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
New Jersey: On May 13, Insurance Commissioner Caride published Bulletin No. 20-24, which supplements Bulletin No. 20-03 (which remains in force). Bulletin No. 20-24 expands the requirements of insurers to cover any SARS-COV-2 test authorized by the DOH Standing Order, without cost-sharing, prior authorization or other medical management requirements.
New York: On May 13, ELANY issued Bulletin 2020-24 to provide clarification on the COVID-19 moratorium/grace period/notification issue. The Bulletin provides a brief FAQ clarifying issues regarding the cancellation/nonrenewal moratorium, premium payment grace period and notification requirements of Executive Order 202.13 and the DFS Emergency Regulation.
Oklahoma: On May 12, Oklahoma enacted SB 300 providing civil liability immunity to certain health care facilities or providers who provide care to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.
Pennsylvania: On May 13, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance (“Department”) issued Notice 2020-14 to all licensees of the Department to provide guidance about in-person operations and sales for insurance licensees in counties moving to the yellow phase of reopening in the Commonwealth. Telework and remote operations must continue where feasible in counties that have been designated to move to the yellow phase, however, in instances where that is not feasible, insurance licensees will be permitted to resume in-person operations, including in-person sales, with restrictions to protect licensees and consumers. Licensees are advised that unsolicited in-person sales continue to be prohibited across the commonwealth under the Governor’s order, regardless if licensees are operating in red or yellow counties. Any insurance licensee found to be in violation of this Notice may be subject to Enforcement actions by the Department, including the levying of monetary penalties and revocation or suspension of license.
Tennessee: On May 12, Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order Nos. 36 and 37, extending the state of emergency declaration from May 18, 2020 to June 30, 2020, in order to extend certain provisions facilitating the State’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order No. 36 consolidates provisions from Executive Order Nos. 15, 19, 20, 24, 28, and 32 into one order, while extending and in some cases expanding those provisions, and Executive Order No. 37 extends Executive Order No. 26. The extensions will ensure continued:
- Broad access to telehealth services;
- Increased opportunities for people to easily join the healthcare workforce;
- Easier access to unemployment benefits;
- Supply chain and price gouging protections;
- Extended deadlines and suspended inspection requirements to avoid unnecessary person-to-person contact;
- Increased opportunities to work remotely where appropriate; and
- Ability to remotely notarize and witness legal documents through electronic means.
Property Casualty Insurance
New Jersey: On May 12, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (“DOBI”) issued Bulletin 20-22, to all licensed, admitted and surplus lines insurers transacting property and casualty insurance in New Jersey, NJCAIP, and NJPAIP, regarding premium refunds, credits and reductions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bulletin, the DOBI is requiring premium reductions and a monthly data call.
The DOBI is, among other things, ordering insurers to make an initial premium refund or other adjustment to all adversely impacted New Jersey policyholders, and for each month that the public health emergency is in effect, in the following lines of insurance, as quickly as practicable, but in any event no later than June 15, 2020:
- Private passenger automobile insurance;
- Commercial automobile insurance;
- Workers’ compensation insurance;
- Commercial multiple-peril insurance;
- Commercial liability insurance;
- Medical malpractice insurance; and
- Any other line of coverage where the measures of risk have become substantially overstated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York: On May 13, The New York DFS issued a Section 308 letter to all authorized property casualty insurers, requiring insurers to provide information regarding commercial liability insurance it has written in New York and details relative to exclusions or conditions to coverage. Commercial liability insurance means coverage for commercial policyholders for claims involving bodily injury and/or property damage resulting from an insured’s products, services or operations. Types of commercial liability insurance policies include, without limitation, the following policies:
- Commercial General Liability
- Directors & Officers
- Commercial Umbrella
- Commercial Excess
- Professional Liability
- Business Owner
- Commercial Multiple Peril, and
- Specialized Multiple Peril.
Each insurer should provide to DFS the following:
1) An explanation of the existence of communicable disease or similar exclusions in such Insurer’s commercial liability insurance and other policies that might be relied upon to deny coverage for claims alleging negligence or other wrongdoing in connection with COVID-19, whether due to transmission or exposure in a workplace or business environment or otherwise.
Such exclusions will include, without limitation, proprietary exclusions and exclusions prepared by rate service organizations such as, without limitation, Insurance Service Organization, American Association of Insurance Services, and the Underwriters Rating Board. Examples of standard language should be provided for each type of policy.
2) An explanation of any addition of, or plan to add, a COVID-19-related exclusion to any policy of such Insurer in New York, whether for in-force, renewal or new policies. Where such addition has occurred or is contemplated, please list and describe the implicated policy/ies. Please provide projections of timeframes for any such changes.
3) An explanation of any decision or plan of such Insurer to stop offering any products, or make any new product filings in New York, in any way due to COVID-19-related risks or existing adverse economic conditions (and if so, which products). Where such action has occurred or is contemplated, please list and describe the implicated policy/ies. Please provide projections of timeframes for any such changes.
4) A list of the types of its current policies for which the pricing included recognition for potential coverage exposure for COVID-19-like losses. Accompanying that list should be an estimation of the portion of the premium charged for such exposure for each type of policy. Such estimation should be an aggregate figure for all policyholders issued a policy in a line of business.
Responses are due by May 21.
West Virginia: On May 13th, Commissioner Dodrill released Emergency Proceeding 20-EO-08, requires that health insurers offering group health plans and/or individual health insurance coverage in the state must, effective March 18, 2020, provide benefits for diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and related services, for to all persons who work in child care centers.