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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

Idaho — From Insurance Commissioner Dean Cameron: The number of issues regarding COVID-19 and insurance coverage continues to mount. I would like to establish a weekly call for the property casualty industry with Wes and/or Randy and I to talk through some of those issues. I feel the need to hear from you. I have established a weekly call on Monday’s with the health carriers. I would propose 11 am on Tuesday for P&C and Life Carriers. Starting Tuesday the 24th. I would anticipate the call lasting about 30 minutes but no more than an hour.

Pamela will set up the call and send out an invitation with the call in number and pin. We will also send an agenda of items that we have. You of course may have your own items or questions. You may invite the experts from your teams to participate. I do not expect the CEO’s to participate but they are always welcome. Please feel free to share the invite with others I may have inadvertently missed.

Agenda items for the first call The DOI’s status.

  • Essential services definition request.
  • Business Continuation provisions.
  • Adjustor requirements.
  • Regulatory Requirement Concerns.
  • Any rule or regulation that is inhibiting their ability to help Idahoans in this time.
  • Solutions from other states.
  • Market Issues.
  • Large termination
  • Agent issues
  • Licensing
  • CE
  • Economic concerns
  • Premium relief
  • Other consumer issues
  • Any other matters.

Thank you for your efforts to protect Idahoans.

Oregon — Emergency order FAQs: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued an emergency order on March 25, 2020. The order provides protection to people and businesses struggling because of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The order requires all insurance companies to postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, extend grace periods for premium payments, and extend deadlines for reporting claims.

The Division of Financial Regulation is sharing the frequently asked questions it has received to help insurers comply with the department’s order. The FAQs will be updated regularly.

Visit the Emergency order FAQ page to review answers to questions related to the order.

Visit the COVID-19 regulated businesses page to review the latest industry news and guidance issued by the division.

Oregon — State of Oregon COVID-19 Business Impact Survey: Business Oregon, in partnership with Travel Oregon and Small Business Development Centers, would like to help assess how COVID-19 is impacting businesses. Information gathered by this survey will be vital to policy-makers who are working to provide assistance to businesses during this crisis. Individual responses to this survey are completely confidential and will not be shared publicly, only aggregate information will be shared.

We are working to target businesses specifically to capture estimated revenue impacts as well as information around canceled events, employee impacts, and more. We recognize that you may be receiving survey requests from multiple agencies and organizations. The intention of this short survey is to serve the needs of businesses impacted by COVID-19. Information gathered by this survey will be vital to policymakers who are working to provide assistance to businesses during this crisis.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. In the event you receive this questionnaire more than once, please provide only one response.

Please find the survey link here. The survey will remain open through April 24.

Also, resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 can be found on the websites of Business Oregon, Travel Oregon, and Oregon Small Business Development Center here:




Oregon — Legal waivers help keep commercial drivers on road: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Oregon DMV have taken steps to help keep the holders of commercial driver licenses (CDL) and commercial learner permits (CLP) on the road during the COVID-19 response.

DMV is continuing to provide CLP knowledge tests and first-time CDL issuances by appointment only at six offices across Oregon.

Effective immediately:

All Oregon CDLs expiring between March 1, 2020, and June 29, 2020, now expire on June 30, 2020.

All Oregon commercial learner permits (CLPs) expiring between March 1, 2020, and June 29, 2020, now expire on June 30, 2020.

All Oregon CLP holders are eligible to take the CDL skills test without regard to the 14-day waiting period.

All Oregon CDL holders and CLP holders whose medical certification expired on or after March 1, 2020, retain medical qualification until June 30, 2020, if the medical examiner certificate was issued for 90 days or more.

FMCSA waiver in Oregon:

DMV will not cancel commercial driving privileges for expired medical examiner certificates, if the medical examiner certificate was valid on or after March 1, 2020, for a period in excess of 90 days.

DMV will grant an additional 90-day grace period before cancelling commercial driving privileges for expiring security background checks for hazmat endorsement holders. This reflects guidance from FMCSA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Scheduling an appointment at DMV:

CLP holders and new applicants may schedule an appointment for a knowledge test or commercial driver license issuance by calling their local DMV office phone number, 503-299-9999 in the Portland area, or 503-945-5000 elsewhere.

Offices open for CDL appointments:

Baker City




North Salem

Southeast Portland (8710 SE Powell Blvd.)

Scheduling CDL drive tests:

To schedule a CDL drive test, you must use a private third-party CDL tester business.

How to schedule a CDL drive test:


More on FMCSA waiver:

The FMCSA granted a waiver of some CDL requirements of 49 U.S. Code §31315(d).

