A Message for Holders of Life Insurance Policies or Annuity Contracts

Dear Valued Customer,

A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations (the “regulations”) issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”), extends grace periods and gives you other rights under your life insurance policy or annuity contract if you can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus (“COVID‑19”) pandemic. These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further. Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus for updates.

A copy of the Executive Order and regulations can be found at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency  and https://www.dfs.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/re_consolidated_amend_pt_405_27a_27c_new_216_text.pdf, respectively.

Contractual Rights/Benefits – Period Extended to 90 Days

If you are unable to timely exercise your rights or benefits under your life insurance policy or annuity contract as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer must extend your applicable exercise period to 90 days.

How a Customer Can Demonstrate Financial Hardship

If you are unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit to your insurer a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the insurer shall accept as satisfactory proof. Such a statement is not required to be notarized.

Insurance Payments – Grace Period

If you can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer must extend to 90 days the applicable grace period for the payment of premiums and fees under your life insurance policy or annuity contract.  If you do 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.

Catching up on Overdue Insurance Payments

The regulations also require your insurer to permit you 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. This also applies if the insurer sent you a nonpayment cancellation notice before March 29, 2020.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Executive Order or regulations, please contact your insurer.