Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of June 24, 2024

Washington — Kreidler asks insurers to extend additional living expenses for wildfire victims: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is urging insurance companies to extend the additional living expenses benefit for wildfire victims who are nearing their 12-month limit on that specific coverage.

Additional living expenses coverage provides people the funds to pay for temporary housing while their primary residence is being rebuilt. Many policies have a clause that ends this coverage after 12 months.

Kreidler also requested information from insurance companies on losses associated with the Gray and Oregon Road fires through a data call announced Monday, June 24.

More than 350 Washington state residences were damaged or destroyed in the Spokane-area fires, which began on August 18, 2023. The coverages Kreidler referenced would end in August if insurance companies take no action; by granting this additional coverage, Kreidler said, fire victims would have the time to rebuild and return to their homes without additional financial stress.

“Delays in rebuilding residences are completely out of the policyholders’ control and losing this critical benefit, which is currently paying for their temporary housing, would be financially devastating,” Kreidler said. “Most insureds do not have the financial means to pay a mortgage and temporary housing costs simultaneously.”

Some companies, Kreidler added, may have already extended additional living expenses coverage to last until the covered home is rebuilt and ready for occupancy.

“I appreciate those companies working proactively on behalf of their policyholders,” he said.

The June 24 data call requires all insurance companies with claims from the fires to complete two worksheets. The first, for all coverage types, includes cumulative losses based on lines of insurance. The second, for residential property losses only, includes specific data about the property, the claim, and if the company has non-renewed the policy since the fire.

The information collected in the data call, Kreidler said, will be aggregated provide a complete picture of the wildfire losses impacting Washington’s residents. The first report is due August 15, 2024, through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.

Kreidler previously asked insurers to expedite debris removal procedures and simplify the property claims process for wildfire victims.

President Joe Biden signed a federal disaster declaration for the area in February, unlocking FEMA Individual Assistance funding for victims. Kreidler’s office sent representatives to Medical Lake and Elk in March to help answer insurance questions from people impacted by the fires.

Washington — Notice of rulemaking on producer and adjuster licensing requirements: This proposed rule includes substantive and technical updates to Chapter 284-17 WAC to ensure producer and adjuster licensing requirements are clear, relevant, and align with Title 48 insurance laws and with the planned National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) interface enhancement. 

The substantive updates simplify the limited line credit insurance licensing process by automatically including it in life, disability, property, or casualty insurance licensure. They address NIPR concerns by allowing insurance agencies to designate a new responsible licensed producer (DRLP) during license renewal if the current DRLP is inactive. Finally, the proposed rule simplifies the fee structure for producer license reinstatements after cancellation to prevent NIPR interface enhancement delays. 

The technical updates remove outdated language that exempted crop adjusters from continuing education (CE) requirements, aligning with a 2022 rule mandating CE for all licensed resident adjusters. The proposed rule also deletes pre-licensing education (PLE) references, reflecting a 2023 law that eliminated the PLE requirement. Finally, the rule eliminates obsolete references to specific dates for electronic licensure submissions, as all licensing processes are now fully electronic.

The comment period for this rule begins on June 20, 2024, and will close on August 2, 2024. Please send comments to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the producer and adjuster licensing requirements (R2024-06) webpage.

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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