Washington Updates

March 25, 2020—Washington State Insurance Commissioner orders all insurers to give grace periods, halt cancelations until May 9, with the option to extend

The emergency order pertains to both admitted and non-admitted property insurance.

March 25, 2020—Washington State Insurance Commissioner Advisory Notice for Claims handling regarding COVID-19 disruption to businesses and loss of business income, read more.

The notice reads:

“When you are contacted by an insured regarding a claim under their policy, I fully expect that you will follow the minimum standard of claims handling regulations found in WAC 284-30-330 through WAC 284-30-380.

This includes implementing a prompt investigation and fully disclosing all pertinent benefits and coverages of the insurance policy under which the claim is presented.

If a claim is denied, the Insurer must provide a written communication to their insured that cites the specific policy provision, condition, or exclusion that is the basis of the denial.

When a claim is accepted, the Insurer will promptly pay what it owes as soon as it knows a payment is owed under the policy.”

Oregon Updates

March 25, 2020—Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order from March 25 through April 23, 2020, with the option to extend.

The emergency order applies to all insurers including property, casualty, auto, life, health, and all other lines of insurance.

The statement read as follows:

“The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a temporary emergency order today 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Insurance companies must take steps immediately to do the following until the order is no longer in effect: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”

Montana Updates

March 26, 2020—Montana Commissioner Matt Rosendale sent a letter to all insurance companies across all lines of business recommending several steps the industry can take to ease the burden on consumers during this challenging time. Read the letter here.