California — From the Office of the Commissioner: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones released the results of the formal notice he issued last month to all residential property insurers requesting they provide up to 100 percent of contents (personal property) coverage limits for fire survivors who experienced a total loss and relieve them from the requirement of providing a detailed home inventory.
"Many insurers have stepped up to do the right thing for policyholders by agreeing to my request and eliminating more red tape from the claim process," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Increasing personal property payments for fire survivors who suffered a total loss is an important step in easing survivors' overwhelming burden and helping them move forward by eliminating or reducing the arduous burden of trying to create a detailed home inventory for every piece of personal property they owned and lost to the fire."
The insurers that agreed to Jones' request have 97 percent of the total-loss insurance claims for policyholders who experienced a residential loss. These insurers have agreed to increase their contents (personal property) payments beyond the 25 percent they already agreed to in response to Commissioner Jones' prior notice, which asked insurers to expedite claims payments.
In response to Commissioner Jones' latest formal request insurers have agreed to make payments, without an inventory, ranging from 50 percent up to 100 percent of contents coverage limits, with many insurers agreeing to at least 75 percent or even 100 percent.
The amount of contents coverage varies among insurers, as the law does not require uniformity of contents coverage. This means even if the insurer provides a higher percentage of payout without an inventory, the amount paid to the policyholder may actually be lower than the payout from an insurer with a lower threshold for payout without an inventory, due to the insurer's lower contents limits.
Conversely, a policyholder whose insurer provides a lower percentage of payout may receive a higher claim payment due to the insurer's higher contents limits. For this reason, it is difficult to compare one insurer's threshold for waiver to another insurer's threshold for waiver.
The department has requested each insurer immediately notify their insureds of the new amounts they will provide, without inventory, and the terms and exceptions. Several insurers have already done this or are in the process of sending these notifications.
The department advises wildfire survivors, if they have not been notified by their insurer or if they have further questions, to contact the department. Wildfire survivors should contact their insurance company to determine the specifics of its waiver of the inventory in relation to the policyholder.
Commissioner Jones continues to urge all insurers to waive the inventory requirement. While Jones requested all carriers accommodate their insureds and his request by paying up to 100 percent of personal property limits without requiring a complete inventory list, the Legislature has not passed a law requiring insurers to waive the inventory or giving the insurance commissioner the authority to order a waiver.
Idaho — Cameron & the NAIC Appointment: Idaho Insurance Commissioner Dean Cameron has been appointed to chair the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee.
The NAIC made the announcement in this news release:
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has named its 2018 committee chairs and vice chairs. The association also assigned members to the organization's standing committees based on preferences, experience and requirements established by the NAIC's Bylaws.
"Our 2018 committee leadership reflects the NAIC's wealth of member talent," said Julie Mix McPeak, NAIC President and Tennessee Insurance Commissioner. "This year's committee chairs showcase the vast depth of expertise and experience of our membership and puts us in a strong position to achieve success with our State Ahead strategic plan and initiatives. We look forward to a productive year with our members and appreciate these leaders' commitment and service to the industry and to the NAIC."
The 2018 NAIC committee leadership assignments are as follows:
Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee
Chair: Doug Ommen, Commissioner, Iowa Insurance Division
Vice Chair: Jillian Froment, Director, Ohio Department of Insurance
Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee
Chair: Dean L. Cameron, Director, Idaho Department of Insurance
Vice Chair: Jessica Altman, Acting Commissioner, Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Property and Casualty Insurance (C) Committee
Chair: Jennifer Hammer, Director, Illinois Department of Insurance
Vice Chair: Allan L. McVey, Commissioner, West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner
Market Regulation and Consumer Affairs (D) Committee
Chair: Allen W. Kerr, Commissioner, Arkansas Insurance Department
Vice Chair: Lori K. Wing-Heier, Director, Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Insurance
Financial Condition (E) Committee
Chair: David Altmaier, Commissioner, Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
Vice Chair: Tom Glause, Commissioner, Wyoming Insurance Department
Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation (F) Committee
Chair: Todd E. Kiser, Commissioner, Utah Insurance Department
Vice Chair: Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, Superintendent, State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Division of Insurance
International Insurance Relations (G) Committee
Chair: Katharine L. Wade, Commissioner, Connecticut Insurance Department
Vice Chair: Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director, Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP)
Oregon: From the Department of Insurance: Three warnings and three tips before purchasing digital currency
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services recently received two consumer complaints regarding digital currency transactions. Both cases involve consumers unable to get help accessing their accounts from their digital currency exchange.
These complaints reveal three warnings and three tips before purchasing digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency.
Understand the risk – Digital currency is unstable and can experience a sudden increase and decrease in value. It is not subject to regulation in the U.S., so the government cannot help you if your digital currency is lost, stolen, or hacked.
Difficult to get your cash – Turning cash into digital currency is easy, but it can be difficult to turn it back into cash when you need it.
Not federally insured – Unlike money deposited into banks and credit unions, digital currency is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).
Do not spend or exchange money you cannot afford to lose – The volatility of the digital currency market means that you should not use money that is needed for essential purposes, such as paying off debt or saving for education expenses.
Treat digital currency investments like a commodity – Treat cryptocurrency like a nonliquid investment similar to oil, copper, or gold, and understand that digital currencies do not have the basic value of most commodities.
Make sure the digital currency exchange is licensed with the state – Oregon law requires digital currency exchange companies, companies that turn cash into digital currency, to be licensed as a money transmitter in order to do business in the state.
“Cryptocurrency is a hot trend that is getting a lot of media attention today,” said Cameron Smith, acting DCBS director. “Like all popular financial trends, we encourage Oregonians to be cautious and know the risks before purchasing this unstable and unregulated currency.”
Oregonians can check the money transmitter license of a digital currency exchange at http://dfr.oregon.gov/gethelp/Pages/check-license.aspx/.
Oregonians who need help with their digital currency exchange company can contact the Division of Financial Regulation at 866-814-9710 (toll-free) or visit http://dfr.oregon.gov.
Washington — From the Office of the Insurance Commissioner: Stakeholder meeting scheduled on the Title Rating Organizations rulemaking
On October 30, 2017 a stakeholder draft was released for the title insurance rating and advisory organizations rule (R 2017-06). The OIC has scheduled a stakeholder meeting on this stakeholder draft.
The stakeholder meeting has been scheduled for:
When: February 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m.
Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501
The comment period on the stakeholder draft closed on November 15, 2017.
For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's webpage here: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/title-insurance-rating-and-advisory-organizations-r-2017-06?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=