The deadlines for insurance claims are rapidly approaching, especially for people still waiting on their Hurricane Irma claims and the California 2018 wildfires, along with other claims. The coronavirus has led to stay home orders all over the country, making it difficult in some areas for someone to continue fighting an insurance company over a claim. This is especially true if the claim is now in legal proceedings since non-essential court cases have been suspended for the time being.
With this in mind, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) called on state insurance commissioners across the country to extend the deadlines on insurance claims, “including deadlines dealing with sworn statements required for a proof of loss, replacement costs, construction restrictions, examinations taken under oath, claims reporting and miscellaneous arbitrary deadlines.”
President of NAPIA, Jeff O’Connor said in a statement: “Due to the catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 to the entire population and specifically insureds, insurance companies, adjusters, investigators and every vendor associated with representing the insured or insurance companies, NAPIA urgently requests your response be broadened to further protect property owners.
“While a few states have included the property claims process in their COVID-19 responses, many have not. Today, we ask you to consider extending insurance claim deadlines for property insurance claims and to clarify with more specificity in bulletins that lack clarity as to their scope. The reason for the request stems largely from the combined logistical challenges presented in the claims process requiring physical examination of loss, possible illness of stakeholders and convalescence period all nearing the season for increased property claims due to weather-related events.”
Some States Respond
Some states have extended deadlines, either before or after O’Connor’s statement, including Oregon, California, Texas, Maryland, and North Carolina, but until more states get on board with this, many homeowners may face challenges getting their claims resolved by their approaching deadlines.
California asked insurance companies to relax deadlines by at least 90 days after the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency has ended. This is following the California Department of Insurance saying they have “received complaints from consumers and local and state officials that certain residential property insurance companies are insisting that insureds (who suffered losses in the November 2018 wildfires) must continue to repair and rebuild their homes during the COVID-19 crisis to obtain full replacement cost and Additional Living Expense (ALE) benefits.” With the stay home order, many homeowners cannot even get a construction crew to continue working on their homes right now.
With California calling for this extension partially because of an event that was declared a state of emergency at that time, perhaps this will help encourage Florida to extend their deadline for Hurricane Irma insurance claims.
Taking the time to send your local insurance commissioner a letter on this subject to help show them that the people want and need insurance companies to extend their deadlines may be helpful!
Jackson, James. “State Calls on Property Insurance Companies to Push Back Fire Claim Deadlines.” NBC Bay Area, NBC Bay Area, 3 Apr. 2020, www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/consumer/state-calls-on-property-insurance-companies-to-push-back-fire-claim-deadlines/2267183/.
NAPIA. “NAPIA Asks State Insurance Commissioners to Extend Deadlines for Insurance Claims.” Get RSS 20, Naylor Association Management Software, 31 Mar. 2020, www.napia.com/blog_home.asp?display=30.