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Scams, Scams, Scams — Protect Yourselves People

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

Cyber criminals work 24/7 and 365 on ways to get to you and your money or your ID or to find ways to get to your business or your employer’s business. They’re constantly after money, passwords and information.

So what can you do to protect yourselves? The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has suggestions and precautions you can — and should take. They sent them to Weekly Industry News and other news sources and now we share them with you.

1. Do not reveal personal or financial information online. 

2. Protect your computer by keeping your operating system software up to date and by using security software. Use multi-factor authentication on your accounts and back up your data. 

3. Make sure your cell phone is up to date by setting your phone settings so software updates automatically.

4. Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Hang up on robocalls and do not press any numbers.

5. Do not answer text messages from unknown numbers and do not reply to emails from unknown senders. 

6. Do not click on links, download apps or download attachments from unknown senders. 

7. Before you make an online purchase, research the company to determine its legitimacy. 

8. Verify a charitable organization’s authenticity before you donate. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website to learn how to verify a charity. 

9. Be aware that if offers or shopping deals sound too good to be true, they are probably false. 

10. Do not respond to communications about COVID-19 vaccinations. There are not any approved drugs or vaccines that are known to treat the virus yet. The FDA and FTC have sent warning letters to sellers of products claiming they treat or prevent the Coronavirus. 

11. Be skeptical of texts, emails and phone calls from sources that claim they are with the government or government agencies. 

12. Get information about government actions regarding COVID-19 from reputable sources. For the most current information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites. 

The NAIC says the source of this information comes from the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Tags:  Cyber Breach  cyber security 

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Anthem Sued for Fraud — Medicare Over-billing at Issue

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020


Anthem is being sued for overcharging the U.S. government for services provided to Medicare patients. The suit was filed in Manhattan. It says Anthem ratcheted up costs and turned inaccurate bills for diagnostic data.

Hundreds of thousands of patients covered by Medicare Part C were affected.

Anthem says no way did that happen and it will vigorously defend. The company said this is an attempt by the government to hold it and other insurers to risk adjustment practice standards while it provides zero guidance.

“The government is trying to hold Anthem and other Medicare Advantage plans to payment standards that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) does not apply to original Medicare, and those inconsistent standards violate the law,” Anthem said in a statement.

The government sys Anthem is supposed to check for billing accuracy via its chart review program. That program just added new claims and didn’t leave out the unsubstantiated charges.

“Anthem made ‘revenue enhancement’ the sole purpose of its chart review program, while disregarding its obligation to find and delete inaccurate diagnosis codes, because Anthem prioritized profits over compliance,” the government alleges in the lawsuit.

Source link:Business Insurance America

Tags:  Healthcare fraud Medicare 

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Movement about the U.S. — Where People are Going Part 1

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

For the next couple of weeks Weekly Industry News is going to be looking at the movement of people in the U.S. This week we’ll look at states where people are leaving.  Next week our focus will be where they’re going and what states are growing.

The following week the focus will be on the top 10 states where people are going to find jobs and the week after we’re going to look at where they’re retiring.

Every year United Van Lines does an analysis of who is moving and where. They move 110,000 families a year and with each move a survey is handed out with questions about why they are moving. 

The results are fascinating and these are the state people are leaving in from the state seeing the biggest outflow to the state seeing the 10th biggest outflow.


1. Illinois — Population: 12,802,000

Total Moves: 8,157

Percentage Moving Out: 63.4%

Median Household Income: $62,881

Job Growth: 0.9%


The projected population growth of Illinois is negative. This is odd because 69 of the 1,000 biggest companies in the country are in Illinois. They bring the state the fourth highest revenue in the nation. Those companies are firms like Boeing, Caterpillar and Kraft Foods.

So it’s somewhat of a surprise that Illinois is the top state for people leaving and going elsewhere.


2. New Jersey

Total Moves: 4,723

Percentage Moving Out: 62.9%

Population: 9,005,600

Median Household Income: $79,488

Job Growth: 1.5%

New Jersey’s economy is centered on pharmaceuticals, financial services, telecommunications, food processing and tourism. It also benefits as bedroom communities for both Philadelphia and New York. Though business and living costs are among the nation’s highest, New Jersey compensates by having one of the most educated labor forces. New Jersey scores poorly for its regulatory climate and fiscal health.


