By Erin Thompson
Heads up to all our of Illinois drivers in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties!
With the recent flooding disaster, we wanted to let you know as of July 12 and until September 30, 2017, your policy has been protected from cancellation. We know that with these uncontrollable events, mail can be disrupted, displacement from homes or businesses occur, and other things simply take higher priority. So in an effort to remove any auto insurance worries during this disaster, we wanted to make sure you knew you were protected.
Below is the official bulletin declaring your policy protection. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Say Service Squad at 1-800-CALL-SAY. We hope everyone stays safe and recovers quickly!
Governor Bruce Rauner has declared Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties state disaster areas after significant flooding impacted these counties. Insurance consumers may experience disruption of mail delivery and displacement from their residences, businesses, and other properties due to the flooding.
To help provide safeguards and ensure Illinois consumers are not adversely affected by this disaster or suffer unnecessary hardship, all entities licensed or authorized to transact insurance business in this State are hereby requested to implement the safeguards listed below for all lines of business. These safeguards address problems consumers may face due to circumstances beyond their control. We hope these measures provide some peace of mind during the recovery process and help ensure that disaster victims do not lose important insurance coverage during the time they need it most.
Effective immediately, all insurers are requested to implement the following guidelines to govern treatment of all consumers affected by this disaster (“affected policyholders”), residing in or any property located in or around counties that have been declared disaster areas by Governor Bruce Rauner. Insurers need not file policy or rating manual changes to comply with any of the following directives.
- Moratorium on cancellations and nonrenewals. For any cancellation or nonrenewal notices issued on or after July 12, 2017, on any in-force policy issued to an affected policyholder or respecting affected property, insurers shall withdraw the cancellation or nonrenewal and reinstate the policy with no lapse in coverage. In addition, insurers shall not issue any new cancellation or nonrenewal notices to affected policyholders or for affected property until September 30, 2017, or a later time if deemed reasonable given an individual consumer's circumstance.
- Other insurance-related time-period extensions. Insurers are directed to grant to affected policyholders an extension of any and all policy provisions or other requirements that impose a time limit for an insured or claimant to perform any act, including the submission of a claim or proof of loss, reporting of information, submission of bills, or payment of funds. Such extension shall be for a minimum of 60 days from the last date allowed or required under the terms of the contract or allowed or required by the insurer, or longer if deemed reasonable given an individual consumer's circumstance.
- Time-period extension for repairs. In the event repairs on affected property cannot be completed within the time period required under any policy, or within the 90-day time period for repairs prior to termination due to condition of the property [215 ILCS 5/143.27], insurers shall provide consumers with an extension of not less than 60 days to make such repairs.
- Cancellation or nonrenewal respecting affected property. Although otherwise allowed under Illinois law, insurers are directed to refrain from canceling or nonrenewing insurance policies respecting affected property due to "increase in the risk originally accepted" [215 ILCS 5/143.21 and 143.21.1] or due to the geographic location of the risk [215 ILCS 5/155.22].
- Other exceptions. Insurers shall consider exceptions to policy or contract requirements, or to other rating or underwriting rules not otherwise listed, when such contractual requirements or rating or underwriting rules are not met as a result of this disaster. Exceptions to policy or contract requirements or rating or underwriting rules include instances where an insured is displaced from his or her home and is unable to obtain non-emergency medical services from a network provider.
- Websites. Insurers are directed to post on their websites all actions taken to implement the requirements of this bulletin.
- Availability of the Illinois DOI. Insurers must advise consumers of the availability of the DOI for filing a complaint regarding any disasterrelated dispute or issue. Consumers must be advised that they may call the toll-free complaint hotline at 1-866-445-5364, or file a complaint online at: https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf. These measures are to be implemented immediately, and the DOI expects that where insurers are guided by a "reasonableness" standard, they will err on the side of the consumer.
Posted July 21, 2017 in Say Insights.