Alert Edition March 2023

Welcome to the March 2023 edition of the FORC Alert. If you have any colleagues that may be interested in this publication, please forward it on. There is a link on the Alerts main page where they can subscribe to receive FORC Alerts automatically.

Regards,
C. Ignacio Matos, Esq., FORC Alert Co-Editor
Ryan Smart, Esq., FORC Alert Co-Editor
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Category(s): National - 03/29/2023

Insurance Information Institute Releases Its 2022 Annual Report

From the Insurance Information Institute, February 2, 2023. On February 2, 2023, The Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) published it 2022 Annual Report,  detailing the organization’s accomplishments during its second full year as an affiliate of The Institutes. In his Annual Report Letter, Sean Kevelighan, CEO, stated “Triple-I delivered data-driven insights on five key industry issues in 2022: climate risk resilience; cyber insurance; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the insurance industry; insurance economics and public policy; and legal system abuse and fraud.” Additionally, the report noted that Triple-I was one of the primary sources of insurance information for the media and the public in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Click here  for more information from the Insurance Information Institute.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Alabama - 03/29/2023

ALDOI Announces New Chief Actuary

From the Alabama Department of Insurance (ALDOI), February 17, 2023. The Alabama Department of Insurance announced on February 17, 2023, that Sanjeev Chaudhuri will be the new chief actuary for the Department. He joins the department from Alfa Insurance, where he also served as chief actuary.
He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and has more than 20 years of experience, including experience in life insurance, accident and health insurance, and property and casualty. Chaudhuri has worked in almost all areas of life actuarial practice - financial reporting, asset adequacy analysis, assumption setting, pricing and form filing, compliance and regulatory issues, audit and examination support, controls, valuation, in-force management, reinsurance, and administration and actuarial systems conversions.  He has also worked on rate filings, reserving and modeling of A&H products and rate reviews of P&C products.
He holds a Master of Science in Statistics from Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University. Click here  for more information from ALDOI.

Stephen W. Still, Esq. - BALCH & BINGHAM LLP, (205) 488-5512 , sstill@balch.com

Category(s): Alabama - 03/29/2023

ALDOI Announces New Deputy Commissioner

From the Alabama Department of Insurance (ALDOI), February 13, 2023. The Alabama Department of Insurance announced on February 13, 2023, that Larry Chapman, Jr. will be its new Deputy Commissioner. Chapman joins the Department after serving since 2018 as an agent with Alfa Insurance Company.
Chapman’s responsibilities at the Department include serving as Commissioner’s primary liaison with the other government entities at all levels, the Governor’s office, and outside entities such as industry associations and consumer organizations. He also manages the Department’s public outreach and media relations program, general administration of the Department, special assignments for the Commissioner and serves as an administrative liaison between the Commissioner and each division of the Department. Click here  for more information from the ALDOI.

Stephen W. Still, Esq. - BALCH & BINGHAM LLP, (205) 488-5512 , sstill@balch.com

Category(s): Alabama - 03/28/2023

ALDOI Welcomes New Government Relations Manager

From the Alabama Department of Insurance (ALDOI), March 1, 2023. The Alabama Department of Insurance welcomes Heather Lowe to the role of Government Relations Manager. She joins the department from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, where she served in both the roles of Governmental Relations Manager and Assistant Director. While at ALEA, she prepared the legislative agenda for the agency and worked to ensure bills were passed, facilitated agency communications, advised on agency policies and implemented internal procedures.
“Heather’s extensive background in government relations will bring new depth and dimension to our department,” said Insurance Commissioner Mark Fowler. “Her skills will be vital in helping implement important legislation to protect Alabama insurance consumers.”
She previously worked at the Legislative Services Agency, where she analyzed the fiscal impacts of legislation and drafted legislation and amendments, among other duties. She began her career in state service at the Executive Budget Office, assisting agencies with budgetary needs, as well as preparing and reconciling General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets. Lowe is a graduate of Auburn University of Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration. She is married to Bryant Lowe and they have six children. Click here  for more information from the ALDOI.

