State Urges Insurers: Cut Slack on Due Dates

Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling

The Alabama Department of Insurance this week asked insurers to offer flexibility to customers regarding cancellations or non-renewals amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling has requested that insurers work with consumers to relax due dates for premium payments, waive late fees and penalties and offer grace periods. Alabama, like many places, is under a state of emergency.

The guidance also suggests expanding coverage to personal vehicles of drivers delivering food, medicine and other essentials.

The bulletin calls on insurers to work with consumers and only consider cancellation of policies after exhausting all efforts to continue coverage.

Specifically, Ridling suggested these steps in the March 30 statement:

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  • Relaxing due dates for premium payments
  • Extending grace periods
  • Waiving late fees and penalties
  • Allowing premium payment plans which will avoid a lapse in coverage
  • Expanding automobile coverage to allow personal vehicles to be covered while delivering food, medicine or other essential services for commercial purposes

For their part, Ridling urged policyholders to notify their insurance carrier or producer about any difficulties complying with payment schedules.

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