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COVID-19 Update: Department of Insurance Bulletins Regarding Refunds & Business Interruption

To Our Valued Clients,

 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt personal and business lives, the California Department of Insurance has recently published a couple of bulletins, the links for which are provided below, and which address a combination of issues: 
  1. Their guidance to insurance companies to provide for premium refunds on various lines of business (home, auto, business, workers compensation, etc.) for potentially overstated or misclassified exposure as a result of shelter in place directives from the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Their guidance requiring all business interruption claims be fairly reported, handled and investigated by insurers, whether or not a policy contains an exclusion for an exposure like the COVID-19 pandemic or not.  Agents are not to dissuade and policyholders from filing claims and should encourage policyholders to do so 
With respect to premium refunds, insurance companies have been asked to issue refunds within 120 days of the date of the bulletin and, to the best of our knowledge, insurers are working on getting those rolled out, though they will vary in terms of timing as insurance companies act independently of one another.  Concerning business income losses, we continue to encourage any business impacted by a closure, slow down, or curtailment to file a claim with their respective insurance company for the loss of business income, irrespective of whether or not their policy contains an exclusion for an exposure or incident, like COVID-19.    Each insurance company’s claims department is responsible for reviewing, assessing, investigating and determining whether or not coverage exists. While agents may provide information from a policy, our duty is to continue to encourage the filing of claims and not to deter or dissuade policyholders from doing so.  Please reach out to us if we can be of assistance or directly contact your insurance company’s claim department, the number for which should be located on your policy. 
As our community and nation continue to be grapple with the impact of this pandemic, we remain committed to doing our best to provide our clients with information and resources to assist them in making it through this unprecedented challenge.  We hope that you will continue to abide by the various recommendations and State-wide order to shelter in place, practice physical distancing, wearing protective masks and gloves and to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this virus.
Refund Bulletin - http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2020/release038-2020.cfm
Business Income Bulletin - http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/2020/release039-2020.cfm
Jake Ice
Agency Principal