Stephen W. Still, Esq. - BALCH & BINGHAM LLP, (205) 488-5512 , sstill@balch.com

Category(s): Arizona - 03/28/2023

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Announces Appointment of Barbara Richardson as Agency Director

From the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. On February 17, 2023, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced the appointment of Barbara Richardson as the next Director of the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions. Prior to this appointment, Director Richardson served as the Commissioner of the Nevada Division of Insurance since March 2016. Richardson also served as the Director of Operations and Fraud for the New Hampshire Insurance Department from 2004 to 2016. Richardson is expected to join the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions on March 6. Click here  for more information from the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): California - 03/29/2023

Annual Residential Property Notice

On February 27, 2023, the CDI issued a notice titled: “2023 Annual Notice – Significant California Laws Effective as of the Date of this Notice Pertaining to Residential Property Insurance Policies, including those related to a Declared State of Emergency”.  The Notice is statutorily required and provides admitted insurers and licensed adjusters with an overview of key California law affecting property insurance policies, including in areas where there a state of emergency has been declared. The Notice can be found here. 

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): California - 03/28/2023

Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements

On January 30, 2023, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) issued Bulletin 2023-1  titled “Increase in Private Passenger Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements -- Senate Bill 1107” reminding insurers writing automobile liability insurance to make rate filings by July 1, 2023 in order to update their rates to reflect tie increase in minimum liability coverage to $30,000 effective January 1, 2025. The increase is a result of the passage of SB 1107,  which the CDI supported.  The obligation to file updated rates is also included in SB 1107.  Insurers are instructed to make a “Rule filing without rate impact,” for program name “FR Limits 2023” that only adds the limit options required by SB 1107.  Any other desired changes should be made in a separate filing.  The Bulletin also addresses, but does not resolve the application of the new limits requirements.

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): California - 03/31/2023

Mudslide Notice

On January 4, 2023, the CDI published a Notice  titled “Coverage of Flood, Mudslide, and Earth Movement Claims Relating to Recent Wildfires” reminding insurers that under the efficient proximate cause doctrine mudslide losses may be covered under fire policies if fire was the efficient proximate cause of the mudslide loss.

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): California - 03/28/2023

Wildfire Mitigation in Rating Plans

On February 3, 2023, The CDI issued Bulletin 2032-2,  titled “Prior Approval Rate Application Requirements to Comply with Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 2644.9(d)” prior approval rate filing requirements that insurers are required to make in connection with implementation of the new Safer from Wildfires regulations and reminding insurers of their obligations under those regulations. Notably, by April 12, 2023, insurance companies are required to establish a process for releasing wildfire risk determinations to homeowners and businesses and create a right for appeal of that determination. The rate filing implementing the new regulations must be revenue neutral and address only the changes relating to the regulation; other desired changes must be in a separate filing.  The filing should be made as a “Rule filing without rate impact,” and identify the program name as “Mitigation in Rating Plans Regulation.” The Bulletin provides detail regarding the documents and information to be included in the filing.

Nicole M. Zayac, Esq. - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, (415) 858-7443 , nzayac@willkie.com

Category(s): Florida - 03/28/2023

Citizens’ Board Names Tim Cerio President, CEO and Executive Director

From the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, January 31, 2023. During the Citizens Board of Governors meeting on January 31, 2023, the Board appointed its General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer Tim Cerio to lead Citizens Property Insurance Corporation indefinitely after bidding farewell to President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway, who retired the same day, bringing a close to more than 10 years of leadership. Cerio, who was appointed by the Board to succeed President Gilway on an interim basis in December, began his appointment on February 1, as the state’s insurer of last resort implements recently adopted legislative reforms to Florida’s property insurance market and continues preparations for the 2023 Legislative session that begins in March. Click here  for more information from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 03/28/2023

FEMA Assistance to Hurricane Ian Survivors Surpasses $1 Billion, Biden-Harris Administration Provides Over $5.5 Billion in Total Federal Support to Florida

From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As of February 21, 2023, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has administered over $1 billion for nearly 380,000 Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian. These efforts come as part of the $5.5 billion in federal support the Biden-Harris administration has provided families and communities in Florida to help stimulate their recovery. In continuing efforts to support Floridians, FEMA announced the undertaking an extensive housing effort that includes funds for rent, home repairs, hotel stays, apartment leases, travel trailers and manufactured housing units. Click here  for more information from FEMA.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 03/28/2023

Florida House Takes Aim At ‘ESG’ Investment Decisions

Gov. Ron DeSantis and  other Republican leaders, House Commerce Chairman Bob Rommel, R-Naples, filed a proposal (HB 3) on February 20, 2023, that attempts to obstruct government investment decisions involving “environmental, social and governance” standards, known as ESG. Filed for the legislative session that will start March 7, the bill would specify that investment decisions by the state and local governments be made “solely on pecuniary factors” and would prevent “sacrificing investment return or undertaking additional investment risk to promote any non-pecuniary factor.”

