Insurance Department warns against in-person sales

In-person sales and brokerage are prohibited by Gov. Wolf’s order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman cautioned Pennsylvania’s insurance licensees that in-person sales and brokerage are prohibited by Gov. Tom Wolf’s order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses in the Commonwealth to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Department intends to pursue disciplinary action against any licensee that violates the order.

“Governor Wolf’s order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses has been an important step in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Altman. “While insurance is considered a life-sustaining business, especially during the unprecedented health crisis that we’re experiencing today, in-person sales and brokerage are not designated as life-sustaining, and have a detrimental effect on the safety and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.”

Per Wolf’s order, businesses that are non-life-sustaining were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19 at 8 p.m. Enforcement of this action became effective on Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m.

Any insurance licensees found to be in violation of this order by offering in-person sales and brokerage will receive a letter of violation from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, and the violation will be forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Police for further prosecution.

Continued violation of the governor’s order through in-person sales and brokerage may be considered by the Department in evaluating a licensee’s worthiness to hold a license in the Commonwealth and will result in immediate administrative prosecution by PID. Penalties under such prosecution may include revoking insurance licenses, and civil monetary penalties.

“These actions are necessary to ensure the protection and safety of Commonwealth residents,” said Altman. “A quick and effective response will help to stop the spread of the illness in Pennsylvania, and everyone, including insurers and insurance agents, need to be a part of that response. Pennsylvanians are encouraged to immediately contact the department if they receive an unexpected in-person solicitation at their home or life-sustaining business.”

If a consumer receives an unexpected bill related to COVID-19 or other healthcare services, they are encouraged to contact the Insurance Department at 1-877-881-6388.