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California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara on Monday ordered insurers in the state to refund some March and April premium payments to policyholders for a range of personal and commercial lines due to COVID-19.
The notice ordered insurers to “make an initial premium refund for the months of March and April” to affected California policyholders as quickly as practicable and no later than within 120 days.
Lines where refunds are required include, commercial and personal auto, workers compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice and “any other line of coverage where the measures of risk have become substantially overstated as a result of the pandemic,” the notice said.
Insurers can offer premium credits, premium reductions, return of premiums of other “appropriate premiums adjustments” and must report their actions with 60 days, the notice said.
The department will send out a subsequent bulletin to insurers and provide appropriate instructions if the COVID-19 pandemic continues beyond May, the notice said.
The order follows announcements by various auto personal lines insurers and some small business insurers in various states that they would offer premium refunds or discounts to reflect decreases in miles driven and other risk-related changes stemming from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chubb Ltd. on Monday announced that small business policyholders whose policies renew between April 1 and August 1, 2020, will receive an automatic 25% reduction in the sales and payroll exposures used to calculate their premium as well as a 15% reduction in premiums for their commercial auto insurance.
In addition, Chubb will purchase $1 million in gift cards from small business clients, which will be donated to healthcare workers and other first responders on the front lines of the pandemic in their communities.
In addition, Selective Insurance Group Inc. on Monday announced it would give commercial and personal auto policyholders a 15% premium credit for April and May related to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.
More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.