NAMIC State and Policy Affairs Counsel Paul Tetrault testified before the NAIC’s Property and Casualty Committee during a Dec. 2 hearing on catastrophe claims issues, telling regulators that insurers perform well in processing claims following catastrophes and citing concerns regarding certain state actions following catastrophes including data calls and declarations regarding the applicability of deductibles.
The hearing addressed two issues: making post-catastrophe claims processes more “user-friendly” and state actions following a catastrophe. Regarding the first topic, Tetrault asserted that insurers take seriously their responsibility to policyholders process and pay claims quickly following a catastrophe, and operating in a competitive environment, they work to innovate and improve processes and to exceed expectations when an event occurs. He cited both research by J.D. Power and Associates as well as analyses and statements of state regulators demonstrating insurers’ excellent performance in processing catastrophe claims.
Regarding the second topic, Tetrault asserted that state data requests and directives following a catastrophe are indeed a concern, and more so when they are inconsistent and ad hoc. He commended the progress made in this area as states have worked together to have consistent data-reporting requirements and urged regulators to do more coordination. Tetrault also raised concern regarding the declarations by commissioners and governors in a number of states regarding the applicability of percentage deductibles such as hurricane deductibles. He said that in some cases such declarations have been overly broad and/or confusing, and he noted that even when they are consistent with laws and regulations they erroneously carry the implication that the applicability of deductibles depends on state government decrees rather than contract language. Tetrault suggested that state officials should view the insurance industry as an essential partner in responding to catastrophes and not issue statements that suggest otherwise.
Contact: Lisa Floreancig
Public Affairs Director - State & Policy Affairs