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 August 3, 2020, the State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (the “Department”) issued Bulletin No. 20-28 to all producers and insurers transacting business in New Jersey regarding temporary insurance producer license- electronic application procedure (supplement to Bulletin No. 20-21). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all producer examination testing centers in New Jersey currently have limited capacity. Individual applicants seeking a temporary resident insurance producer license in this State who meet the qualifications set forth in Bulletin No. 20-21, or an insurance company who sponsors the applicant for temporary licensure (“sponsoring insurer”), acting on behalf of an applicant, may electronically submit an application to obtain a temporary resident insurance producer license through the NIPR at www.nipr.com. As noted in Bulletin No. 20-21, only sponsoring insurers, acting on behalf of an applicant, may submit a paper application for a temporary resident insurance producer license to the Department.
Oregon: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) issued an Adopted Temporary Administrative Rule to notify insurers as to when an expiration of an emergency order is a valid reason to cancel a commercial liability policy. The Rule is effective July 27, 2020 through January 22, 2021. The Rule provides that if emergency orders postpone insurance policy renewal, the expiration of the emergency orders is a valid reason to cancel a commercial liability policy if the emergency order was the sole reason the policy was renewed.
Property and Casualty Insurance
Texas: On August 4, the Texas Department of Insurance issued Commissioner’s Order No. 2018-5528, adopting the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s filing, “Item B-1441—Revisions to NCCI Manual Rules Related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.” The filing revises and establishes rules related to paid furloughed employees and reporting final premium for employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Mexico: On August 4, the New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (the “OSI”) published Bulletin 2020-016, which addresses COVID-19 testing determinations and charges. The OSI requires health insurers licensed in the state to remove cost barriers to COVID-19 testing and treatment by waiving associated cost sharing, which includes provider charges for an office visit or any other administrative fee. Specifically, it is the position of the OSI that costs associated with making a determination as to whether a test is indicated or not are covered, but that broad “back to work” or testing of all students without specific determination of need of testing would not be covered.