Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has hit California extremely hard. Since the outbreak, there have been many questions from clients regarding what kind of impact the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on the ability of policyholders to maintain and utilize their insurance policies. While the situation continues to change from day to day, on April 3, 2020, the California Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara, issued a “NOTICE RE: Extension of Policyholder Deadlines that Impact Claims or Coverage Due to the current State of Emergency Caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak” as an effort to protect policyholders during these uncertain times.
Commissioner Lara has instructed all insurance companies to stop enforcing policy or statutory deadlines on policyholders for claims or coverage until 90 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency has ended. The notice states, “Commissioner Lara now finds it necessary to issue this Notice to protect policyholders from losing, limiting, or waiving policy benefits, as a result of the current national state of emergency.”
This Notice quickly follows Commissioner Lara’s March 18, 2020 Notice, which requested all insurance companies to provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums. This is an action taken by the Commissioner to ensure policies are not canceled for nonpayment of premium due to the national COVID-19 public health emergency.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is a circumstance beyond anyone’s control, it is comforting that the California Department of Insurance is working to protect your ability to maintain and use your insurance policies. If you have a problem with a claim under your disability, life, health, accidental death, ERISA or long-term care insurance matter, please contact us.
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Tags: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Department of Insurance, insurance, grace period, deadlines