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NJ Insurers Required to Clarify Commercial BI Coverage

On May 12, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4805, requiring insurance companies to provide clear and explicit explanations of when business interruption coverage applies and under what circumstances. The bill instructs the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to draft a one-page summary of common clauses approved for use in commercial property and business interruption policies. The language must be simple and explain common events that trigger coverage as well as typical exclusions.
Furthermore, the bill requires insurers to notify current business interruption policyholders if their policy covers losses related to a virus within 30 days of enactment.
For more information on Assembly Bill 4805, or any other questions regarding insurance regulators’ responses to COVID-19, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.
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PA Issues Notice Regarding the Need to Assess the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic in Property and Casualty Rate Filing

On April 24, 2021, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department issued Bulletin No. 51 Pa.B. 2363 reminding insurers that they need to continue to account for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their rate filings.

Insurers must assess the impact of the pandemic on their property and casualty products and explain how it is accounted for in the filing.   The filings should also include five years’ of claim frequency statistics by month on a state and countrywide basis.  If there is an offsetting impact to severity, then the severity information should also be provided.  If insurers believe they have not been impacted by the pandemic, then they must include a section in the rate filing supporting their assessment.

The Department will continue to monitor the situation and will announce when this information is no longer required to be included in the rate filings.

For any questions regarding the Bulletin No. 51 Pa.B. 2363 , or any other rate filing concerns, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.

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Montana to Allow Use of Gender and Marital Status in Underwriting

On April 19, 2021, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 379, permitting the use of gender and martial status as part of the insurance underwriting process. Prior to HB 379’s passing, Montana was an outlier in it’s complete prohibition of such practices across all lines of insurance. The Act applies to all policies issued on or after January 1, 2022.
In a survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors across 19 states, the study found that women aged 55 buying a $500,000, 20-year term life policy in Montana were paying, on average, 31% more than women in other states. Backed by Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing, HB 379 advances Montana’s efforts to lower costs for insureds, particularly focused on life and automobile premiums for women.
For any questions regarding the HB 379, or any other underwriting concerns, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.
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