3. New York

Total Moves: 8,381

Percentage Moving Out: 60.6%

Population: 19,849,400

Median Household Income: $64,888

Job Growth: 1.1%

New York City dominates the economy of the state as the leading center of advertising, banking, finance, media and publishing in the U.S. If New York were a country, the state’s $1.7 trillion-dollar economy would be the 11th largest in the world after Canada. The business climate of the state, however, is one of extremes. New York’s taxes, union workforce and red tape are among the highest in the country. On the plus side: the Empire State is an economic force comprised of an educated labor pool, huge VC investment, significant cultural and recreation resources and the headquarters of 10% of the 1000 largest companies in the U.S.


4. Connecticut

Total Moves: 2,866

Percentage Moving Out: 57.1%

Population: 3,588,200

Median Household Income: $75,923

Job Growth: 0.9%

Income inequality is huge in Connecticut, with the disparity most pronounced when comparing southern towns like New Canaan and Greenwich with Hartford, the state’s capital. Business costs are 10% higher than the national average, due in part to energy costs that are 62% higher. The Nutmeg State rates fifth overall in quality of life thanks to low crime and poverty rates, a healthy populous and strong schools. But the regulatory climate and fiscal health rank among the worst in the nation.


5. Kansas

Total Moves: 2,370

Percentage Moving Out: 56.7%

Population: 2,913,100

Median Household Income: $56,823

Job Growth: 1.4%

Kansas’ place on the Best States ranking has been dropping in recent years, due to higher than average business costs and lower than average growth prospects. With several large aircraft corporations operating out of Kansas—including Boeing, Cessna, Learjet and Spirit AeroSystems—the state’s economy is heavily influenced by the aerospace industry. However, the state scores points for its pro-business regulatory climate, which is tops in the nation, according to the Cato Institute.


6. Massachusetts

7. Ohio

8. Kentucky

9. Utah

10. Wisconsin

Source link: Forbes

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J.D. Power — Insurer Property Claims Satisfaction

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

The J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study is out. The annual satisfaction survey looks at how satisfied consumers are with the claims they file and how well insurers respond to those claims.

The whole claims process and how happy or unhappy people are with that process is — and always has been — a huge concern for insurers. That’s why many of them have automated much of the claims process to give claims adjusters more time to spend personal time with those filing them.

Or as some call it, giving more time for the human touch.

This is the criteria used by J.D. Power to rate carriers on their claims efforts:

            * Availability of staff

            * How well the insured is informed about the status of a claim

            * The helpfulness of the staff

David Pieffer of J.D. Power talked about the study.

“Home insurers have spent a great deal of time and money refining their claims processing capabilities through a combination of improved client relationship management, enhanced technology and improved quality control,” Pieffer said. “Getting this formula right is critical for insurers because any customer perception of undue effort of unnecessary delays experienced on the part of the customer in the claims process is directly correlated with increased shopping for a new insurer.”

The industry average is 881 out of 1,000

1. Amica — 902 on the 1,000 point scale

2. The Hartford — 896 on the 1,000 point scale

3. Farmers Insurance — 893 on the 1,000 point scale

4. Auto-Owners Insurance — 889 on the 1,000 point scale

5. Nationwide — 886 on the 1,000 point scale

6. Erie Insurance — 885 on the 1,000 point scale

The industry average of 881 goes here

7. Allstate — 882 on the 1,000 point scale

8. American Family Insurance — 881 on the 1,000 point scale

9. State Farm — 878 on the 1,000 point scale

10. Liberty Mutual — 877 on the 1,000 point scale


Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com 

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The Coronavirus — Who is at Risk? Who is Dying?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

The Washington Post’s Paulina Firozi publishes a daily column on health. It’s always fascinating. She has her own take on things and regularly consults with other reporters and with experts in the field. Lately — as with everyone else — her column has been on COVID-19.

Part of the Wednesday version of Firozi’s column looked at who is dying from the Coronavirus. Her conclusions are terrifying.

She writes that the virus is now hitting geographic areas in the U.S. where the populations are older and have more underlying health problems. At first the virus struck the West and East coasts of the U.S. where populations tend to be younger. Now it is being found more and more in other areas and areas where age and health are more of an issue.

She writes, “That bodes poorly for the U.S. death toll, which has now topped (Wednesday’s figure) 4,600.”

Cases are now popping up in Michigan, Louisiana, Georgia and West Virginia. These have populations that are among the unhealthiest in the U.S. and with the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease.

