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Department of Banking and Insurance Mandates Insurance Premium Refunds

On May 12, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued Bulletin No. 20-22.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting reduction in loss exposure for insurers, the Department has ordered insurers to make an initial premium refund or other adjustment for certain specified lines of insurance.  Premium refunds are required for the following types of insurance: (1) medical malpractice insurance; (2) commercial liability insurance; (3) commercial multiple-peril insurance; (4) workers compensation insurance; (5) commercial automobile insurance; (6) private passenger automobile insurance; and (7) any other line of coverage where the measures of risk have become substantially overstated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The premium refund may be provided as a premium credit, a reduction in premium, a return of premium, dividend, or other appropriate premium adjustment.  The premium refunds must be implemented “as quickly as practicable,” but in no event later than June 15, 2020.

Insurers may also provide additional premium relief to individual policyholders on a case-by-case basis for recent, current, and upcoming policy periods or any portion thereof.  Examples of reclassifications set forth in the Bulletin include, but are not limited to: (1) reclassifying a personal automobile exposure from “commute use” to “pleasure use”; (2) reclassifying a physician practice to part-time status; or (3) excluding payroll for employees who are being paid but not actively working.

Insurers are required to notify each affected policyholder no later than June 15, 2020 regarding the amount of the refund or adjustment.  In addition, insurers are required to provide an explanation of the basis for the adjustment, including a description of the policy period that was the basis of the premium refund and any changes to the classification or exposure basis of the affected policyholder.

While the across the board initial premium refunds referenced above will not require any action by individual policyholders, businesses and individuals should review their current and projected activities and reach out to their insurer to see if there is an opportunity for an additional “case-by-case” premium reduction.  For example, if a physician practice has reduced hours for its physicians so that all physicians are working part-time, this may provide the opportunity for a further reduction in medical malpractice premiums.

The text of the bulletin can be found here.

© 2020 Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. All Rights Reserved

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About this Author

Frank R. Ciesla, Giordano Law Firm Health Care Litigation Health Care Fraud and Abuse Tax Health & Hospital Law
Of Counsel

Mr. Ciesla is Chair Emeritus of the firm's Health Care Law Practice Area. His practice is primarily devoted to Health Care and Government Contracts Law. He counsels clients on legal developments facing healthcare providers in the modern health care environment. Firm clients include hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and physician groups, individual practice associations, home health agencies, ambulance carriers and industry-wide associations.

Mr. Ciesla advises such clients on business structures, mergers and consolidations, joint ventures, reorganization of health care providers...

732-741-3900
Beth Christian, Giordano Law firm, Health Care Attorney,Health Care Fraud and Abuse, Cannabis Law, Non-Profit Law
Shareholder

Ms. Christian's practice is devoted to Health Care Law and legal issues facing Health Care facilities licensed professionals and non-profit organizations. She has over twenty years of experience counseling clients on legal issues facing the modern health care and non-profit communities.

732-219-5485
Anjali Baxi, Giordano Halleran Law Firm, Healthcare Attorney, New Jersey health Law,Cannabis Law,Government Affairs,Business Transactions, Health Care Law Regulation, Medicare and NJ Medicaid Enrollment
Counsel

Anjali has been practicing law for 15 years, mainly focused on health care transactional and regulatory matters. She prepares and reviews LOIs, purchase agreements and other transaction documents for health care providers needed for the business transfer and necessary for the transfer of NJDOH and NJDHS licenses and provider numbers. She also reviews agreements required for the day to day operations of health care facilities.

She has counseled skilled nursing, assisted living, adult medical day care, outpatient facility clients and hospitals regarding NJDOH regulatory requirements,...

732-741-3900
Ari G. Burd, Shareholder, Giordano Law Firm, Labor & Employment, Cannabis Law, Health Care
Shareholder

Ari devotes his time to assisting and defending employers with regard to traditional employment issues. He frequently counsels employers for compliance with New Jersey laws and has extensive transactional and litigation experience.

Ari has litigated employment matters throughout the state, having made appearances in almost every Superior Court in New Jersey, as well as before both Federal District Courts in New Jersey and the Federal and State Courts in New York.  These actions have involved a diverse range of claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...

732-741-3900