For Benefits Compliance specific state updates for Texas click here.
Commissioner Issues Bulletin Concerning Cancellations Due to Nonpayment of Premiums
On March 23, 2020, the Texas Insurance Commissioner issued Bulletin # B-0007-20 to all admitted and nonadmitted insurers (life and accident and health insurance, HMO, agents, TPAs, URAs, MEWAS, property and casualty, etc.) encouraging them to work with policyholders who may experience financial hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak through the use grace periods for payments, temporary suspension of premium payments, payment plans, and other actions to allow continuing insurance coverage as appropriate. The bulletin noted that the term “suspension” is not intended to mean the forgiveness of the premium.
TX Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0007-20
Department of Insurance Posts FAQs Related to Business Insurance and COVID-19
March 27, 2020
The Texas Department of Insurance has posted FAQs including information related to business insurance and COVID-19:
Business Interruption: Business interruption insurance generally covers financial losses due to property damage that prevents a company from doing business. A related product is contingency business interruption insurance, which covers indirect losses when suppliers or customers are affected. However, these coverages are usually based on direct physical loss of or damage to the property, which an epidemic may not trigger.
- For a business that does have contaminated tangible property, then that contamination may qualify as direct physical loss of or damage to the property.
- Some business interruption policies extend coverage for “civil authority” orders that restrict access to the property or area that the business depends on for its operations.
- Some policies exclude epidemics and pandemics.
Event Cancellation: Event cancellation insurance covers economic losses due to unforeseen cancellation of a special event. Covered causes of loss are typically those that physically cause the event to be canceled. If the policyholder voluntarily cancels –even for a reasonable concern such as a communicable disease – the policy may not pay. Some policies exclude epidemics and pandemics. Some would only cover COVID-19 if a communicable disease endorsement was added.
General Liability: General liability insurance could cover bodily injury claims from third parties for harmful exposure or failure to guard against risk of exposure to the virus. There could be exclusions for epidemics, pandemics or communicable diseases.
Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ compensation pays for medical bills and some lost-time income for employees who have been injured or contracted an occupational disease as a result of their employment. Claims are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the exposure to a virus occurred in the course and scope of employment instead of a disease that the general public is exposed to outside of employment.
TX Business Insurance FAQ
COMMISSIONER ISSUES BULLETIN CONCERNING USE OF CREDIT-SCORING AND CREDIT INFORMATION DURING PANDEMNIC
April 24, 2020
On April 17, 2020, the Texas Insurance Commissioner issued Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0021-20 to all property and casualty insurers encouraging insurers to consider only credit information not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or assign a neutral credit score.
TX Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0021-20
COMMISSIONER ISSUES BULLETIN CONCERNING COMMERCIAL PREMIUM ADJUSTMENTS
April 24, 2020
On April 15, 2020, the Texas Insurance Commissioner issued Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0020-20 to all property and casualty insurance companies stating that the Texas Department of Insurance expects insurers to work with commercial policyholders that have reduced operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak and to make premium adjustments and other applicable modifications.
TX Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0020-20