The moratorium, while effective immediately, will be retroactive
to any cancellation notices issued from June 10. Additionally,
insurance companies are instructed to grant extensions for repairs
necessary to prevent cancellation. Finally, the companies are
ordered not to cancel policies for reasons of "increased risk" or
the geographic area where the policyholder lives.
"People are hurting, and the last thing they need to worry about
is having their insurance policies canceled during this very
difficult time," Blagojevich said. "We hope these measures will give
Illinois families some peace of mind as they struggle to recover
In addition to preventing cancellation of homeowners' policies,
the bulletin requires health insurance companies to be lenient if
patients must use "out of network" providers due to disruptions in
health care services.
The bulletin also requires insurance companies to post
information about this moratorium on their own sites on the Web and
ensure their customers are aware of the temporary guidelines.
Illinois families with questions about their insurance coverage can
call the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional
Regulation Division of Insurance at 866-445-5364.
The text of the bulletin follows:
As a result of the current and imminent flooding disaster in the
State of Illinois, insurance consumers may experience disruption of
mail delivery and displacement from their residences, businesses,
and other properties.
To help provide safeguards for consumers and to ensure that
Illinois consumers affected by flooding do not suffer unnecessary
hardship, all entities licensed or authorized to transact insurance
business in this State ("insurers") are hereby directed to implement
the safeguards listed below for all lines of business. These
safeguards address problems consumers will face due to circumstances
that make it difficult for consumers to take normal action required
by policy language or otherwise required by insurers. 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 directed to implement the
following guidelines to govern treatment of all consumers affected
by this disaster ("affected policyholders"), including but not
limited to those residing in or any property located in counties
that have been declared to be disaster areas by Governor Rod R.
Blagojevich or President George W. Bush ("affected property").
Insurers need not file policy or rating manual changes in order to
comply with any of the following directives.
. For any
cancellation or nonrenewal notice issued on or after June 10,
2008 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 August 18, 2008, 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
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. 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.
Time-period extension for 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].
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
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.
Insurers that receive inquiries from
Medicare beneficiaries regarding disaster-related health care
delivery disruptions shall provide such beneficiaries with the
latest available Medicare information (updates and information are
available on the Division of Insurance ("Division") website (http://www.idfpr.com/))
or refer them to the Division's Senior Health Insurance Program's
toll-free number at 1-800-548-9034.
Insurers are directed to post on their
websites all actions taken to implement the requirements of this
shall advise Illinois consumers of the availability of the Division
for filing a complaint regarding any disaster-related dispute or
issue. Consumers shall be advised that that they may call the
Division's toll-free complaint hotline at 1-866-445-5364, or file a
complaint online at:
Availability of the Illinois Division of Insurance
These measures are to be implemented immediately. It is my
expectation that where insurers are guided by a "reasonableness"
standard, they will err on the side of the consumer. It is also my
sincere hope that all insurers in this State will assist consumers
during this time of need.
Any insurer that is unable or unwilling to comply with these
directives must inform the Division in writing of the reason(s) for
its inability or unwillingness to comply no later than June 25,
2008. Any such written notice of non-compliance shall be sent by
overnight courier to: C.J. Metcalf, 320 W. Washington Ave.,
Springfield, Illinois, 62767.
In addition, where permitted by law, the Division will consider
exceptions to related insurer requirements. For example, the
Division will consider grace periods relating to renewal and
cancellations for all licensees, certificate holders and registrants
who are affected by this disaster. In order to receive such
consideration, insurers must send a written request to: C.J.
Metcalf, 320 W. Washington Ave., Springfield, Illinois, 62767.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]