Due to the unprecedented and extraordinary impact of the COVID-19 emergency, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued multiple Public Health Orders (collectively “Orders”) which have limited normal business activities.
The Colorado Division of Insurance has issued a Bulletin No. B-5.38 (“Bulletin”) that directs all insurance companies issuing coverage to commercial policyholders to make reasonable accommodations to prevent businesses from losing coverage due to cancellation for the non-payment of premium during this unprecedented time.
Reasonable accommodations include, but not be limited to
- Extension of premium grace periods;
- Waiver of late payment fees;
- A moratorium on cancellations for non-payment;
- Defer any non-renewal underwriting actions; and,
- Provide a continuation of coverage for any expiring policy.
Such accommodations are available to the policyholder as long as the Orders are in effect or until the Bulletin is rescinded, whichever is later.
The State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has issued Bulletin No. 20-15 (“Bulletin”) that requires insurance companies to extend grace periods and give policyholders additional rights under property/casualty insurance policies.
- Affected policyholders may elect a 90-day emergency grace period to begin retroactively on April 1, 2020 or opt for the grace period to begin on May 1, 2020. During this extended grace period your policy will not be cancelled for nonpayment of premium.
- Premiums due but not paid during the 90-day period can be paid over the remainder of the current policy term or up to 12 months in up to 12 equal installments, whichever is longer.
- If you do not make a timely premium payment during the 90-day period, insurers will waive any late payment fees, avoid reporting late payments to credit rating agencies, and ensure that late payments during the 90-day period are not considered in any future premium calculations at any time.
This grace period is intended to be applied to all installment payments, including renewal down payments, provided that you provide notice to your insurer that you wish to continue coverage. It is not intended to change the terms of the issued policy or be considered a forgiveness of the premium.
These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/ for updates and a copy of the Bulletin.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has issued Executive Order No. 202.13 (“Emergency Order”) to extend grace periods and give small business policyholders additional rights under property/casualty insurance policies if they can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 (“Affected Policyholder”).
A business qualifies as a “small business”, if it is a resident in New York State, is independently owned and operated, and employs 100 or fewer individuals.
A small business can demonstrate financial hardship in a statement swearing or affirming in writing under penalty of perjury that it is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19. Such statement is not required to be notarized.
- There is a moratorium for Affected Policyholders on insurers cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing a property/casualty insurance policy for a period of 60 days.
- If an Affected Policyholder does not make a timely premium payment, insurers may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment any may not report the policyholder to a credit-reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment.
- Affected Policyholders may pay the overdue premium over a 12-month period. This also applies if the insurer sent a nonpayment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.
These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus for updates.
The Governor of the State of Oklahoma has issued a Declaration of Emergency in Executive Order 2020-07 issued March 15, 2020.
The Department of Insurance has issued Bulletin PC 2020-01 (“Bulletin”) directing all property and casualty carriers providing coverage to Oklahoma residents to take the following immediate measures related to the potential impact of COVID-19.
- Property and casualty carriers shall extend any applicable grace period for nonpayment of premium by forty-five (45) days. This grace period extension does not relieve an insured of the obligation to pay premiums but merely is a deferral of the payment due date. This provision is also applicable to premium financing arrangements.
- Property and casualty carriers shall suspend all claims reporting deadlines for the duration of the emergency declaration and extend all policyholder rights or benefits related to deadlines until 90 days after the state of emergency ends.
These provisions are in effect until the Declaration of Emergency is no longer in place.
Please check the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s website at https://www.oid.ok.gov/covid-19/ for updates and copies of the Executive Orders and Bulletins.