Legislation would require insurers to comply with Puerto Rico claims on time
SAN JUAN – Rep. José “Che” Pérez announced Thursday he introduced legislation to amend the Puerto Rico Insurance Code to include within the duties and obligations of the Insurance Commissioner, establishing the terms insurance companies must follow to complete a claim, subject to penalties for noncompliance.
“Many policyholders, who lost everything or suffered considerable damage, have not received any response from the companies that must respond. That is why the respective insurance policies were paid. The answers these companies have provided to the insured have been that ‘due to the high volume, they are unable to send an adjuster to address the claim’ immediately,” Pérez said in a press release.
The legislator indicated that the framework related to insurance in Puerto Rico is contained in the Insurance Code. “But an analysis of the law does not reveal a time period for each insurer to complete a claim, and the steps to be followed in cases of emergency, such as those that Puerto Rico is currently experiencing, is even less expressed,” he maintained.
He added that to protect the insured and provide security and certainty in the claims they make, including in cases of emergency, it is worthwhile to amend the law to provide that, within its duties and obligations, the Insurance Commissioner’s Office establish via a legally binding method, a term in which the insurers must complete a claim filed by an insured, during usual times and in cases of emergency.
As established in House Bill 1389, presented Jan. 17, failure to comply with this term will entail the imposition of some kind of penalty.
“The fortuitous event that causes an emergency cannot be a subterfuge for not fully and timely comply with the claims because, who ultimately is severely affected, is the insured who carries their damages, without immediate solution,” Pérez stressed.