Firozi writes that, “Nearly 4 in 5 coronavirus patients put in intensive care units had at least one underlying health condition, out of 7,160 covid-19 cases researchers analyzed. Of the ICU patients, 32 percent had diabetes, 29 percent had cardiovascular disease, 21 percent had chronic lung disease and 12 percent had long-term kidney disease. Within the entire group, 184 patients died. And 173 of those had an underlying condition.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation says 38% of Americans are at high risk of developing serious illness from the virus. Of that 38%, those over 65 are at an elevated risk. The rest of that group has heart disease, COPD, serious cases of asthma, diabetes and a huge percentage have a body mass index over 40.

And she notes that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. So smokers or those with chronic lung conditions are especially vulnerable.

Tags:  coronavirus 

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Business Interruption — COVID-19, Insurers & Politicians

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020



David Sampson of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) has taken a strong lead in trying to deter politicians from attempting to enact laws requiring insurers to pay business interruption claims when virus issues are not written into a policy.

At the time this is written on Thursday, April 2nd, only members of Legislatures in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and New Jersey have introduced bills. More will no doubt have happened by the time you read this.

In an interview with the Boston Globe about Massachusetts Sen. James Eldridge’s bill, Sampson said the legislation is seriously “constitutionally flawed” and if passed could be seriously disruptive to the industry and ultimately to consumers.

Laura Meyer Gregory is a partner at Sloane and Walsh LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. She also questions whether such legislation would be found constitutional and told the Globe, “The bill, if passed with the current terms, would likely bankrupt some insurers and cause others to discontinue writing insurance policies.”

Barton Gillman is a law firm in Rhode Island. One of its partners, Kristen Whittle agrees with Gregory. “This COVID-19 situation is a risk that I don’t think anyone could have possibly foreseen. I’m not insensitive to the plight of businesses. Everybody is struggling with this, but to target the insurance industry to absorb the loss, I think, is the wrong approach here.”

Eldridge said he — and others supporting the bill — aren’t trying to attack the insurance industry. “I’d like to see us come together and agree on the details in the bill, but my focus right now is on how to support restaurants, their workers and other small business.”

The Massachusetts bill will let insurers go to the state’s insurance department to get reimbursed. Then they’d be required to later pay back what the state gave them. That is another point that insurers are going to resist.

So does any of this or really fly? No.

A report from Morgan Stanley says property and casualty insurers are mostly insulated from the business losses from COVID-19 and the whole business interruption crisis is overblown.

“We remind that language in commercial property policies is clear on requiring physical property damage from a covered peril to trigger a BI claim, and pandemic coverage is also usually excluded from standard policies,” the report said.

Morgan Stanley’s report emphasized that losses that are actually covered will be minimal and won’t have a huge impact on the industry.

Source links:

The Boston Herald 

Business Insurance 

Tags:  Business Interruption Coronavirus 

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Small Business Coronavirus Loans Available Now

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

The program is called the Paycheck Protection Program. It’s being run by the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is the $349 billion to help small businesses in the $2.2 billion Coronavirus economic stimulus passage recently passed by Congress.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said the program will give much-needed relief to small businesses and will quickly give them the cash to sustain themselves through the crisis.

“Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans,” Carranza said. “We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agrees and said the loan program will provide at least eight weeks of pay and money for overhead to keep workers employed.

“Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day,” Mnuchin said. “The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

These are the loan conditions:

            * Maximum loan amount up to $10 million

            * The loan will be forgiven if used for payroll costs and other designated business

            * Interest rate of 0.5%

            * Maturity of 2 years

            * The first payment deferred for six months

            * 100% guarantee by SBA

            * No collateral

            * No personal guarantees

            * No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA

Other than payroll costs like salaries, commissions and other compensation, the loans can be used for costs related to the continuation of:

            * Group health care benefits, paid sick leave, paid family or medical leave

            * Group insurance premiums

            * Payments of interest on any mortgage obligation

            * Rent or lease payments

            * Utilities

            * Interest on any debt obligation incurred before the covered period

Those eligible for the Paycheck Protection Loans include:

            *Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees

            * 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organizations with 500 or fewer employees

            * 501(c)(19) Veteran’s organizations with 500 or fewer employees

            * Tribal business concerns with 500 or fewer employees

            * Sole-proprietors

            * Independent contractors

            * Self-employed individuals

Funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The loans can be approved by banks and other lenders approved by the SBA and can be given out without the approval of the SBA and the Treasury.

Once granted they’ll be given to the SBA to make sure companies only get one loan.

Interest rates for the loans will be 0.5% and that rate can be taken up to two-years. The loan can cover payroll and costs such as rent, mortgages and utilities for up to eight weeks. Payment is deferred for six-months.

