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Illinois Policyholders Impacted by Recent Flooding (Effective July 17, 2017-Sept. 30, 2017)

The Illinois Department of Insurance has issued Company Bulletin 2017-03 on July 17, 2017, to suspend cancellations and nonrenewals in disaster-related areas. Governor Bruce Rauner has declared Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties state disaster areas after significant flooding impacted these counties. To provide safeguards and ensure Illinois consumers do not suffer adverse effects or unnecessary hardship following this disaster, effective immediately, all insurers are requested to implement the following guidelines. These guidelines should govern treatment of all consumers (“affected policyholders”) residing in or around counties that Governor Bruce Rauner has declared disaster areas.

  • Moratorium on cancellations and nonrenewals: Insurers shall withdraw any cancellations or nonrenewal notices on any in-force policies issued to affected policyholders and/or property on or after July 12, 2017. In addition, insurers shall not issue any new cancellation or nonrenewal notices to affected policyholders and/or property until September 30, 2017 — or a later time if deemed reasonable given an individual’s circumstance.
  • Other insurance-related time-period extensions: Insurers should grant affected policyholders extensions on any and all policy provisions or other requirements imposing time limits for an insured or claimant to perform any act, including: submitting a claim or proof of loss, reporting information, submitting bills or paying funds. Such extensions shall be 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’s circumstance.
  • Time-period extension for repairs: In the event affected property repairs cannot be completed within the policy’s required time period, or within the 90-day time period prior to termination because of the property’s condition [215 ILCS 5/143.27], insurers shall provide consumers an extension of at least 60 days.
  • Cancellation or nonrenewal respecting affected property: Unless otherwise allowed under Illinois law, insurers should refrain from cancelling 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 risk’s geographic location [215 ILCS 5/155.22].
  • Other exceptions to policy or contract requirements or rating or underwriting rules: Insurers shall consider exceptions to policy or contract requirements, or to other rating or underwriting rules not otherwise listed herein, when such contractual requirements or rating or underwriting rules are not met due to this disaster. Exceptions to policy or contract requirements or rating or underwriting rules include instances when an insured is displaced from his or her home and cannot obtain non-emergency medical services from a network provider.
  • Availability of the Illinois Department of Insurance: To file a complaint regarding disaster-related disputes or issues, consumers may call the toll-free complaint hotline at 866-445-5364 or file a complaint online at: https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf.

Arkansas Policyholders Impacted by Recent Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Floods (May 5, 2017)

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has requested a major disaster declaration for Arkansas counties impacted by severe storms, tornadoes and floods beginning April 27, 2017, including Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Cross, Drew, Faulkner, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, Newton, Ouachita, Perry, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff and Yell Counties. The Arkansas Insurance Department issued Bulletin No. 5-2017 and amended Bulletins No. 5-2017A and No. 5-2017B to assist Arkansas policyholders to overcome these obstacles, the department is hereby issuing a 60 day moratorium on the cancellation/nonrenewal of policies for nonpayment of premiums for Arkansans residing in disaster counties. This moratorium shall apply to all insurance policies issued in impacted areas. This moratorium extension is not automatic.

To be eligible for the 60 day moratorium, interested policyholders must request this extension from their insurance carriers and must have suffered significant property damage, injuries or related loss of life as a result of the storms. The 60 day moratorium period, where requested by the policyholder, shall commence effective April 27, 2017 to June 27, 2017. Read more.

Missouri Policyholders Impacted by Recent Flooding (May 5, 2017)

Due to the state of emergency declared by Missouri Governor Eric R. Greitens in Executive Order 17-17, the Missouri Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 17-04 on May 4, 2017, requesting all insurers licensed in the state to provide a cancellation grace period to policyholders who resided in a county impacted by the historic flooding which began on April 28, 2017.

This DOI bulletin was issued in response to recent flooding in the state which may affect a policyholder’s ability to timely act or respond to an insurer. The DOI is requesting that all licensed insurers allow coverage to remain in effect for policyholders impacted by the flooding, or to give policyholders a cancellation grace period or more time to pay premiums. Insurer’s continue to have the ability to cancel policies based on fraud or policyholder’s failure to pay premiums within a reasonable time after May 30, 2017. Also, insurers may continue any existing automatic payment deductions or electronic transfer arrangement until the policyholder cancels the arrangement. Read more.

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Directive for Wildfire and Severe Weather in Southeast Tennessee Impacted Area Effective Dec. 2, 2016-Feb. 5, 2017

To help provide safeguards for consumers and to ensure that Tennessee consumers affected by the wildfire disaster and the Nov. 29 severe weather in Southeast Tennessee do not suffer unnecessary hardship, every reasonable effort to assist policyholders who have experienced losses as result of these wildfires and the Nov. 29 severe weather will be taken into consideration. The TCDI Directives 16-01 for Wildfire Impacted Areas 16-02 for Tennessee Severe Weather requests that insurers suspend cancellations or nonrenewals of policies for the nonpayment of premium for a period of at least sixty (60) days from the date of the loss of those policyholders who have suffered property damage, injuries, or loss of life as a result of the catastrophic events. This 60-day extension does not constitute a waiver of the policyholder’s obligation to pay premium.

If a delay in premium payment appears to be the result of a disruption to the mail delivery system or of the policyholder’s displacement due to the severe wildfires, EMC will work with the policyholder and take those circumstances into account before cancelling a policy.

Oklahoma DOI Answers Earthquake Coverage Questions

Earthquakes have recently become more common in Oklahoma, and residents want to know more about earthquake coverage. Read more information on the Oklahoma DOI site.

