the temporary license to the individual. The Department anticipates being able to commence the temporary resident producer licensing process by the end of April.
Texas: On April 22, the Texas Department of Insurance (DOI) authorized Pearson Vue to resume agent testing at certain locations, provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines. Applicants seeking agent licensure may login to their Pearson Vue account and find a testing center.
Wisconsin: On April 21, the Wisconsin OCI issued a document summarizing Special COVID-19 Session Law 2019 Wisconsin Act 185, which was signed into law on April 15. Among other things, the Act (i) requires plans to provide coverage for services, treatment or supplies for COVID-19 from non-participating providers when there is limited access limitations to participating providers; (ii) mandates coverage for COVID-related services, treatment or supplies generally when a participating provider is not available due to the public health emergency; (iii) prohibits certain discriminatory acts based on COVID-19, (iv) requires certain services to be covered without cost-sharing; and (v) imposes certain RX drug limits.
Wisconsin: On April 22, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) issued a bulletin advising insurers, agents, and interested parties of the availability of remotely-proctored producer licensing exams. The exam is available through Prometric testing services.
Property and Casualty Insurance
New Mexico: On April 21, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent and Insurance (OSI) issued Order, 20-00025-COMP-PC, notifying every insurer who issued or delivered a private passenger or commercial auto insurance policy to a New Mexico person or entity, with coverage in effect on or after March 23, 2020, shall, within 21 days of the date of the Order, determine whether the rates and premiums for New Mexico auto insurance policies in effect on or after March 23, 2020 are excessive considering the COVID-19 related automobile usage reductions experienced in the state. The directive does not apply to auto products for which premiums are charged on a pay-as-you-go or pay-by-mile basis, or limited duration auto insurance (30 days or less), or policies subject to contractual usage rate adjustments. If an insurer determines that the premium charged is excessive, such insurer shall submit a filing to OSI, through SERFF. The Order lays out specific conditions for each SERFF submission.
Connecticut: On April 20, the Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais advised all life insurers doing business in Connecticut to refrain from asking applicants about exposure to the novel coronavirus. The Department released a Notice stating, that all life insurers authorized to conduct business in Connecticut are hereby advised that any life insurance application form filed for review with the Connecticut Insurance Department should not include medical or other questions related to COVID-19, including, but not limited to, questions about being quarantined. Any life insurance application form filing that contain such questions will not be approved.