Here’s the loan application link

The loan is determined by 2.5x average monthly payroll amounts and are available for companies with up to 500 employees and with an annual cap of $100,000 on each employee’s salary. No collateral is needed but documentation must be provided on employee numbers, the mortgage or rent and utility costs.

Source links: Insurance Journal          Small Business Administration

Tags:  Coronavirus SmallBusinessLoans 

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PIA National Helps Establish the Business Continuity and Employee Protection and Recovery Fund

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

PIA National has joined other insurance groups to help establish the Business Continuity and Employee Protection and Recovery Fund. If passed by Congress this will be similar to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. It was put together by Congress shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The proposal was outlined in a letter sent to President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and several leaders in Congress. In the letter, the groups involved want a fund stablished that will operate out of the U.S. Treasury and will be administered by a special administrator. The dollars in the fund will be provided by the government.

The administrator will manage hundreds of billions of dollars and will work with insurers, agents and brokers to help small and large businesses fill out applications and with reviews of those applications.

This proposal will protect lost wages for employees unable to work because of COVID. It will also preserve jobs through payroll assistance for closed businesses that continue to retain their employees. Lastly, it is designed to prevent businesses from becoming insolvent due to a pandemic similar to what we’re going through now.

Mike Becker is the executive vice president and CEO of PIA National. He said, “PIA has always been about providing solutions to problems in a proactive way, more than ever during this difficult time. To that end, we’ve worked with our industry partners to develop a solution for businesses that have been hard hit by the negative economic consequences related to the coronavirus, while not upending insurance practices.”

The idea has been floating around a number of states and at the federal level since the virus hit the U.S. hard a couple of weeks ago. It is also a counter to the push by many to require insurers to pay for business interruption coverage for the virus where no such coverage exists.

“During times of crisis it is understandable that policymakers who are trying to help sometimes make rash proposals that have ramifications they don’t quite understand, which would harm both industry and policyholders in the long term,” Becker said. “Rather than a defensive response, PIA has instead helped create a positive alternative for these struggling businesses that doesn’t upend existing insurance contracts and practices.”

The hope is that the bill will be ready in the next month or so.

“PIA is already working with congressional allies to include this proposal in the next round of coronavirus legislation. We hope Congress acts on this sensible solution to a serious problem,” Becker said.

The association is joined by 30 policyholder groups in insurance and in retail and other sectors hit hard by the pandemic.

Jimi Grande is a senior vice president for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). “The purpose of this package is so that no business, think of a restaurant or any type of small business, has to lay people off and close the doors,” he said. “The idea is you keep them open and allow them to maintain their payroll and have revenue at a time when nobody can occupy or visit their business.”

Others signing onto the idea are the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), the Reinsurance Association of America and the Wholesale Specialty & Insurance Association.

Non-insurance groups signing on are the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Theatre Owners and the American Booksellers Association.

No dollar figure was specified in the letter but it said, “Without broad-based and expeditious federal action, long-term damage to the financial markets, rampant unemployment, and irreparable harm to communities are almost certain. Although the loan programs instituted by the CARES Act provide a down payment on economic support for Main Street businesses, additional liquidity will be required for impaired industries and businesses to avoid an unprecedented systemic, economic crisis.”

David Sampson of the APCIA said, “The Recovery Fund will leverage the ability of the private sector to scale and deploy immediate liquidity to our communities,” Sampson said. “Property/casualty insurers are in the solutions business to protect our customers — families, individuals, and business owners. We are proud to stand with our policyholders through this broad coalition spanning multiple sectors.”

Source links: PIA National   Business Insurance     Bloomberg

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PIA Supports New Recovery Fund for Businesses

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 31, 2020


From: Mike Becker, Executive Vice President & CEO PIA National

RE: PIA Supports New Recovery Fund for Businesses

I’d like to update you on the culmination of our advocacy work over the past few weeks. PIA National has opposed the several proposals seen at the state and federal level specific to retroactively requiring the payment of business interruption claims. We believe doing so would set a bad precedent and that there are stronger, more viable proposals. As such, we’ve been working with a growing coalition over the past several weeks and are supporting a business recovery fund that was proposed to the White House, Treasury Secretary, and congressional leadership earlier this morning. Among many characteristics that makes this proposal unique is that it is now widely supported by both the insurance and business community.

We’ll be providing you additional information but wanted to share a few quick resources for you to share with members:

-          Industry Letter

-          PIA Advocacy Blog Post

-          PIA Press Release

Please reach out to Jon (jonge@pianet.org) or Lauren (laurenpa@pianet.org) with any questions.

 National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
419 N. Lee Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
main 703.836.9340 | fax 703.549.5190 | www.pianet.com


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