N.C. DOI Urges Leniency for Active Military

April 11, 2003

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jim Long announced that in an effort to show support for our nation’s active military, the Department of Insurance has urged insurance companies to show lenience to Reservists, members of the National Guard and their families.

In a memo, Long asked all North Carolina insurers to understand the extenuating circumstances faced by troops called away to serve in the Persian Gulf.

“I am asking the insurance industry to answer the call to support our troops and their families,” Long said. “I am asking all insurers in this state to take all steps within their power to minimize any insurance difficulties encountered by Reservists, Guard members and their families as a result of deployment.”

Long also requested that companies extend grace periods for payment of premiums and to show leniency in the enforcement of policy lapse provisions. He encouraged insurers to establish consumer help programs designed to assist military families with their special circumstances.

“While the DOI cannot force these companies to reach out to our troops in this time of need, we can certainly encourage them to do so,” Long said. “Being called to war presents a unique set of circumstances, not the least of which is a new financial burden felt by family members left behind.

“Whether you support the war or not, it is simply un-American not to support our troops. I know the insurance companies of North Carolina agree with me, and I feel certain they will go the extra mile for our brave men and women in the Reserves and National Guard. This is the least we can do for those who risk their lives to defend our country.”

Long also asked his staff to go easy on members of the military during this time of war. He instructed the Department’s Agent Services Division to waive continuing education requirements for licensee regulated by the Department—including insurance agents, bail bondsmen and bail runners—deployed to the Middle East. Licensure regulations require licensees to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education (CE) courses every year. The failure to complete CE course within the year prevents an applicant from renewing his or her license.

This waiver will only be extended to active military and will remain in effect only for the licensed year during which the agent or bondsman is overseas. Upon return to the U.S. and to civilian life, the licensee will be required to meet CE requirements beginning in the next licensed year. License-holders taking advantage of this gesture are asked to notify the Department before deployment if at all possible and will be required to provide proof of deployment upon return before the CE requirements can be waived.

Licensees in the military with questions about their CE credits may call (919) 733-7487.

Topics North Carolina

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