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California orders insurers to return premiums for reduced risk


California’s insurance commissioner issued an order Friday requiring insurers to return partial insurance premiums to consumers and businesses. This is the second such order issued to provide businesses with financial relief while shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s order requires insurers to provide an adjustment to the premium in the form of a premium credit, reduction, return of premium or other adjustment as soon as possible and no later than Aug. 11, 2020. The commissioner said the state’s Department of Insurance will validate each insurer’s plan so that refunds “are adequate and reflect the reduced risk.”

The order covers insurance lines including workers compensation, commercial automobile, commercial liability, commercial multiperil, medical malpractice and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the pandemic.

Mr. Lara’s first order to reevaluate insurance risks and return partial premiums was issued April 13.

The commissioner has also asked insurers to provide a grace period to policyholders to pay their premiums. On March 18, Mr. Lara requested that insurers work with financially struggling policyholders to provide a 60-day premium payment extension. He has since requested that insurers extend grace periods to 120 days for policyholders when possible.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.






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