This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.
State-by-state variations in laws, compliance protocols, industry transparency, and general regulatory cultures can make it seem like keeping up with industry changes is a bit like herding cats. So what better way to discuss some of the most localized insurance news than in a regulatory roundup?
On an ongoing basis, in no particular order or rank, we are reviewing the various regulatory changes, enforcement actions, and commissioner decisions in our roundup. As a disclaimer: there is a lot going on at any given time in these United States, so this is not a complete picture of the action at the state level by any means. Think of it as, instead, a regulation sampler plate.
It’s also important to note: if we’re recapping interpretations of legal decisions, this is salon insurance speculation and not legal advice at all. If you need legal advice, get a lawyer.
Connecticut aims to address the insurance talent gap
After dishing out hot opinions on recruiting new blood for insurance At the NAIC convention in September, Connecticut Commissioner Andrew Mais hosted the second annual NextGen Career Academy on October 17 as a free virtual event to recruit students and young professionals for the insurance industry.
With speakers ranging from insurance technology startups to financial technology, regulation and consulting, the showcase gave attendees their pick of career options. From introductory looks at what these positions are and what they do to real opportunities to apply for careers and internships, the event is one innovative way to address the talent gap that plagues insurance like many other industries.
“Why not start your career journey by working in an ever-growing industry with endless opportunities for advancement? The financial security, flexibility and room for growth that everyone seeks can be found through a career in insurance.” said Commissioner Mais in a press release. “It’s time to introduce job seekers to what insurance has to offer.” We agree! See our previous coverage from the wide range of career paths within the insurance industry.
Michigan Applauds Biden Administration Proposal to Protect Health Care for Transgender Americans
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) under the direction of Anita Fox released a statement in October 2022 encouraging US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to support regulatory action that would prevent discrimination against transgender patients in healthcare.
Fox joined 20 other insurance commissioners in encouraging the Biden Administration to reverse a Trump Administration rule that posed a barrier to care. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers cannot discriminate against patients or consumers on the basis of sex. Under the Obama administration, the initial law interpreted this to include a prohibition against discrimination based on transgender status.
He The Trump Administration reversed this interpretation in 2020 through politics at HHS, and President Joseph Biden has signaled that he intends to return to initial politics. He 21 insurance commissioners submitted a joint letter to Becerra to support the proposed rule.
“High-quality, comprehensive health insurance is critical to the health of Michiganders, and we want to remove barriers to health care coverage and services for all, regardless of gender identity or sexuality,” said the director from DIFS, Anita Fox. “All Michiganders should be able to access insurance benefits without fear of discrimination, and I am proud to support insurance regulators across the country in supporting this proposed action to further that goal.”
Florida begins to recover from Hurricane Ian
Florida property insurance companies are beginning to receive claims in the wake of Hurricane Ian, a process of rebuilding and negotiations that will take a long time according to estimates on the extent of damage.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis had a press conference in October to highlight their efforts to fight insurance fraud in the wake of Ian. Patronis also deployed its “fraud-fighting squads” to police unlicensed hiring or price gouging.
The anti-fraud brigades consist “of sending more than 40 agents raid affected areas to educate the public about fraud and arrest anyone conducting unlicensed or fraudulent post-storm activities.”
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has requested a daily data report from October 24-28 for insurers processing claims related to Ian, and has opened a registry to quickly license adjusters emergency hurricane.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has expanded its presence in Florida for the foreseeable future by distributing more than $300 million in aid. The agency has rolled out hotel and motel costs for transitional shelter assistance after a request from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and 4,400 federal workers are providing aid to counties in the path of Hurricane Ian.
FEMA has also encouraged out-of-work Floridians to apply for paycheck assistance. as people are slowly rehoused by their insurers or by the federal government. In other job-related news, FEMA is hiring local residents in hurricane-affected areas to help with recovery efforts. These full-time jobs will have a minimum duration of 120 days, with the possibility of extension. FEMA encourages Florida residents to apply at USAJobs.gov.
Disasters like this are curious business, highlighting the overlap of public and private efforts to make people whole again. Public and private hurricane adjusters will face scrutiny, with insurance companies testing the limits of their speed in processing claims and maintaining their adjusters’ licenses.
Other state insurance regulations
Wisconsin has set its insurance company appointment renewal cycle for 2023. Cancellations are due December 31, 2022, and the state will post invoices for renewals from January 5 to March 15, 2023. Wisconsin has also published a notice for a public hearing on November 27, 2022to discuss a permanent rule for insurance company surplus requirements.
Maryland has changed banks and is now encourage surplus lines insurers who have to pay their taxes and industry assessed payments to use the Online Premium Tax for Insurance system, or OPTins.
Wyoming issued a bulletin to clarify the July state letter Regarding Designated Home State (DHS) Licensing of Adjusters: “If a licensed adjuster has a residence address in a state that offers adjuster licenses, but is licensed by DHS in a different state, the license of that state adjuster will not be renewed until an acceptable license is obtained. Acquired If an applicant resides in a state that offers adjuster licenses but has a DHS license in a different state, that application will not be approved until an acceptable license is obtained. If an applicant who resides in a state that offers adjuster licenses applies for a Wyoming DHS license, that application will not be approved.” We’ve covered DHS before on the blog, if you need to catch up. And went a hot topic at the NAIC conference this year.
Mountain announced in the Bulletin of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) that the state will explore adoption of the NAIC pet insurance regulatory model as the product line emerges in the state.
Louisiana approved the rate increase request from Louisiana Citizens (the state-backed insurer of last resort). Beginning January 1, 2023, premiums for residential property insurance policies for Louisiana citizen customers will increase by 63 percent. The state also set renewal dates for its appointments, requiring carriers to submit cancellations by November 23, 2022. Louisiana will post invoices for renewals from December 1, 2022 through January 3, 2023.
Washington Added Health Care Benefits Managers (HCBMs) to the rules. dictating how carriers must submit supplier agreements (and now HCBM contracts). Truly, if you are inclined to read the rule and its explanation, this is pedantry at its best.
Iowa has announced carrier appointment renewals, which are due for completion on December 27, 2022, and the invoice is available to pay for renewals from January 5 to March 15, 2023. If you have issues, the state asks you to send them to Producer.Licensing@iid.iowa.gov.
Alabama has adopted the NAIC 2023 Valuation Manual for the upcoming year (actuarial guidelines for establishing practices for pricing life insurance and annuity products). The state has also announced changes to Fees from service contract providers and premium finance companiesupdated rates and emergency adjuster protocols for independent adjustersY changes in surplus notes (which are financial vehicles that increase the financing surpluses of insurers). The state has also set its appointment renewal schedule for 2023: appointment cancellations are due December 31, 2022, and renewal invoices will be posted for payment from January 5 to March 1, 2023.
Delaware has announced an expected decrease in the rate for workers’ compensation insurance.
While these points of interest are not comprehensive, our knowledge of producer licensing and maintaining compliance is. See how AgentSync can help you look smarter today.
Catastrophe Natural disasters Hurricane Talent training Development Hurricane Ian
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