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Westmont Wire

ELANY Issues Bulletin Warning Against Impermissible Groups

On June 17, 2019, ELANY issued Bulletin No. 2019-19 regarding Impermissible Group Coverage. The bulletin warns that the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) has begun to issue fines against insurance groups who are placing unaffiliated parties in master or group policies. Unless the group fits into a statutory exception, the DFS will consider these to be impermissible groups and may then be subject to fines. ELANY further warns that there are no statutory exceptions for property programs under New York law.
ELANY specifies that the DFS pursues action against these policies based on complaints received by the insured, brokers and other claimants. The major complaints include: that one or more insured can exhaust the policy coverage limits; the master policy is filed not in New York, which places the policy in violation of both New York compliance requirements, but also New York Tax law; the policy violates New York’s requirements for disclosure notices, cancellation rights, and rules for misrepresentation. ELANY requests that brokers instead file individual policies in New York for New York residents in order to avoid fines or potential lawsuits.
For any questions regarding Bulletin No. 2019-19, or for any compliance questions regarding group policies, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.

Kentucky Bill Creates Regulatory Sandbox with the Goal of Encouraging Innovation

On March 26, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed House Bill 386 into law, creating a regulatory sandbox with the goal of encouraging innovation within the Kentucky insurance industry. The sandbox allows for insurance companies to test out new ideas and innovations in how Kentucky Insurance producers sell and administer insurance in a controlled regulatory environment. Application to the sandbox is available to most individuals and entrepreneurs and is not limited to just insurance producers. However, an applicant who is attempting to sell a policy or issuing coverage through an insurer with an appropriate certificate of authority will need to provide evidence of a certificate of authority. The sandbox has no effect on and does not change the application process for admission in Kentucky.
From June 27th, 2019 to December 31st, 2025, both insurers and entrepreneurs may apply for admittance to the sandbox through the Kentucky Department of Insurance. In order to apply, the group must pay a $750 filing fee and present to the DOI how their proposed innovation will both benefit Kentucky consumers and serve the public interest. The application is reviewed by the Director of Insurance Innovation, who upon their discretion will approve the application and will set the terms for a one-year beta test of the proposed innovation. During that year, so long as the group complies with the terms of the beta test, an agency may carry out their proposed innovation without fear of regulatory retaliation. At the end of the year, the Director may choose to end or extend the beta test period as necessary.
At the end of the beta test, the Director will review the results on the innovation on the following criteria: the utility offered by the innovation warrants its continuation, regulatory and statutory barriers normally prevent the use of the innovation, and the innovation serves to the benefit of Kentucky consumers and public interest. If the Director finds that the innovation fails any of these criteria, then the beta test will end. Details of the innovation and a letter explaining why the innovation failed will be published on the Department of Insurance website. However, if the innovation does meet the criteria then the Director will issue an extended no action letter, allowing any person to use the innovation.

For any questions regarding the sandbox, or for any questions on state insurance regulatory requirements, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.

Arizona Raises Minimum Coverage Levels for Liability and Property Auto Insurance

On June 10, 2019, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1087, raising the minimum level of automobile insurance Arizona motorists will need to carry. The new law is set to come into effect on July 1, 2020, until then the old minimums will still apply.
The legislation raises the minimum coverage levels for both liability and property damage. The minimum coverage for liability insurance will increase from $15,000 to $25,000 for a single person’s injury or death and from $30,000 to $50,000 for multiple injuries or deaths. The required coverage for property damage increased from $10,000 to $15,000. This increase is intended to update Arizona’s 47 year old minimum coverage levels.

For any questions regarding Senate Bill 1087 or updates on coverage requirements, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.


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