The Arizona Department of Insurance is urging insurers across the state to work with Arizonans to ensure their coverage continues, providing much-need support to the individuals, families and businesses facing financial challenges because of COVID-19.
“Arizona is working to ensure those facing financial hardship because of COVID-19 get the support they need to get through this,” said Governor Ducey. “We have called on insurers across the state to work with consumers during this health emergency to make sure Arizonans do not lose the coverage they depend on. My thanks to the insurers already working with their customers in good faith to provide relief for people who need it.”
The request applies to all insurers providing coverage including life, health, motor vehicle, property, casualty and any type of insurance for individuals, groups and businesses.
In the letter, the Department urges insurers to provide customers relief, including:
Refraining from cancelling policies due to non-payment during this time of hardship;
Working with consumers on premium payment plans for late premium payments;
Waiving late fees, interest, and penalties;
Delaying premium increases;
Suspending the use of credit reports for rating;
Refraining from cancelling auto policies due to deferred expiration of driver’s license;
And extending time frames to undergo medical examinations.
Many insurers are already offering options and resources for consumers, and Arizonans are encouraged to connect with their insurance companies to learn more about their options during the state’s public health emergency.
The Department of Insurance is also making it easier for auto-insurers who have experienced savings due to less people being on the road, to offer rebates and premium credits to individuals to allow them to share in the savings and provide some additional financial assistance during this time.
View information on COVID-19, resources and volunteer opportunities at ArizonaTogether.org.
The financial challenges visited upon individuals and businesses due to COVID-19 are undeniable. The Arizona Department of Insurance is issuing Bulletin 2020-03 to express appreciation to insurers selling and renewing insurance coverage who have been mindful of the difficulties individuals and businesses in the State are experiencing.
We encourage all insurers to work with their insureds during this time so that coverage continues, policies do not lapse, and claimants have adequate time to fulfill requirements to obtain coverage/claim payment. We urge insurers to consider offering these and other types of relief:
1. Refraining from cancelling or non-renewing policies due to non-payment during this
time of hardship;
2. Granting a grace period for premium payments to be made when practicable, or
extending the time before nonpayment of premium triggers an applicable grace period;
3. Working with insureds on premium payment plans for late premium payments;
4. Waiving late fees, interest, and penalties;
5. Delaying premium increases;
6. Suspending the use of credit reports for rating;
7. Refraining from cancelling auto policies due to deferred expiration of driver’s license
pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-08;
8. Extending timeframes for health providers to submit claims;
9. Extending timeframes for policyholders to replace or repair in order to ensure recovery
of withheld depreciation; and
10. Extending timeframes to undergo medical examinations.
Insurers are encouraged to continue working with insureds after the public health emergency has ended or as long as reasonably practicable so insureds have time to recover.
The Department is urging Arizona insurance consumers to contact their insurance companies to learn what customer relief options are being offered during the public health emergency. Many insurers are already offering a variety of options, such as:
Extending premium payment timeframes and offering payment plans for many types of insurance
Waiving exclusions under personal auto policies for limited delivery of food, medicine or other essential goods
Making short term premium relief payments for personal and business policies
Waiving health insurance cost-share for COVID-19 treatment
Remotely adjusting property and casualty claims and premium audits to ensure social distancing
Insurers implementing COVID-19 related customer relief programs must make an Informational Filing in SERFF to document their programs. Customer relief programs described in the filing and implemented during the public health emergency will not be considered violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act, including ARS 20-452 Prohibited Inducements, so long as the insurer administers its customer relief programs in a uniform, consistent manner that does not result in unfair discrimination between eligible customers. Insurers must continue to handle claims in accordance with regulatory timeframes.
Questions regarding this Bulletin may be directed to Erin H. Klug, Assistant Director, Product Filing & Compliance Division, email@example.com.