Updated Thursday, April 23, 2020.
The new coronavirus and the disease associated with it (COVID-19) will certainly have some effect on property and casualty insurers. The extent of those effects will not become clear until well into the future.
Although the situation is evolving, several useful resources have already emerged that you can use to stay informed about the pandemic and make intelligent business decisions. To save you time, we’ve compiled a list of these resources and organized them into categories. We’ll add to this list as we find more information, and if you’ve found good sources, please send them to us so we can share them with others.
Where to find information specific to the insurance industry
There’s so much information online about the coronavirus that it can be difficult to find answers to specific insurance-related questions. These resources can help.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a page dedicated to resources and updates. You’ll find links to articles about insurance, supply chains, financial markets and more. Click on the “Resources” tab to find announcements from each state government.
- The National Law Review published a three-part series on issues for the insurance industry to consider amidst the pandemic:
- The National Law Review also has a topic page where you can search all its articles on the coronavirus.
- Fitch Ratings has two sites that offer useful information to insurers.
Some states are implementing orders affecting insurance companies
Washington state's Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) ordered property and casualty insurers to:
- Give policyholders a grace period for paying premiums.
- Waive late payment fees and reinstatement fees.
- Continue coverage unless a policyholder asks for a cancellation.
The OIC also surveyed insurance companies serving Washington state about the availability of pandemic event coverage under a business insurance policy. On April 17, the office issued a statement about the survey results.
Oregon's Department of Business and Consumer Services (DBCS) issued an order requiring all insurance companies to:
- Postpone policy cancellations and non-renewals.
- Extend grace periods for premium payments.
- Extend deadlines for reporting claims.
As scientists continue to look for ways to stop the novel coronavirus, WSRB will help keep you informed about how COVID-19 will affect the insurance industry.
What you need to know about the coronavirus as a business leader or owner
Insurance executives, agency principals, human resource managers and others need to stay informed about their responsibilities related to the coronavirus, their employees and workplaces.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a website covering how OSHA regulations apply to protecting workers from the coronavirus and guidance to help reduce risk of exposure in the workplace.
- The Washington State Employment Security Department created a page with information about programs for employers and workers affected by the coronavirus.
- The U.S. State Department has a website dedicated to travel advisories about the coronavirus pandemic as well as links to more details on travel restrictions in place in other countries.
- The Federal Trade Commission published an article on how cyber criminals are attempting to take advantage of the pandemic to scam people in multitude ways. Sharing this information with your employees could help them from becoming a victim.
Where to find general information about the coronavirus
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set up a website on the coronavirus that offers frequent updates on the pandemic and on the CDC’s response.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) also has a website offering updates and information about WHO’s response.
- The Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) set up a page all about the coronavirus that includes data on cases here in Washington, information about what to do if you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus and a phone number to call (1-800-525-0127) if you have questions. The WSDOH is staffing the call center from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
We encourage everyone to stay informed and make smart decisions, both personally and professionally. We will continue to assist by updating these resources and adding new ones.
Bryan Stanwood, CPCU, ARM, AIDA is WSRB’s Vice President and COO. He has 30 years of property and casualty insurance experience and extensive expertise in managing high-performing insurance sales and underwriting departments.