For Benefits Compliance specific state updates for Minnesota click here.
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ISSUES CONSUMER ALERT ON TRAVEL INSURANCE AND COVID-19
April 17, 2020
On March 13, 2020, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued a Consumer Alert concerning trip cancellations amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In the alert, the department advised travelers to carefully review their policies before cancelling their trips. “If you purchased trip insurance, don’t assume that it will cover the costs associated with cancelling your flights or other expenses if you are cancelling because of COVID-19,” warned Steve Kelley, Minnesota’s Commissioner of Commerce. “Many travel insurance policies have specific exclusions for epidemics and pandemics, so there may not be coverage for trips cancelled due to COVID-19,” he added.
The alert states that travel insurance typically covers the costs associated with cancelled trips if the traveler is too sick to travel or is quarantined; however, noted that when a traveler decides to cancel a trip solely because they are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, there may not be coverage. Importantly, the alert did not address exclusions commonly found in travel policies for epidemics and pandemics.
MN Consumer Alert
DEPARTMENT ISSUED PRESS RELEASE ON PREMIUM FLEXIBILITY DURING PANDEMIC
May 08, 2020
On April 30, 2020, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued a press release in which it urged all property and casualty carriers to:
- Waive or discount premiums.
- Review all eligibility criteria for discounts.
- Provide flexibility for insureds who may be temporarily modifying their business operations or personal lives to accommodate social distancing.
- Ensure that additional flexibilities offered at this time do not harm the consumer when they renew coverage.
MN Press Release
DEPARTMENT ISSUES BULLETIN CONCERNING BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
July 14, 2020
On June 22, 2020, the Commerce Department issued Administrative Bulletin 2020-3 in which it requests that insurers implement the following protective measures, among other things:
- Provide payouts based on the expected business activity levels (i.e., before stay-at-home orders) to the extent business interruption provisions are included and operative under the policy.
- Apply claims best practices (e.g., expedited claims handling, advance claim payments and fair treatment of all policyholders, regardless of size, etc.).
- Implement a 90-day moratorium on the cancellation or nonrenewal of policyholders impacted by the recent civil unrest.
- Avoid preventing or otherwise delaying policyholders from making immediate repairs in advance of a physical inspection if needed for health or safety.
- Err on the side of the policyholder when evaluating claims stemming from riots, civil commotion or vandalism for commercial policyholders who were unable to make full premium payments during any time after March 13, 2020.
MN Administrative Bulletin 2020-3