IIANC has been in close contact and consultation with NC Department of Insurance (NCDOI) leadership to identify and address issues impacting agents as a result of the COVID-19 situation. The following is an update on these issues as of today.

We are committed to serving and assisting all IIANC members during this difficult time and will remain in ongoing communication with NCDOI throughout this emergency situation. Please advise IIANC of anything that comes up within your agency business that also needs to be addressed.

Advisories, Bulletins and Orders Issued by NCDOI

5/6/20 - New Administrative Rules Changes for Claims Handling
During the Rules Review Commission’s meetings on March 19, 2020, and April 16, 2020, the following new rules were approved. The rules below are not currently available on the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings website. However, The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) Consumer Services Division wanted to share these rules with all licensed insurance companies, motor vehicle damage appraisers and interested parties.

4/23/20 - 
Advisory: COVID-19 Savings Option

4/21/20 - NCDOI Advisory to Companies on COVID-19 Savings Option and Reporting
NCDOI document which provides information about reporting requirements and a savings option that provides financial benefits for companies to their policyholders during the pandemic.
COVID-19 Filing Guidelines
NCDOI document which provides essential information to assist companies who wish to provide COVID-19 benefits to their Private Passenger Automobile and Homeowners policyholders in North Carolina.
4/9/20 - 
Commissioner Causey Helps Insurers Offer Discounts to Policyholders
Here is a list of approved insurers that submit filings for policyholder COVID-19 benefits (dated 4/30/2020).
In regards to the discounts related to the COVID-19 pandemic that many insurers are nationally advertising, many of these tout a giveback, payback, return of premium, etc. The North Carolina Department of Insurance indicated to IIANC that their goal is to help companies who apply for these benefits (and each company will have to apply separately to the DOI) for their policyholders and do so within NC insurance laws. The Department has provided two options for insurers to consider that would accomplish the desire to provide a COVID-19 policyholder benefit discount to their NC customers without running afoul of NC rebate laws:

1. For insurers to file as an Optional Enhancement under G.S. 58-36-43.  The Department is taking a broad interpretation of this statute, given the unique circumstance, and will allow insurers to file as a PPA Optional Enhancement Form filing.  They are also willing to accept a memorandum in lieu of an endorsement in order for insurers to be able to offer the same in NC as other states.  One thing that they indicated they will not allow is for insurers to designate the policyholder benefit as a payback, giveback, return of premium or anything else that hints of a rebate.

2. For the company to offer as a dividend under the provisions of G.S. 58-36-60. 
4/9/20 - Note to General Assembly from Commissioner Causey
Read the note from Commissioner Mike Causey to the General Assembly regarding workers' compensation benefits for first responders.

4/3/20 - Memo: Licensing and Education of NC Resident Producers and Adjusters

Review the NCDOI communication for essential information regarding the licensing and education of North Carolina resident producers and adjusters.
3/27/20 - Premium Payment Deferral Order Issued

NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey activated an emergency declaration that will defer insurance premium payments for residents in all 100 counties. This order was activated as a result of President Trump’s March 25th Major Disaster Declaration for the State of North Carolina and applies to all insurance companies defined in the statute including health insurance, residential property and automobile insurance.  The order will defer not only premium payments but will also defer statutory time requirements. Notices of cancellation, for example, will be deferred. Once the deferral expires, policyholders will be required to bring their payments current to avoid cancellation. This order will expire 30 days from the date of issuance, unless extended by the Commissioner.  We have put together additional information and FAQ on what this means for your agency and customers.

3/26/20 -
Advisory Regarding "Stay at Home" or "Shelter in Place" Orders 
Review the advisory for details on which areas in NC are considering insurance as an essential service and what that means for the agency, actions the NCDOI is taking, etc.

3/24/20 - Advisory to Insurance Companies Regarding Policyholders Affected by the COVID-19 Virus
Commissioner Causey urges insurers to consider the following actions: be consistent with prudent insurance practices, relax due dates for premiums payments, extend grace periods, waive late fees and penalties, and allow payment plans for premiums payments to otherwise avoid a lapse in coverage. Insurers should also consider cancellation or non-renewal of policies only after exhausting other efforts to work with policyholders to continue coverage. In addition, Commissioner Causey is requesting that all insurance agents, brokers, and other licensees who accept premium payments on behalf of insurers take steps to ensure that customers have the ability to make prompt insurance payments. This should include alternate methods of payment, such as online payments, to eliminate the need for in-person payment methods, in order to protect the safety of workers and customers. (IIANC Note: If your agency is looking for a way to collect payments online, consider EPayPolicy, endorsed by IIANC.)

3/12/20 - Bulletin 20-B-05 - Guidance for Insurers Regarding Coverage and Cost Sharing Requirements Related to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

3/10/20 - Bulletin 20-B-04 - Protective Actions to Prevent COVID-19 - North Carolina Operations



COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The Commissioner is committed to assisting insurance licensees during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to seek solutions to address licensing and CE issues as they arise.
April 23, 2020: View the most common FAQs here.