Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Consumers

Life/Annuity/Credit Emergency Regulation FAQs

What is the Department doing to provide relief to consumers who are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
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On March 30, 2020, the New York State Department of Financial Services adopted an Emergency Regulation to provide relief to New York consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.  The Emergency Regulation, together with recent Executive Order 202.13 issued by Governor Cuomo, extend grace periods and give consumers other rights under their credit life insurance policy, credit disability insurance policy, credit unemployment insurance policy, life insurance policy, annuity contract, fraternal benefit society certificate, or group insurance or annuity contract certificate if they can demonstrate financial hardship or an inability to timely exercise rights or benefits as a result of COVID-19.

 
To which life insurance/annuity contract/credit insurance consumers do the Emergency Regulation and Executive Order apply?
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The Emergency Regulation and Executive Order apply to any individual or business entity to whom a life insurance policy, annuity contract, fraternal benefit society certificate, or certificate under a group life insurance policy or annuity contract is issued. They also apply to any individual or business entity to whom a credit life insurance, credit disability insurance, or credit unemployment insurance policy or certificate is issued.

What if I am unable to pay premiums or fees within the grace period set forth in the applicable policy, contract, or certificate?
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The Emergency Regulation and Executive Order extend to ninety (90) days the grace period for the payment of premiums and fees set forth in the policy, contract, or certificate if you demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 90-day extended grace period, the policy, contract, or certificate will not terminate due to non-payment of premium or fees.

Do the Emergency Regulation and Executive Order apply if I was already in a grace period on March 30, 2020?
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Yes. The extension applies to all in force policies, regardless of whether you were already in a grace period on March 30, 2020, if you demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. The existing grace period would be extended to ninety (90) days, measured from the premium or fee payment due date when the existing grace period started.

How much time will I have to repay overdue insurance payments?
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The Emergency Regulation provides that, if you failed to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, the insurer must give you the opportunity to repay such late premium in twelve (12) monthly installments if you can still demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. In that situation, the insurer cannot terminate the policy, contract, or certificate immediately after the expiration of the extended grace period based on your past failure to pay the premium due to financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

What if I am unable to exercise a right or benefit within the deadlines set forth in my policy, contract, or certificate due to COVID-19?
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The Emergency Regulation and Executive Order extend to ninety (90) days any time limits in your policy, contract, or certificate for the exercise of rights or benefits if you are unable to timely exercise rights or benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To receive the extension for payment of premiums and fees, how do I demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19?
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For purposes of the Emergency Regulation and Executive Order, you may submit to your insurance company a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement is not required to be notarized.

To receive the extension for exercising rights and benefits, how do I demonstrate that I am unable to timely exercise the right or benefit?
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For purposes of the Emergency Regulation and Executive Order, you may submit to your insurance company a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are unable to timely exercise the right or benefit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement is not required to be notarized.

How long do the Executive Order and Emergency Regulation last?
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The grace periods and rights set forth in the Executive Order and Emergency Regulation are currently in effect but temporary, though they may be extended further.  Please check this website for updates.