On March 19, 2003, Governor Napolitano issued Executive Order 2003-10, "Ensuring Benefits and Protections for Arizona Servicemen and Women". Consequently, on April 9, 2003 Arizona Director of Insurance, Charles Cohen, issued a Regulatory Bulletin (available on our web site www.id.state.az.us) to insurers regarding the continuation of insurance coverage for United States military personnel, including the Reserves and National Guard, during periods when they have been deployed for military active duty anywhere in the world. The bulletin (No. 2003-04), is captioned “Property and Casualty Insurance; Insurance Protection
For Policyholders Who Have Been Deployed For Military Duty; Coverage Continuation and/or Coverage Suspension”. It urges property and casualty insurers and producers to work closely with policyholders who have put aside their personal and professional interests in order to serve their country.
The bulletin asks insurers to do the following with regard to property and casualty insurance policies such as automobile, homeowners, medical malpractice, and small business:
1. Notify policyholders, as soon as practicable, that if they have been deployed they may designate an adult third party to serve as an attorney-in-fact to receive bills, notices, and other correspondence related to the policyholder's insurance coverage.
2. Provide policyholders with an option to suspend or remove insurance coverage, without penalty, while deployed for military duty. 3. Give a credit or premium refund for the suspension or removal of coverage and reinstate full coverage without penalty when the policyholder returns from active duty.
4. Refrain from non-renewing policies of insureds in active duty status who keep premium payments current.
The Department of Insurance is also working with the Governor's
Office on legislation that would expand and clarify the availability of
health insurance for deployed reservists and their dependents upon
the reservists' return to civilian status. In addition, this legislation would limit life insurers’ ability to deny benefits to Arizona policyholders who die during a war from causes unrelated to the war and military service.
In the spirit of support for our deployed military personnel, the Director strongly encourages insurers to implement the above suggestions and to do whatever is within their prerogative to ensure that deployed policyholders are not penalized for their period of deployment.