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
Kentucky: On May 5, Kentucky released an announcement on their website concerning applications currently pending for insurance examination(s). As the expiration date approaches for those applications, individuals should email the Agent Licensing Division with a request for extension. Upon receiving the request, and when the expiration date has passed, division staff will manually extend the expiration date, providing a new 120-day window for scheduling an examination.
North Carolina: On May 4, North Carolina enacted Senate Bill 704, providing that any health care facility, provider, or entity that has legal responsibility for the acts or omissions of a health care provider shall have immunity from any civil liability for any harm or damages alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to certain restrictions. Additionally, the Bill provides that emergency video notarization may be performed using video conference technology provided certain conditions are met.
Puerto Rico: On May 2, the Officer of the Commissioner of Insurance issued Circular Letter CC-2020-1964-D to all insurers, regarding the reopening of operations in the insurance industry. The Letter states that the insurance industry is authorized to reopen operations on May 4, subject to certain restrictions. Additionally, the Letter clarifies that before commencing operations, each employer must have a risk management plan for COVID-19 contagion.
Washington: On May 5, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued a press released reminding consumers that the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act and protects consumers during the coronavirus pandemic from any negative credit reporting as long as their accounts were in good standing before the pandemic started. This protection also applies to how insurers use credit history to calculate how much consumers pay for auto and homeowners insurance.
West Virginia: On May 4, the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner (Commissioner) issued Bulletin No. 20-11, providing guidance on premiums taxes and surcharges related to the premium relief programs implemented in response to COVID-19. According to the Bulletin, among other things, any premium tax or surcharge assessed against the portion of an insurance premium that is refunded should also be refunded to the policyholder. Additionally, if premium relief is provided by a credit or paying a dividend, as opposed to issuing a refund, the tax or surcharge may not need to be refunded policyholder.
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.