Conn. Officials, Insurer Agree to 90-Day Moratorium on Shutter Rule

September 8, 2006

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Susan F. Cogswell announced that Andover Insurance Company has agreed to suspend for 90 days the implementation of a department decision allowing the company to cancel the policies of homeowners who fail to install storm shutters.

The announcement followed talks between Cogswell and Andover officials, initiated at the request of Governor M. Jodi Rell, and gives the Cogswell a chance to evaluate the extent of homeowner insurance availability along Connecticut’s coastline.

At the same time, the commissioner asked that the entire insurance industry agree to a 90-day delay in implementing new Connecticut coastal underwriting guidelines – such as requirements for shutters or a higher deductible – while the study is completed.

Governor Rell said she was concerned that coastal homeowners would have their policies canceled before being able to obtain other coverage. After 90 days (starting September 6, 2006), the commissioner will have a better idea of whether adequate insurance coverage is available along the coast.

“I will use the next 90 days to carefully study this issue,” Cogswell said. “I am trying to balance the needs of policyholders with the industry’s responsibility to adequately plan for the financial exposure companies face by insuring coastal communities. I will use the next 90 days to study the coastal marketplace to ensure that adequate coverage is available.”

Late last month, Cogswell notified insurers that any action to advise agents not to sell policies to coastal homeowners is a violation of state law and would be the basis for enforcement action by the insurance department. She also encouraged agents to notify the department of any potentially unfair trade practices being committed by insurance companies as it relates to coastal insurance coverage.

On August 29, she went one step further and notified the surplus lines brokers that they, too, should bring such evidence of unfair trade practices to the Department’s attention.

Cogswell will hold an informational forum on coastal insurance coverage on September 21 in the New London area. Details on that event are pending.

Source: Connecticut Insurance Department

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