During these unprecedented times, the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has established this resource page in an effort to provide information and updates on industry, state, and federal insurance-related initiatives relating to the outbreak of COVID-19. As a leading policymaking and educational forum for public policymakers and interested parties, NCOIL will work to ensure that sound insurance public policy relating to COVID-19 is enacted to help resolve the social and economic impacts of this crisis.
Please be sure to review this information and share it with others. The page will be updated frequently.
Alabama SB 330 – Relating to civil immunity; to provide legislative findings; to provide definitions; to provide civil immunity for certain entities and individuals from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus during a declared state of emergency; to provide civil immunity for certain health care providers relating to the performance of certain health care services or treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic; to provide for a statute of limitations for certain claims; and to provide for retroactive effect
Oklahoma SB 1946 – establishes immunity from civil liability for persons or entities conducting in the business in the state from actions related to an injury from exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 if the act or omission alleged to violate a duty of care of the person or agent was in compliance or consistent with federal or state regulations.
Oklahoma SB 300 – creates the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Limited Liability Act. The measure provides health care providers with immunity from civil liability for any loss or harm to a person with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 caused by an act or omission by the facility or provider that occurs during the COVID-19 public health emergency, provided the act or omission was not the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The provisions of the measure shall remain in effect until October 31, 2020, or until such time as the Governor affirmatively concludes the emergency declarations.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Executive Order Affording Health Care Practitioners Protection Against Liability for Good Faith Actions Taken in Response to the Call to Supplement the Health Care Provider Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Business Interruption Insurance
***Sean Kevelighan Slides from April 24, 2020 NCOIL-Rutgers Webinar. Due to technical difficulties these slides were only visible for a portion of the webinar.***
Legislation has been discussed or introduced in Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina that would retroactively enact business interruption coverage into existing policies despite an absence of the physical damage required in property policies and/or express exclusions for communicable diseases in those policies.
NCOIL believes that such legislation would not only be inadvisable for policy and economical reasons, but would also violate the Contract Clause within Article I of the United States Constitution, which prohibits the Legislature from impairing the obligation of contracts.
NCOIL understands that professionals and businesses are facing unprecedented, dire economic challenges; however, we cannot compound the damage to the broader economy by forcing insurers to pay claims for which they did not contract. To do so could destabilize these insurers and render them unable to pay claims for which they did accept the risk, and did rate. NCOIL has reached out to Congress to express these concerns and to advocate for the creation of a COVID-19 Business Interruption & Cancellation Claims Fund (COVID Claims Fund). Following the tragedy of 9/11/2001, Congress enacted the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act and included within it the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF). We urge a similar solution now for the legion of businesses & professionals who are suffering from unprecedented costs from the interruption of their businesses as well as the many associations who have had to cancel their events, virtually all of whom have an exclusion in their business interruption and event cancellation policies for communicable diseases.
A discussion draft of legislation titled the “Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020” (PRIA) which would create the Pandemic Risk Insurance Program (PRIP) to provide a federal backstop for insured pandemic losses has been shared with certain Members of Congress. While we have not yet completed an exhaustive analysis of PRIA, we note that it is based on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA, now TRIPRA), which NCOIL does support. Accordingly, we believe it is likely that NCOIL will be supportive of PRIA. However, we do note that PRIA would provide a backstop for insured losses. The losses for which we believe the COVID Claims Fund is necessary are uninsured losses because they fall specifically within the communicable disease exclusion contained in business interruption and event cancellation policies. PRIA though would operate prospectively, enabling businesses, professionals and associations to procure pandemic coverage in the future because insurers will not exclude it once a federal backstop is in place, much like terrorism insurance became available once TRIA passed.
To view NCOIL’s letters to Congress please see these links:
State Business Interruption Coverage Legislation
If you have any questions on NCOIL’s proposal, or on business interruption coverage in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to the NCOIL National Office at 732-201-4133.
Additional information is available on AHIP’s Coronavirus COVID-19 resource page. The information includes:
- AHIP FAQs – COVID-19 Coverage: Frequently Asked Questions
- AHIP Announcements – Health Insurance Providers Respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- AHIP Factsheet – Keeping Americans Safe from Coronavirus (COVID 19)(February 26, 2020)
Cigna Foundation and New York Life Foundation Partner to Launch Brave of Heart Fund to Support the Families of Front-Line Healthcare Workers Who Give Their Lives in the COVID-19 Fight New York Life Press Release Brave of Heart Fund FAQ Message from Cigna and New York Life CEO’s
Property & Casualty
Travel insurance Information
Automobile Insurance Premium Reductions
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara Orders Insurance Companies to Refund Premiums to Drivers and Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency – April 13, 2020 Extended Order of May 15, 2020
4-21-20 New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance Order that “every subject insurer shall, within 21 days of the date of this order, determine, through the application of sound actuarial principals, whether the rates and premiums for New Mexico auto insurance policies in effect on or after March 23, 2020 are excessive considering the COVID-19 related automobile usage reductions experienced in New Mexico.”
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Massachusetts Attorney General Letter to Department of Insurance asking that certain steps are taken to ensure that Massachusetts businesses pay fair workers’ compensation insurance premiums that reflect the businesses’ decreased exposure to workplace injuries during the coronavirus pandemic
Federal Action Expanding Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation
State Action Expanding Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation
Emergency Order from Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission —- Rule was withdrawn
New Mexico Executive Order Directing All Executive Agencies to Afford a Presumption of a Compensable Occupational Disease and to Award Service Credit to Certain Qualifying State Employees and Volunteers
New York Life has taken several important steps to protect policyholders, including the addition of a new COVID-19 Hardship Program. This Program is an expansion of its March 24th announcement to extend a 90-day no lapse period for all policyholders that missed premium payments through June 23rd. Under the new COVID-19 Hardship Program:
- New York Life will be offering an opportunity to request a 12-month, interest-free, repayment plan to pay their missed premiums;
- In addition, for policy owners that can demonstrate a “financial hardship” caused by COVID-19, they will be eligible for the following concessions:
- An additional grace period up to 90 days, during which time the policy stays in-force and no premium payments are required; and
- A 12-month, interest-free, repayment plan to pay their missed premiums.