Yes, the Governor Deemed Insurance an Essential Business - No, That Does Not Mean Your Agency Must Stay Open

    Posted by MAIA on March 24, 2020

    In our March 23rd Special Bulletin, we reported Governor Baker’s decision to include “insurance services” among the list of “essential” businesses that are exempt from his mandatory shutdown order. This announcement generated many questions from members, and we want to clarify some key points about what the order DOES and DOES NOT mean:

    • The Governor ordered all “non-essential” businesses to be physically closed – with the ability to continue to operate remotely. This order was issued by the Governor of Massachusetts. 
    • The Governor included “Insurance Services” on the list of “essential” businesses, meaning insurance carriers and agencies are exempt from the mandatory
    • Being deemed essential does NOT mean your agency must remain physically open, but it leaves the option open for an insurance agency to conduct business during the state of emergency.
    • If the entity CHOOSES to open, it is up to the insurance agency/carrier to determine how they will operate based on their own personal judgment, business needs, and capabilities. Considerations include whether to work remotely, in the physical office, or a combination of the two; whether to allow customers to physically come in the office; and whether employees will work remotely or in the office.
    • The order does NOT address employee compensation. Employment matters are governed by state and federal labor laws and agency-specific employment policies/agreements. For more information, read: Workplace Impacts of Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

    As a reminder, MAIA is not a regulatory body and does not make the rules. We work hard to bring our members timely, useful information and insights. MAIA special bulletins and publications are meant to inform our members about relevant news, laws and regulations but should not be considered legal or tax advice.

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    We are here for you! MAIA and the Number One Insurance Agency are working remotely and open for business during our regular hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Please view this Staff Directory for all of our emails and direct dial numbers. For the latest information regarding our industry and COVID-19, please visit our MAIA COVID-19 Resource Page

    Topics: The Massachusetts Agent, Government Affairs, 2020, COVID-19

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