Procedural Updates

SMART Focus Group Update

SLTX recently conducted numerous focus group sessions that gave external user stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback to the SMART system design and development teams. Interested external users were categorized into 4 types of user groups to provide insight on the broker landing page, conducting basic entries, and most importantly a refreshed “correction process”. Over a 4-day period, 81% of interested external users participated in one of twelve sessions hosted by SLTX.

The sessions proved to be productive with users providing feedback on user experience, processes, and updated workflows. The design and development teams noted several minor improvements which will enrich the overall manual entry process (e.g., warning the user if a submission appears to be a late filing) to ensure users will review and double-check entries.

Overall, stakeholders greatly appreciated the process improvements SLTX presented including enhanced search, export capabilities, and an updated correction process. User feedback from these groups include, “Solved about 95% of the angst from filings”, and “Will greatly reduce need for training since issues are addressed with expanded guidance and context”. The design team can break down feedback requests and prioritize them before handing off to the development team to prepare specific requirements for each improvement. Each advancement may be incorporated into the existing External Filing development tasks or held as enhancements appropriate to the core functionality delivery.

Note that all current EFS processes and procedures will continue to be available and both systems will remain functional and work concurrently until the entire suite of features in SMART are fully delivered throughout 2022. With each new release or significant deployment, additional notifications will be sent to existing users of SLTX’s Electronic Filing System (EFS). These notifications may also be found directly on our website under News>Procedural Updates.

Please contact the SLTX Tech Support team by email or phone at (512) 531-1880 or (800) 681-5848 with any questions.

The screen shown represents the Broker Landing Page which users will see once logged into SMART. Here users are able to access features utilizing the left side navigation panel. Click here to view additional focus group progress and content.

TDI Data Call for Texas Catastrophe Area Premiums

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) issues a special data call, which is authorized by Insurance Code Section 2210.052.  Please review the Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0013-21 directly for data call instructions and related information.

The data call is necessary to supplement TDI’s statistical information and to enable the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) to calculate participation shares for assessments, should they be required in 2021. The data may also be used in 2022 before data for 2021 is available. This data call is due no later than June 30, 2021.

TDI will email this data call only to companies reporting 2020 Commercial Property or Businessowners statistical data to ISO as well as Farm Mutual Insurance Companies acting as fronting insurers (Insurance Code Section 221.001(c)). Companies subject to this data call must submit the data call form and affidavit to TDI even if the company does not write any applicable business in the Texas catastrophe area.

Please submit data utilizing the TWIA Data Call Form. Additionally, complete and email or fax the TWIA Data Call Affidavit separately from the Data Call Form. This form requires Adobe Acrobat Standard 9.0, Adobe Professional 9.0, Adobe Reader 9.0, or a more recent version. If you have questions about this data call or need more information, see the TWIA Data Call Instructions or contact TDI’s Data Services team at DataCall@tdi.texas.gov or 512-676-6690.

Newly Adopted TDI Rule Requires Email Contact for All Licensees

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) adopted a rule change for 28 TAC 1.1301 & 1.1302 which requires individuals, agencies, and companies regulated by TDI to designate an email address for official communications from TDI. The rule also allows electronic submissions to TDI in most cases where a paper method was previously required.

The text of §1.1302 has been changed by adding subsection (f). Subsection (f) makes the requirement under subsection (c) that all regulated persons provide to TDI an email address designated for receipt of official communications applicable beginning January 1, 2022. This is intended to give regulated persons time to prepare for the shift to receiving electronic communications from TDI.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (e) of this section, all regulated persons must provide an email address that is designated for receipt of official department communications. Regulated persons should provide the email address as specified on the department’s website. If communications may no longer be received at the designated email address, the regulated person must notify the department and designate a new email address within 10 business days.

(d) Notice or service sent by email under this section satisfies any notice or service requirements unless a different method of notice or service is required by statute or §1.90 of this title.

 (e) If a regulated person does not have the technological capability to maintain an email address designated for official department communications, or for good reason does not wish to receive communications by email from the department, the regulated person should notify the department as specified on the department’s website regarding address changes.

Please utilize the Agents, adjusters, and agencies link to update or change names, addresses, or emails through the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Contact TDI for further questions or concerns regarding this rule change.

SMART Release Updates March 2021

Because of the nearly week-long power outage in mid-February, SLTX did not have a SMART release during that month. The March 2021 SMART release primarily includes a Report Landing page which will be available for all External Filers through the SMART application. This will allow those users to directly obtain the following monthly reports: Monthly Invoice, Detail Policy Activity Report, Policy Transaction Activity Report, and when appropriate, the Outstanding Ineligible Report, and Duplicate Policy Report. You will also be able to pay invoices, via credit card or ACH payments, through the SMART application. Online filers will continue to receive their reports via the existing Electronic Filing System (EFS) portal in the original format. Please note that all current EFS processes and procedures will continue to be available and both systems will remain functional and work concurrently until the entire suite of features in SMART are fully delivered which is expected to be in 2022.

Additionally, improvements were made to various reports to reduce overall spacing and to better handle specific data-related scenarios. The March 2021 release also includes features which are specific to SLTX’s Internal Filing (work assignments relating to and the processing of mailed transactions), additional search capabilities, as well as various bug fixes relating to previously released features.

As work continues on the Internal Filing features, SLTX is looking forward to the release schedule which will include External Filing (or the ability to manually input transactions within SMART). As we enter the planning stages, SLTX will resume round table or focus group discussions with current users of SLTX’s Electronic Filing System (EFS). Please stay tuned and be on the look-out for additional communications within the next few weeks regarding this schedule and feature sets to be discussed.

As a reminder, SLTX has already released portions of its new online filing system, SMART. This includes filing features that are specific to automated or “programmatic” filers as these filing methods make up the largest majority of the transactions filed with SLTX. Beta testing is ongoing and feedback by automated filing broker users is strongly encouraged as broker testing is the primary mechanism to ensure data-related scenarios are handled effectively and efficiently. If you, as an automated filer, have not requested the updated Technical Reference and User Guides or are ready to resume beta testing, please contact the SLTX Tech Support team by email.

With each new release or significant deployment, additional notifications will be sent to existing users of SLTX’s Electronic Filing System (EFS). These notifications may also be found directly on our website under News>Procedural Updates.

Please contact the SLTX Tech Support team by email or phone at (512) 531-1880 or (800) 681-5848 with any questions.

Stamping Fee Invoices with a Credit Balance

SLTX does not automatically apply open credit balances to any balance due.

If there is a balance due that includes one or more credits, you must contact SLTX’s Accounting department to request that the credit(s) be applied. Once that is complete, you will be able to pay your net amount due.

If there is a credit balance with no balance due, you must contact SLTX’s accounting department to request a refund check be issued.  Once issued, the check will be mailed to the address on file for the corresponding agency.

To contact SLTX’s Accounting Department, you may use SLTX’s “Contact Accounting” form. Please be certain to include your surplus lines license number with your request.

As a reminder, SLTX accepts payments via credit card or Automated Clearing House (ACH) through its Electronic Filing System (EFS). Once logged in to EFS, the “Pay Invoices” button will be visible on the left navigation menu. The payment portal will then open a new, secure tab in the browser. For step-by-step instructions, SLTX has created a how-to guide on the online invoice payment process. This guide is located on the SLTX Broker Forms page of the SLTX website.

TDI calls for data collection for the Texas winter weather event

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has issued a data call to all insurers, including surplus lines insurers and insurers licensed to write property and casualty insurance in Texas, for the winter weather event that took place between February 11 – 19 throughout the state of Texas. Please review the Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0009-21 directly for data call instructions and related information.

A list of the surplus lines companies which are required to respond to the data call can be found directly on TDI’s website relating to the data collection bulletin.

Companies must send all reports to TDI’s statistical agent, Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). ISO needs reporting insurers that have not already registered with ISO to complete the attached form on Bulletin #B-0009-21 to set up the appropriate credentials for statistical reporting. Please return the form to ISO at TXCatStatAgent@verisk.com. Companies that registered with ISO in response to Bulletin B-0040-20 do NOT need to register again. Any questions about registering with ISO should be sent to TXCatStatAgent@verisk.com. Once your registration is processed, ISO will provide you with your credentials and relevant reporting instructions.

Property insurers should contact ISO even if the company does not have any claims to report for the winter weather event. These companies will still be required to respond to TDI’s bulletin as provided in the statistical plan.

The first report for data as of February 28, 2021, is due March 31, 2021. Subsequent reports are due monthly, at the end of each month. For any questions about how to submit data to ISO, please contact TXCatStatAgent@verisk.com.

2020 Annual Late Filing Report to Run March 12

SLTX’s annual late filing report, which lists all Texas surplus lines policies that were not timely filed in 2020, will be generated on March 12, 2021. Policies are considered late if they are not filed with SLTX within 60 days of issuance or the effective date, whichever is later.

Under the Texas Administrative Code, SLTX must submit the annual late filing report to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) no later than the first business day in April of each year for the previous calendar year. At this time, no additional changes can be made to the report. However, if a late filing adjustment has been approved and TDI has previously determined a policy that was originally included on a monthly late filing report should be considered timely filed, it will not be included on the annual late filing report.

Beginning March 12, 2021, agents and brokers who file electronically and have submitted an untimely filed policy in 2020 will be able to access an electronic copy of the report as a courtesy and pre-notification. The report can be found in SLTX’s online filing system by accessing the “Reporting” tab on the left navigation menu. Select “EOM/EOY Reports” from the “Listings” drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Choose the “Late Filing Reports” radio button, and the annual late filing report will be displayed as the most recent report listed, if available.

SLTX will send the official 2020 Annual Late Filing Report by certified mail to all agents and brokers included on the report. Those who are not included on the report will not see it listed in the online filing system and will not receive a letter from SLTX by certified mail.

The report will include a list of all policies that were not timely filed, as well as the number of days late for each, the total percentage of late policies for the year, a calculation of total fees due, and the number of policies sent to enforcement, if any. Assessments and enforcement actions are determined by statute and all fees should be submitted directly to TDI. The TDI Late Filers Fee Payment Form will be included within the certified mailing.

SMART Release Updates January 2021

Since the last significant release in October 2020, work has continued to be focused on features for the Reporting module. This will allow SLTX to transition away from existing legacy applications and mechanisms that perform month-end calculations, report generation and viewing capability, and accounts receivable processes. Additionally, as part of this work, a redesign of various SLTX reports has been completed. The first phase of the Reporting module has concluded and as a result, Month End Reports will now be created with the new method and format. With the January 2021 Month End, reports will be mailed out to all paper filing agents and agencies and will reflect the new format. This includes the Monthly Invoice, Detail Policy Activity Report, Policy Transaction Activity Report, and when appropriate, the Outstanding Ineligible Report, and Duplicate Policy Report.  You may view full-color sample report layouts by clicking on each report name above.  Online filers will still receive their reports via the existing Electronic Filing System (EFS) portal in the original format.

Additionally, the January 2021 release includes features which will allow SLTX to capture and view the National Producer Number (NPN) as provided by TDI within their monthly license data dump, relate to work assignment and distribution of Internal Filings (policies mailed to SLTX for processing), and Internal Filings of policies and/or binders.

By the February 2021 Month End, phase two of the Reporting module deliverables will be on target to include a Report Landing page for all External Filers through the SMART application, which will allow those users to directly obtain their 2021 monthly reports. Additionally, phase two will include the Monthly Late Filing Report, Batch Edit Report (for paper filers), Policy Audit Results, and various other statutorily required reports.

As a reminder, SLTX has already released portions of its new online filing system, SMART. This includes filing features that are specific to automated or “programmatic” filers as these filing methods make up the largest majority of the transactions filed with SLTX. Beta testing is ongoing and feedback by automated filing broker users is strongly encouraged as broker testing is the primary mechanism to ensure data related scenarios are handled effectively and efficiently. If you, as an automated filer, have not requested the updated Technical Reference and User Guides or are ready to resume beta testing, please contact the SLTX Tech Support team by email.

Please note that current EFS processes and procedures will continue to be available and both systems will remain functional and work concurrently until the entire suite of features in SMART are fully delivered.

With each new release or significant deployment, additional notifications will be sent to existing users of SLTX’s Electronic Filing System (EFS). These notifications may also be found directly on our website under News>Procedural Updates.

Please contact the SLTX Tech Support team by email or phone at (512) 531-1880 or (800) 681-5848 with any questions.

Late-Filed Policy Corrections Must be Made by February 15, 2021

SLTX will accept corrections or adjustment forms for late-filed policies included on November or December 2020 monthly late filers reports until Monday, February 15, 2021. After this date, no additional modifications can be made to the annual late filers report.

Under Texas statute, SLTX is required to file an annual late filers report with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) no later than the first business day of April. The report lists all surplus lines insurance policies that were filed after the filing deadline during the previous calendar year. A policy appears late if it is filed more than 60 days after the effective date or issue date of the policy, whichever is later.

The Texas Administrative Code rule which took effect December 30, 2018, requires surplus lines agents to notify SLTX within 90 days or by February 15 of the following year, whichever is earlier, if a policy that they believe to be timely filed appears on a monthly late filers report. After that time has passed, the agent waives the right to later dispute the timeliness of the filing. Because of this timeline, only policies included on the November or December 2020 monthly late filers report may be disputed.

For information on retrieving monthly reports through the online filing system, please view the SLTX Obtaining Late Filing Reports – How to Guide. Then, make corrections or complete and submit the Monthly Late Filing – Request for Adjustment form, which can be found on the SLTX website. Corrections must be received by Monday, February 15, 2021.

Texas Insurance Code Sec. 981.105 also details the regulatory remedies that the Commissioner of Insurance may accept for late-filed surplus lines policies. Fees and/or enforcement actions imposed will take into consideration how many days elapsed after the filing deadline before the policy was reported and the broker’s late filing record over the previous year.

Please contact the Tech Support team with any questions regarding the annual late filers report.

Coverage and Class Codes to Undergo Updates at SLTX

The Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX) is pleased to announce upcoming updates to numerous coverage and class codes.  After significant analysis, changes were necessary to provide online filing users with a code selection the more accurately coincides with current industry language and products; with the goal to make the code selection a more obvious choice that more clearly matches policy documentation. The following SLTX Coverage and/ or Class codes have been added or have had updates to their description.  All other existing coverages and classifications remain unchanged unless specifically noted below.

SLTX will provide additional online learning materials, as necessary. SLTX tech support is currently working with automated filers to ensure their product code mappings are updated appropriately.

Primarily, these new codes will be available to use beginning January 1st, 2021.

Accident & Health (A&H)

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Class 00877 Accident & Health – Group

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9155 A&H – Occupational Accident
Class 00970 Occupational Accident
Class 99956 Occupational Accident - Excess
Class 99960 Accident & Health - Excess

Auto

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9302 Auto – Commercial Package (liability + physical damage)
Coverage 9301 Auto – Personal Package (liability + physical damage)
Class 99957 Auto – Excess Commercial Physical Damage
Class 99958 Auto – Excess Personal Physical Damage

Aviation

New Codes

Type Code Description
Class 99951 Aviation - Excess

Builder's Risk

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9075 Builder’s Risk - Property
Coverage 9076 Builder’s Risk - Liability
Coverage 9077 Builder’s Risk – Package (Property + Liability)

Credit

Mortgage Protection, Lender Single Interest, Forced Placed

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9028 Credit - Other

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9032 Credit – Asset / Collateral Protection
Coverage 9026 Credit – Mortgage Protection
Coverage 9027 Credit – Lease Enhancement
Coverage 9031 Credit – Real Estate Owned

Crime

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9964 Crime – Employee Theft
Coverage 9965 Crime – Identity Recovery

Crop

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9070 Crop – Cannabis / Hemp
Coverage 9071 Crop – Other
Class 11250 Crop

Excess

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Class 99961 Excess – Umbrella (Excess over Excess / Excess over Umbrella)

General Liability (GL)

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9166 Gen Liab – Representations & Warranties
Coverage 9333 Gen Liab – Employee Benefit Liability
Coverage 9343 Gen Liab – Assault & Battery

Inlane Marine

New Codes

Type Code Description
Class 00315 Inland Marine – Bailed Cotton
Class 99940 Inland Marine - Excess

Med Mal

Formerly categorized as "Professional"

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9210 Med Mal – Hospital
Coverage 9220 Med Mal – Other Health Facility
Coverage 9230 Med Mal – Physicians, Surgeons, Dentists
Coverage 9240 Med Mal – Other Health Professionals

New Codes

Type Code Description
Class 44421 Medical Spas, Incl Weight Loss Clinics
Class 44428 Imaging Centers, Incl X-Ray, MRI, CT
Class 44427 Home Health Care (Incl Agencies)

Ocean Marine

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9080 Ocean Marine – Liability
Class 99944 Ocean Marine – Excess

Property

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage See separate guidance

Professional

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage See separate guidance
Class 81400 Prof – Lawyers
Class 93141 Prof – Law Enforcement Officer
Class 81500 Prof – Engineers or Architects

Special Events

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Class 00703 Special Event – Short Term (30 days or Less)

New Codes

Type Code Description
Class 00706 Special Event – Prize Indemnity

Miscellaneous

New Codes

Type Code Description
Coverage 9495 Patent / Intellectual Property Infringement
Class 94003 Patent / Intellectual Property Infringement

Non-Exclusive Class Codes (for property, liability, or crime)

Update to Existing Codes

Type Code Description
Class 41714 Day Care Centers, Child or Adult
Class 44100 Governmental Municipalities, Fire Department
Class 45192 Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfast, Resort
Class 60010 Apartments, Condos, Townhouses (Commercial Building)
Class 63213 Exhibitions, Incl Rodeo, Sporting Event, Entertainment
Class 88888 Commercial Group Property – Large Risk (Per TIC 2171 and 2152)
Class 99938 Warehouses and Storage Facilities

New Codes

Type Code Description
Class 44421 Medical Spas, Incl Weight Loss Clinics
Class 44428 Imaging Centers, Incl X-Ray, MRI, CT
Class 44427 Home Health Care (Incl Agencies)
Class 21250 Cannabis Dispensary

If you need assistance with the new coverage/ class codes, or you would like to schedule an individual training based on your agency’s lines of business, please contact the SLTX Tech Support team directly by email or phone at (800) 681-5848 (option 2).

The stamping office is here to provide aid and excellent customer service to all in our industry. If there are any questions or concerns, please utilize our  “Submit your Questions” page on our website.

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