Measure would amend Puerto Rico Insurance Code to require that fined companies be made public
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Rep. José “Che” Pérez Cordero introduced legislation Wednesday to provide that, in cases of emergency decreed by the government, insurers complete a claim within 45 days, and for the Insurance Commissioner to publish the names of insurers that have been fined for any type of non-compliance with the established terms.
The Puerto Rico Insurance Code establishes a 90-day period to finalize a claim when all the requirements are met.
“Many of the claims for the damages caused by hurricanes Irma and María have taken more than 120 to 150 days and there have been no results on the completion of the process, much less the disbursement of the funds that rightfully correspond to the insured and to help them return to normality,” Pérez Cordero said in a written statement.
“As it has been shown…these days, this term has lacked executability, given the repeated failure of insurers to settle claims within the time allowed, regardless of whether these cases are exceptional, as they affect emergency situations in which claimants have lost everything, some businesses have suffered losses or, simply, their way of life has been disrupted by the damage suffered,” the representative said.
Although welcoming the fact that the island’s insurance commissioner has recently fined certain insurance companies for their delay in paying claims, Pérez Cordero said the commissioner has not made public which companies have failed to comply.
“This Legislature believes it is essential to notify the public about information on the infringing insurance companies that have been fined so far. The purpose is that the people remain properly informed about the companies that operate under the legal framework and offer a guaranteed service.Likewise, we believe this information must be public under the constitutional corollary of access to information,” the legislator said.
He added that to establish it statutorily, subsection 4 will be added to Article 27.162 of the Insurance Code, for the commissioner to disclose information on every case of non-compliance by insurers that has been fined.