As the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 (also referred to as the novel coronavirus) continues to upend the insurance industry and the economy as a whole, PIA National has offered to collaborate with state insurance leaders via the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). PIA National is represented by Lauren Pachman, PIA National’s Counsel & Director of Regulatory Affairs, on the NIPR Board of Directors.
The pandemic’s simultaneous economic downturn has harmed friends, burdened small businesses, and hindered the American economy in ways that will take hard work to fix. In the meantime, NAIC recently held a Special Seminar on COVID-19 in which PIA National staff participated. Additionally, the NIPR website is being continuously updated with essential information for the producer licensing community, and NIPR is holding weekly conference calls with its deputy director to provide updates on how state insurance departments are handling these unprecedented changes in how business is conducted.
PIA members across the country are learning how to deploy the tools provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on behalf of their clients. Additionally, PIA National and affiliate staff are monitoring statehouses for bills and insurance departments for regulations that could emerge as obstacles or aids—or both—to agencies’ remaining solvent in these unprecedented times.
As they have been transitioning their agencies to remote work, independent insurance agents have been responding to customer service issues, ensuring that they maintain their licenses and businesses, and protecting the safety of their employees. Many are small business owners as well and are educating themselves on the pitfalls and opportunities provided by this pandemic to protect their own families as well as those of their clients.
PIA National will continue to work with the NAIC and NIPR to protect small businesses and strengthen the insurance industry to hasten our collective return to business as usual.
Lauren Pachman is Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs.