We hope you and your ministry are safe and finding creative ways to minister during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many new stressors during these times. We hope this information can help relieve a small bit of that stress. Please be sure to read this post in its entirety.
60 Day Moratorium on Policy Cancellations
We are want to inform you of an Executive Order issued by Gov. Cuomo and how this may be of help to your ministry if you should need it. This Executive Order states that in the state of New York, there is a moratorium on your insurance company cancelling your insurance policy for a period of 60 days, even if premiums are not paid. This Executive Order was put in place to protect policyholders due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to this point, individual insurance companies have employed varied responses in how to handle cancellation issues due to non-payment of premiums associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and tried to work with policyholders on a case by case basis. This was difficult for policyholders. This Executive Order has put all insurance companies on the same page and helped bring clarity and a definitive 60-day moratorium on cancellations for your policy.
This means that insurance companies will not be cancelling your policy during this time, regardless of whether you receive a cancellation notice or not. If a policyholder does not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment or report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment.
The goal is to try to keep ministries protected during this 60-day window as the pandemic has put a strain on ministries from various angles. The Executive Order does not state that the insurance premiums are forgiven, but only that policyholders cannot be cancelled during this period even if they have not paid. We understand that ministry budgets are being squeezed at this time and hope this can be a small help.
Catching up on Overdue Insurance Payments
Please note that we are encouraging ministry clients to pay insurance premiums due if they are able to do so at this time. This is due to the fact that this moratorium is not forgiving or erasing premiums that would be due the insurance company. Instead, it is allowing repayment in the future using a catchup period over the next twelve months.
The regulations require your insurance company to permit you, as an affected policyholder, to pay the overdue premium over a 12-month period if you did not make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have already paid your insurance premium or are able to pay your insurance premium there is no further action required at this time.
If you are not able to pay your insurance premium at this time, please contact us for assistance. If a ministry cannot pay premiums due to COVID-19 financial hardship, there is a simple process. The Executive Order states that policyholders can just attest that they are having financial difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are asking our ministry clients who are unable to pay to contact Emery & Webb and advise that they cannot pay their premium due to financial hardship from COVID-19. Our team will simply ask for an email or other written notice attesting to the COVID-19 financial hardship. We will keep this written attestation on file for the client and then also be able to communicate this information to their insurance company.
If you would like to review the Executive Order, a copy of the Executive Order can be found at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency