Practice Before Pennsylvania Insurance Department
I represent insurance carriers before the Insurance Department. At times, requests for Hearings are made by insureds in non-renewal or cancellation cases, where the insurer believes they are right, supported by facts and prior administrative decisions. Can the insurance carrier not send someone? No, if an Administrative Hearing is scheduled, the carrier must be represented and prepared to present testimony and exhibits in support of the non-renewal or cancellation decision. The insurance carrier has the burden to establish the reason for their decision. Failure to appear will result in unwanted scrutiny and review of the insurer by the Insurance Department including imposition of a fine. Torres v. Nationwide, P14-63-013 (2014); Askin v. Allstate, P14-04-018 (2014).
The basis for cancellation or non-renewal are set forth in applicable statutes, Act 68 (40 P.S. §991.2001-991.2013) for motor vehicle insurance and Act 205 (40 P.S. §§1171.1-1171.15) for homeowner policy. These statutes have been interpreted by Insurance Department opinions. You should be familiar with the statues and case law before appearing before an Insurance Department Hearing Officer.
Although the Insurance Department allows a non-renewal or cancellation to become effective when a request for review is denied by the investigative staff of the Insurance Department, the insurance carrier still bears the burden to prove the basis for the action if an appeal is taken by the insured and a Hearing is scheduled. Bolus v. Nationwide, P11-08-011(2012); Konias v. GEICO, P12-11-022 (2013).