Oregon Insurance Division Bulletin INS 2008-1
TO: All Property & Casualty Insurers Writing Commercial Lines Insurance Products; and All Insurers on the NAIC Quarterly Listing of Alien Insurers
RE: Filing Procedures for Compliance with Provisions of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007
This bulletin supersedes INS 2006-1.
There has been much uncertainty in the markets for commercial lines property and casualty insurance coverage in light of the substantial losses experienced by the industry on September 11, 2001. Soon after the tragic events, many reinsurers announced that they did not intend to provide coverage for acts of terrorism in future reinsurance contracts. This led to a concerted effort on behalf of all interested parties to seek a temporary federal backstop to calm market fears over future terrorist attacks and the ability of the insurance industry to allocate capital to provide coverage for these unpredictable and potentially catastrophic events. As a result, Congress enacted and the President signed into law in November 2002, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (the Act). This federal law provides a federal backstop for defined acts of terrorism and imposes certain obligations on insurers. The Act was extended for a two-year period covering Program Years 2006 and 2007. The Act has now been extended for an additional seven years through December 31, 2014 with the enactment of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Extension Act of 2007.
Several provisions of the initial Act have changed in the 2007 extension. Those changes include:
Other terms of the Act, as amended by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act of 2005, remain unchanged.
The intent of this bulletin is to advise you of certain provisions of the Act, as extended, that may require insurers to submit a filing in this state of the disclosure notices, policy language and the applicable rates as a result of the Act.
Definition of Act of Terrorism
One of the changes made to the Act with the enactment of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 was a revision to the definition of an act of terrorism that eliminated the requirement that an individual or individuals that carry out an act of terrorism be acting on behalf of a foreign person or foreign interest. In short, this means that acts formerly referred to as "domestic" terrorism may now be certified as an act of terrorism under the Act.
Section 102(1) defines an act of terrorism for purposes of the Act. Please note that the unmodified reference to "the Secretary" refers to the Secretary of the Treasury. Specifically:
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, as amended, contains in Section 103(1)(B) a program trigger of $100 million in aggregate industry insured losses resulting from a certified act of terrorism before federal reimbursement is triggered.
This state will not allow exclusions of coverage for acts of terrorism that fail to be certified losses solely because they fall below the $5,000,000 threshold in Section 102(1)(B) on any policy that provides coverage for acts of terrorism that fail to be certified. Insurers required to file policy forms may submit language containing coverage limitations for certified losses that exceed $100 billion in the aggregate.
Submission of Rates, Policy Form Language and Disclosure Notices
If an insurer relies on a rating organization to file loss costs and related rating systems on its behalf, no rate filing is required unless an insurer plans to use a different loss cost multiplier than is currently on file for coverage for certified losses. Insurers that develop and file rates independently may choose to maintain their currently filed rates or submit a new filing. The rate filing should provide sufficient information for the reviewer to determine what price would be charged to a business seeking to cover certified losses. This state will accept filings that contain a specified percentage of premium to provide for coverage for certified losses. Insurers may also choose to use rating plans that take into account other factors such as geography, building profile, proximity to target risks and other reasonable rating factors. The insurer should state in the filing the basis that it has for selection of the rates and rating systems that it chooses to apply. The supporting documentation should be sufficient for the reviewer to determine if the rates are excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. For the convenience of insurers, this state will waive its requirements for supporting documentation for rates for certified losses for filings that apply an increased premium charge of between 0% and 15% and do not vary by application of other rating factors.
Insurers subject to policy form regulation must submit the policy language that they intend to use in this state. The policy should define acts of terrorism in ways that are consistent with the Act, as amended, state law and the guidance provided in this bulletin. The definitions, terms and conditions should be complete and accurately describe the coverage that will be provided in the policy. Insurers may conclude that current filings are in compliance with the Act, as amended, state law and the requirements of this bulletin. However, if policy forms make a distinction between acts of a foreign person or foreign interest and a domestic person or domestic interest, it is likely that a filing is required.
Another change introduced in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 is a new disclosure requirement for any policy issued after the enactment of the Act. Specifically, in addition to other disclosure requirements previously contained in TRIA, insurers must now also provide clear and conspicuous disclosure to the policyholder of the existence of the $100,000,000,000 cap under Section 103(e)(2), at the time of offer, purchase and renewal of the policy.
The Insurance Administrator requests that the disclosure notices be filed for informational purposes, along with the policy forms, rates and rating systems as they are an integral part of the process for notification of policyholders in this state and should be clear and not misleading to business owners in this state. The disclosures should comply with the requirements of the Act, as amended, and should be consistent with the policy language and rates filed by the insurer. Suggested forms suitable for this notification to policyholders are included with this bulletin as Attachments 1 and 2.
Given that the provisions of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 are already in effect, and insurers and rating organizations must accelerate filing activity in order to achieve compliance with the revised provisions of the Act, this state will permit insurers and rating organizations to use an expedited filing process for new rates, policy forms and disclosure notices.
If an insurer wants to take advantage of this voluntary speed to market initiative for revised terrorism products, it should complete the attached Expedited Filing Transmittal Document for Terrorism Risk Insurance Forms and Pricing, and certify on the form that it is in compliance with the terms of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 and the laws of this state. Completion of the Expedited Filing Transmittal will also relieve an insurer from having to complete any other filing form or supplementary exhibit that is normally required to accompany filings.
We encourage filers to take advantage of the State Electronic Rates and Forms Filings system for submitting such filings using the expedited transmittal document.
This voluntary expedited filing system shall remain in place until April 1, 2008. If an insurer does not want to take advantage of the expedited filing system (or cannot file prior to April 1, 2008) then it must submit a normal filing, subject to regular filing requirements, including any prior approval or waiting period.
Standard Fire Policy Forms
In this state, the requirements for fire coverage, including commercial inland marine coverages, are established by law and where applicable, must meet or exceed the provisions of the Standard Fire Policy. These legal requirements cannot be waived. Thus, a business cannot voluntarily waive this statutorily mandated coverage.
This bulletin shall take immediate effect and shall expire on December 31, 2014, unless Congress extends the duration of the Act. The expedited filing procedures discussed in this bulletin shall expire on April 1, 2008.
(Signed) January 23, 2008