Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico Circular Letter CC-1962-D issued March 31st, 2020
In an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico, on March 12th, 2020, the Puerto Rico Governor declared a State of Emergency followed by a March 15th, 2020 Executive Order (EO) imposing a lockdown/curfew and quarantine measures until March 30th, 2020. On March 31st, 2020, the Governor extended the EO through April 12th, 2020. On April 12th, 2020, the EO was once again extended until May 3rd, 2020. In accordance with the EO, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico’s (OIC) premises are closed while the OIC continues to handle certain matters that can be transacted online or remotely. OIC Circular Letter CC-1962-D issued on March 31st, 2020 extends most filing terms and deadlines, including the Annual Reports, by fifteen (15) calendar days after the date in which the Government resumes operations, as provided by EO. If the EO were to be lifted on that date, the filing terms extension would expire on May 18th, 2020.
Puerto Rico House of Representatives Bill No. 2469
Puerto Rico House of Representatives Bill No. 2469 was filed on March 31st, 2020, seeking to amend Article 27.161 of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code, 26 L.P.R.A. § 2716a, on unfair claims adjustment practices or actions, in order to require that during a national state of emergency declared by the Governor of Puerto Rico or the President of the United States of America as a result of a pandemic, no insurer shall deny coverage to its insureds under a commercial business interruption policy when the insured business owner is forced to close the insured business by an order that prohibits the offering of services to customers during the national state of emergency. The Bill has the support of all three political parties represented in the House but fierce opposition from the insurance sector as well as from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico which, in addition to opposing the Bill on constitutional grounds, has cited the NAIC’s position on the matter as per its March 25th, 2020, NAIC Statement on Congressional Action Relating to COVID-19. As of April 6th, 2020, the Bill is pending before the House Consumer Affairs, Banking and Insurance Committee.