Insurance commissioner commends state of emergency modification

March 30, 2020

In consultation with the Delaware Department of Insurance, Gov. John Carney issued a sixth modification to the state of emergency March 24 that requires that insurers cease cancellations or nonrenewals of insurance policies due to nonpayment throughout the duration of the declared Delaware State of Emergency for those residents and business owners who are experiencing a loss of income. 

In declaring a public health emergency earlier, the governor specified that health insurers are to waive all prior authorization constraints for lab testing and future treatment of COVID-19. Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro previously recommended insurers take these actions in a bulletin to the industry.

“We are grateful for Gov. John Carney’s leadership during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether it is ensuring care without delay by removing prior authorizations in the short term, or limiting the long-term effects of the virus’s economic impact by helping people keep their insurance, this thoughtful, detailed approach is just what our state needs,” said Navarro.

Delaware’s insurance carriers will freeze cancellations and nonrenewal of policies that might have otherwise occurred due to delays in payments through the duration of the state of emergency for individuals who have been laid off or fired due to the state of emergency or organizations that have had to close or significantly reduce business. Carriers would now be required to seek a court order before they could cancel or nonrenew any health, life, disability, property, auto and commercial/business insurance policies.

In addition to the immediate assistance, this action helps reduce the long-term impact of the virus on insurance, because if policies were not renewed or were cancelled, it could have hindered future insurance policy approvals or increased premium costs for individuals and businesses due to the cancellation or nonrenewal creating a lapse of insurance.

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