COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - INSURANCE RESOURCE CENTER
Updated: May 13, 2020
While information is changing rapidly, we will do our best to post the most up-to-date information here.
First and foremost, we remain committed to you and helping you through these next few trying weeks.
We will get through this together.
New York’s Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave
Governor Cuomo signed this bill on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Carriers are still working their way through the bill and assess how to best implement.
This bill is now providing access to disability benefits for employees through employer's DBL policies. You can read more about it here
Many of our clients are familiar with ShelterPoint Insurance for their Disability Coverage. They've compiled a resource page here.
The resource page is full of FAQ's.
Claims forms and a breakdown of who is eligible can be found here
The New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) has created a COVID-19 response page to help businesses and workers respond. Employers can reach out to amend their payroll for premium relief. Employees can help determine their eligibility for benefits.
05/01/20 - New Classification for Idled Employees. The NY Compensation Insurance Rating Board announced that employers who are paying employees sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic will pay a less-expensive rate for Workers' Compensation insurance
code 8873, Telecommuter Reassigned Employees was introduced to mirror the rate classification 8810 (clerical office employees). This provision is applicable at the start of new York's say-at-home order and for up to 30 days after its conclusion
Carriers are offering accommodations to those needing financial assistance, many offering deferred payment schedules. For your security, we cannot make these changes. You must contact your insurance carrier directly to make these amendments to your policy.
Auto Insurance - Helpful FYI
During this economic upheaval, some of you may be thinking of taking your vehicle off the road. New York State Law requires that if you have plates on your vehicle, you must have insurance in place. If you are going to return your plates to the DMV to cancel your car insurance, we suggest taking out a Named-Non-Auto policy in the interim. These policies are relatively inexpensive and allow you to maintain your continuous insurance discount for when you are ready to put your car back on the road.
If you have Business Interruption on your policy, the New York State Department of Financial Services has directed carriers to issue you a clarification on when this coverage is triggered. Business Income Interruption coverage is intended to help businesses recover after a covered physical loss to their business. If you have not received this notice or have questions on it, please reach out to us.
As a reminder, our office does not determine coverage. If you would like to file a Business Interruption claim, you may do so by contacting our office or carrier directly.
**Update 04/13/20* BI coverage has been in the news quite a bit lately. Read this article in response to President Trump's recent request for comment on Business Interruption insurance: https://www.iamagazine.com/news/read/2020/04/13/business-interruption-insurance-takes-center-stage-at-white-house
Business Owners - How to lower your premium without cancelling your insurance
The last thing you need during this time is a lapse in insurance leaving you vulnerable to a covered loss.
Request to have your payroll/sales exposure reduced (not all carriers are doing this at this point, but it does not hurt to ask)
Increase your deductible
If inventory has been reduced, consider lower business personal property
Call the carrier for payment assistance
On March 19, 2020, The New York State Department of Financial Services issued Circular Letter No. 7 (2020) urging all regulated entities to do their part to alleviate the adverse effect caused by COVID-19 on those consumers and small businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
Specifically, the DFS has requested that insurers take reasonable and prudent actions to support affected New Yorkers:
Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments at no cost, extending payment due dates, or waiving late or reinstatement fees, when consumers are unable to make timely payments of premium or fees due to COVID-19-related disruptions.
Working with consumers to avoid cancellation of insurance policies for: A) failure to pay premiums on time, B) discovery of acts or omissions that may have increased the hazard insured against, or C) physical changes in the property insured subsequent to issuance or last renewal that results in the property no longer meeting the insurer’s underwriting standards.
Working with consumers to avoid nonrenewal of insurance policies when a consumer fails to timely respond to a nonrenewal notice.
Increasing resources as necessary to accommodate increased claim submissions and increased inquiries from consumers about policy coverage benefits, including reviewing staffing plans to ensure that sufficient personnel are available to field claim submissions or inquiries and are informed on the most up-to-date developments relating to COVID-19.
Preparing clear and concise descriptions of coverage benefits that may be triggered as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, which should be posted prominently on insurance company and producer websites and sent in response to policyholder inquiries.
Alerting consumers to the heightened risk of scams and price gouging during financial disruptions, and reminding consumers to contact their insurance providers before purchasing unsolicited insurance policies or changing the terms of current insurance policies.
Ensuring that consumers do not experience a disruption of service if regulated entities close their offices, including making available other avenues for consumers to continue to manage their products and to submit inquiries and claims.
Providing flexibility regarding proof of death, disability, or other condition that triggers benefits under life insurance policies or annuity contracts.
Providing consumers with information and timely access to all medically necessary covered health care services, including testing and treatment for COVID-19, in accordance with all applicable DFS guidance, including DFS Guidance on Preparedness for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and DFS Guidance on Coronavirus and Telehealth Services.
Proactively reaching out to customers via app announcements, text, email, or otherwise to explain the above-listed assistance being offered to consumers.