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 03/28/2023

Governor Ron DeSantis Nominates Michael Yaworsky as Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation

Governor DeSantis formally announced the nomination of Michael Yaworsky as Commissioner of the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) on February 10, 2023. Yaworsky is currently Vice Chair of the Florida Gaming Control Commission and previously served as Chief of Staff of OIR. Yaworsky will serve as Interim Commissioner until his nomination is brought before the Financial Services Commission for final approval.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Florida - 03/28/2023

Slide Insurance Acquires Florida Renewal Rights & Intellectual Property From UPC

On January 31, 2023, the Office of Insurance Regulation issued a consent order approving Slide Insurance Company’s assumption of the vast majority of United Property and Casualty’s (UPC) Florida homeowners’ policies. Under the agreement, Slide will assume approximately 72,000 HO-3 and DP-3 policies through a cancel/rewrite transaction that began February 1. Additionally, Slide also acquired the renewal rights for an additional 21,000+ UPC policies that renew in April or May. Slide suggests that the acquired policies represent $272 million in annual premium, bringing its total in-force premium value to $560 million.

Fred E. Karlinsky, Esq. - GREENBERG TRAURIG, P.A., (954) 768-8278 , karlinskyf@gtlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 03/28/2023

BULLETIN 23-EX-2: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation for Prep (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis)

On February 1, 2023, Commissioner John F. King issued Bulletin 23-EX-2 to provide guidance to insurers that are issuing ACA health policies in Georgia. As noted in the Bulletin, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury released new guidance for health insurance plans clarifying that the ACA requirements to cover PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) without cost-sharing should be applied by plans consistent with the purpose of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation to reduce risk of HIV transmission for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV. Insurers writing marketplace insurance in Georgia should refer to the guidance provided in Bulletin 23-EX-2 for benefits plans must provide without cost-sharing.

Tony Roehl, Esq. - BAKER HOSTETLER LLP, (404) 256-8419 , troehl@bakerlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 03/28/2023

BULLETIN 23-EX-3: Annual Submission of Mental Health Parity Data Calls in Compliance with the Georgia Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act

On February 9, 2023, Commissioner John F. King issued Bulletin 23-EX-3 to inform all health insurers that they are required to submit data on mental health parity on an annual basis to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. Georgia Code § 33-1-27(c)(1)(A) requires compliance with the Georgia Mental Health Parity Act for health insurers offering coverage for mental health or substance use disorders as part of a health care plan. Insurers should refer to the submission instructions set forth in Bulletin 23-EX-3.

Tony Roehl, Esq. - BAKER HOSTETLER LLP, (404) 256-8419 , troehl@bakerlaw.com

Category(s): Georgia - 03/28/2023

Georgia Insurance Department Implements New Broad Reporting System

On February 10, 2023, the Georgia Insurance Commissioner announced that the criminal investigation division of the Georgia Insurance Department launched a new fraud reporting portal.  The portal is powered by the Coplogic Desk Officer Reporting System from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Brian T. Casey, Esq. - LOCKE LORD LLP, (404) 870-4638 , bcasey@lockelord.com

Category(s): Georgia - 03/28/2023

Georgia’s State-Based Health Insurance Exchange Blueprint Letter

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John F. King sent a letter dated February 14, 2023, to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in further support of the State’s initiative to adopt a state-based health insurance exchange for both consumers and small businesses, electing out of the Federal Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace. Implementation of a Georgia State-Based Health Insurance Exchange would become effective for the 2024 plan year.

Brian T. Casey, Esq. - LOCKE LORD LLP, (404) 870-4638 , bcasey@lockelord.com

Category(s): Illinois - 03/28/2023

Adoption of Suitability Rule

The Department of Insurance adopted amendments to Suitability in Annuity Transactions (50 IAC 3120; 46 Ill. Reg. 15424) effective February 3, 2023, that conform with recent changes to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Regulation.

Steve W. Kinion, Esq. - ZACK STAMP, LTD, (217) 525-0700 x108 , skinion@601w.com

Category(s): Illinois - 03/28/2023

Clarification of Complaints

The Department of Insurance adopted amendments to Insurance Department Consumer Complaints (50 IAC 926; 46 Ill. Reg. 14838) effective 2/1/23 clarifying Section 926.20, which as formerly written could be interpreted to exclude certain individual licensees such as public adjusters, navigators, or pharmacy benefits managers from regulation under this regulation. The rulemaking clarifies that the regulation is intended to apply to all entities and individuals licensed or otherwise approved by DOI to do business in Illinois.

Steve W. Kinion, Esq. - ZACK STAMP, LTD, (217) 525-0700 x108 , skinion@601w.com

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