On Friday, November 9th, NJ Governor Chris Christie released an executive order which makes a number of important Hurricane Sandy-related declarations:
Hurricane deductibles. Insurance carriers will not be allowed to impose hurricane deductibles. The National Weather Service’s stated that the storm was a post-tropical storm, and not a hurricane. This is an important distinction, as such deductibles may only be imposed in the event a storm is a hurricane named by the National Weather Service or its successor from which sustained hurricane force winds of 74 miles per hour or greater have been measured in New Jersey.
Cancellation extensions. Regulated entities including insurers are to exercise appropriate forbearance on policy cancellations, premium collection and other regulatory issues. All department licensees must take the difficulties related to Sandy that all citizens of the state continue to suffer into consideration. They must exercise appropriate forbearances on collection, cancellation, documentation and other regulatory requirements, including, but not limited to the following:
Notifications of hospital admissions
Due dates for claim filings, premium and loan payments and late fees
Prior authorization requirements
Limitations on prescription refills
Expanded methods of claim payments. Insurers are permitted to make first and third-party claims payments by an expanded number of methods, including prepaid debit cards, electronic transfer or other comparable alternate payment method, subject to some restrictions.
The commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance has been granted the power to take all necessary steps to effectuate the order, which took effect immediately upon being published.
To read the entire legal document online click here: Executive Order 107