Thank you for your service on the front lines of engagement with COVID-19 while continuing to address our community’s ongoing healthcare needs. Please be assured we are here to support you, as your insurance agent, during this difficult time. We realize the challenges you face are evolving with each new day and we are working hard to assist you with your insurance and risk needs.
We specifically want to inform you that on March 30, 2020, following Executive Order No. 202.13 by the Governor of New York, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued an Emergency Regulation requiring insurers to grant premium payment relief to New York consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. That Emergency Regulation affords you certain protections, including the following:
Section 229.5. Premium repayment, demonstration of financial hardship, and voluntary cancellation
(a) An insurer shall permit a policyholder who did not make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a policyholder to whom the insurer issued a non¬payment cancellation notice prior to the effective date of the Executive Order, and who can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to pay such premium over a 12-month period. An insurer also shall:
(1) within ten business days following the promulgation of this Part, provide notice with each insurance premium bill of the provisions of this Part and a toll-free number that the policyholder may call to discuss billing and make alternative payment arrangements; and
(2) notify insurance producers and any third-party administrators with whom or which the insurer does business of the provisions of this Part.
(b) A licensed insurance producer who services an in-force life insurance policy, annuity contract, or fraternal benefit society certificate or who procured the property/casualty insurance policy for the property policyholder shall mail or deliver notice to the policyholder of the provisions of this Part and section 405.6 of Part 405 of Title 3 within ten business days following the promulgation of this Part.
(c) Solely for the purposes of this Part, an insurer shall accept a written attestation from a policyholder as proof of financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(d) Nothing shall prohibit a policyholder from voluntarily canceling an insurance policy or annuity contract.
In addition, if you financed your premium through a premium finance agency, that premium finance agency is also required to make certain accommodations under the Emergency Regulation via a new section 405.6 which has been added to Part 405 of Title 3.
We stand ready to answer any questions you might have and address any payment issues you are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, we thank you for your service.