Third-Party Payment Warning (Sept. 29, 2016)

Recently, some policyholders discovered a third-party payment provider called Doxo that allows policyholders to make payments to many companies, including EMC Insurance Companies, through the provider’s website (www.doxo.com) or corresponding mobile app. If the policyholder does an online search for EMC’s online bill payment system and is not careful to select www.emcins.com, he or she could easily select the Doxo payment site.

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EMC does not partner with third-party payment vendors. EMC policyholders are advised to be aware of the risks of making payments through third-party payment providers.

Risks of Using Third-Party Payment Providers

  • Some third-party providers charge transaction fees
  • Submitted payments may not be immediately posted to policyholders’ accounts
  • Delay in payment could cause a lapse in coverage or other problems

Avoid Payment Problems
If you choose to submit payments to EMC electronically, please enroll in automatic electronic funds transfer (EFT) or select Make a Payment on the emcins.com homepage (shown below). Learn more about your payment options by selecting one of the following:

Personal lines payment options
Commercial lines payment options

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Insurance Advice for Eastern Iowa Flood Victims

On Sept. 28, 2016, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) offered insurance advice for Eastern Iowa flood victims. Read more.

Iowa DOI Issues Bulletin 16-01 for Insurance Consumers Impacted by Flooding

On Sept. 26, 2016, the Iowa Department of Insurance issued Bulletin No. 16-01 requesting insurance companies to allow coverage to remain in effect for any Iowa policyholder who resides in a county where a disaster has been declared and who has had their ability to timely act or respond to an insurer materially affected by the flood. For personal lines customers, a 60-day grace period will be in effect starting Sept. 26, 2016, during which a policyholder can take necessary actions to pay insurance premiums before cancellation or nonrenewal becomes effective. The impacted counties are Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Delaware, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Linn, Mitchell, Worth and Wright.

Indiana DOI Issues Moratorium Bulletin for Lead-Impacted Area

Effective Sept. 14, 2016, the Indiana Department of Insurance issued Bulletin No. 234, due to the lead-contaminated soil in East Chicago, Ind. A 60-day moratorium for cancellation/nonrenewal of any insurance policy is in effect for any policyholder directly affected by the East Chicago event residing within the impacted areas, and a suspension of any penalty attached to late payments. This moratorium will apply retroactively to July 28, 2016, the day the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mailed letters to some individuals in the impacted areas. However, if a policy is to be canceled or nonrenewed for any other allowable reason, the cancellation or nonrenewal may be made in accordance with statutory notice requirements. This 60-day lead-contaminated soil moratorium is not a waiver, it is only an extension of the period in which to pay the premium. After 60 days, the policyholder will have to resume making premium payments.

Disaster Reality Check (Sept. 15, 2016)

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging property owners to take a “Disaster Reality Check” regarding their preparedness and ability to recover from a natural disaster or other emergency. Read more.

Indiana DOI Issues Moratorium Bulletin After Tornadoes

The Indiana Department of Insurance has issued Bulletin No. 233 requesting insurance companies to implement a 60-day moratorium for the cancellation or nonrenewal of any insurance policy in effect for any policyholder who was directly impacted by the tornadoes and storms occurring during the weeks of Aug. 15, 2016 and Aug. 22, 2016. While the moratorium took effect on Aug. 26, 2016, the DOI expects carriers to apply the moratorium retroactively to the day before the disaster events. The Indiana Department of Insurance wants insurance carriers to give policyholders who were directly impacted by the storms up to 60 days in which to pay insurance premiums before cancelling or nonrenewing their policies. Indiana counties currently impacted by this moratorium are Allen, Howard, Miami, Montgomery and St. Joseph.

Flood Warnings (July 14, 2016)

Kansas: Woodson County in southeastern Kansas.

Kentucky: Warnings continue for the Green River at Paradise, Ky., until Saturday evening when the water should go below flood stage.

Minnesota: The Mississippi River at Aitkin affecting Aitkin and Crow Wing counties. The Mississippi River near Fort Ripley affecting Morrison and Crow counties. Flooding is forecast for the Snake River near Pine City. Kanabec County in east Central Minnesota and southeastern Mille Lacs County in east Central Minnesota.

Missouri: The Blackwater River near Blue Lick affecting Cooper and Saline counties.

Wisconsin: Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in eight Wisconsin counties on July 12 in response to the flooding in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Sawyer and Washburn counties.

Colorado Active Wildland Fires (July 11, 2016)

Colorado is experiencing active wildland fires. Areas currently affected are listed below:

Cold Springs Fire: A wildland fire was sparked on Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Boulder County. The Cold Springs fire is located two miles northeast of Nederland, which is west of Boulder. This fire has charred more than 600 acres with zero percent containment. As of July 11, authorities said nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated.

Hayden Pass Fire: Located near Highway 50 and CR 6, and into the mountains in Fremont County. This fire has charred more than 5,000 acres with zero percent containment. Evacuations are in place.

Beaver Creek Fire: Located west of Walden, Colo. This fire has charred more than 15,290 acres with five percent containment. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Notice to Navajo County, Arizona

On June 21, 2016, Arizona Governor Douglas Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency for the wildfires in Navajo County.

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Wildfire Reality Check: Quick Tips on How to Prepare Your Finances

Disaster Preparedness Consumer Alert

The Insurance Division of the Department of Business Regulation distributed a consumer alert on June 13, 2016, on disaster preparedness in order to make filing a claim easier after a storm.

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