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
Missouri: On May 7, Missouri issued Bulletin 20-10, which extends the application of Bulletin 20-05 until June 15, 2020. All insurers, including health carriers, are strongly encouraged to extend grace periods until June 15, 2020. On March 21, Missouri issued Bulletin 20-05, which was set to be effective until May 15. Bulletin 20-05, among other things, (i) “strongly encouraged” carriers not to cancel, non-renew, or terminate certain types of coverage, and (ii) encourages carriers to extend grace periods for insureds while the Bulletin was in effect.
Pennsylvania: On May 6, Governor Wolf issued an executive order providing that any individual who holds a license, certificate, registration or certification to practice a health care profession or occupation in Pennsylvania and who is engaged in providing COVID-19 medical and health treatment or services during the COVID-19 disaster emergency response is immune from civil liability.
Utah: On May 4, Governor Herbert signed SB 3007a into law, providing immunity from civil liability to businesses and property owners who may encounter civil litigation for exposing someone to COVID-19.
Property and Casualty Insurance
California: On May 5, the California Department of Insurance issued a Notice to all admitted and non-admitted insurers, encouraging all insurers not to use the expiration of a policyholder’s driver’s license for the following reasons; (1) to affect a driver’s ability to secure and maintain auto insurance coverage; (2) to affect a driver’s eligibility for a Good Driver discount; (3) to determine eligibility for a California Low Cost Automobile policy; and, (4) to impact the rates charged to any driver.
Colorado: On May 6, the Colorado Division of Insurance issued FAQs clarifying the guidance promulgated under Bulletin No. B-5.41 related to claims handling during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the FAQ, Bulletin 5.41 applies to Surplus Lines insurers. Bulletin No. B-5.41 discusses claims handling processes, including on-site property damage inspections, motor vehicle replacement coverages, additional living expenses and loss of rents coverages, and replacement cost coverage.
New Mexico: On May 7, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance issued a Notice providing guidance related to how commercial and personal automobile insurers are to apply refunds or credits to policyholders as required by Docket No. 20-00025-COMP-PC, issued last month. The OSI is advising insurers to provide premium refunds immediately so that policyholders can use the funds based on the financial hardship they might be experiencing. According to the Notice, among other things, insurers will only be able to apply a premium refund as a credit if the policyholder has a premium due and payable for coverage under an existing policy.