SALEM, Ore. — Oregonians in midst of the current public health crisis due to coronavirus shouldn't lose their insurance for late payments, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said on Wednesday after issuing a temporary emergency order.
The order "requires all insurance companies to extend grace periods for premium payments, postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, and extend deadlines for reporting claims," the agency said.
The new coronavirus and the state's response to prevent its spread has caused thousands of Oregonians to lose their jobs, forced businesses to close, and has otherwise put a damper on local economies as people increasingly stay home. This has impacted many people's ability to make insurance payments, report claims, or otherwise keep in contact with insurers.
“During this crisis, we must all do our best to help Oregonians focus on staying healthy, care for their families, and prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner. “Many of our insurers have already stepped up and done the right thing. This order will ensure every Oregonian who needs it has relief from these insurance policy terms, giving them a measure of security and stability.”
According to the state's order, insurance companies must take steps immediately to do the following until the order is no longer in effect: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
The order is effective immediately, and will be in force through at least April 23. The state said that if necessary, the department may extend the duration of this temporary order.
If Oregonians have questions or concerns about their insurance company or agent, they can contact the department’s advocacy team at 888-877-4894 (toll free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov for more information or to file a complaint.