Are you out of work because of the Corona Virus and not sure how you will be able to pay your auto insurance premiums? You are not alone as of April 2 2020 6.65 million people have applied for unemployment. Find out where you stand if your unable to pay your auto insurance premiums in the states of California, Oregon and Washington.
On March 19th 2020 Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice requesting auto insurance companies provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums. The Commissioner made the request to ensure policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. The Commissioner’s request is directed to all admitted and non-admitted insurance companies that provide any insurance coverage. You can see the Insurance Commissioner’s notice here. If you cannot afford to make your auto insurance payment during the corona virus pandemic call your company and ask about the 60 day grace period for your policy.
Commissioner Lara is also requesting that all insurance agents, brokers, and other licensees who accept premium payments on behalf of insurers take steps to ensure that customers have the ability to make prompt insurance payments, if and where possible. This includes alternate methods of payment, such as online payments, to eliminate the need for in-person payment methods in order to protect the health and safety of both workers and customers.
In addition, the Commissioner requested the assistance of all automobile insurers, producers, and other licensees transacting automobile insurance in California. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expirations beginning March 16, 2020, in order to have at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying conditions, avoid required visits to DMV field offices. There is no mention of drivers with suspended licenses requiring a SR22 Insurance Filing. You can see the Insurance Commissioner’s notice here.
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It requires all insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, and extend deadlines for reporting claims.
Insurance companies must take steps immediately to do the following until the order is no longer in effect:
- Institute a grace period for premium payments on all insurance policies issued in the state
- Suspend all cancellations and nonrenewals for active insurance policies
- Extend all deadlines for consumers to report claims and communicate about claims
- Provide consumers the ability to make premium payments and report claims while maintaining safe social distancing standards
Find more information here at the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered all property and casualty insurers in Washington state to take steps to make sure policyholders retain coverage for their homes, vehicles, other property and liability policies during Washington state’s coronavirus state of emergency. The order requires insurers that sell property and casualty policies in our state to do the following:
- Provide a grace period for policyholders to pay their insurance premiums.
- Waive fees related to any late payments, including late fees and reinstatement fees.
- Refrain from canceling any policy for nonpayment of premium, unless the policyholder requests the policy to be canceled.
The order will remain in effect for 45 days, until May 9, 2020. You can see the Insurance Commissioner’s order here.