Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Update

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Update

Special Accommodations  for Policy Holders Impacted by Recent Hurricanes

Many Carriers have released the details of special accommodations and deadline extensions available to policy holders impacted by the recent hurricanes. In general, the Core Carrier community is complying with the guidance released by the departments of insurance on Texas and Florida. Read on for additional details on a carrier by carrier basis.

AIG

Hurricane Harvey:

Effective immediately, a temporary suspension is in effect on lapses, terminations, cancellations and other time-sensitive provision requirements of the insurance policies or annuity contracts for insured customers residing in a county declared a federal or state disaster area in Texas. This is to protect the policyholders from accidental termination. We will process other requests to help them in as timely a manner as possible. The temporary suspension applies from August 23, 2017, and runs through November 23, 2017.

Please see Inforce Bulletin 17-143 for additional specifics of AIG’s relief for policy holders impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Irma:

A federal Major Disaster Declaration has been made for parts of east and west coastal of Florida and the Florida Keys, and additional areas in Florida or other states may be added in the days ahead. AIG will comply with all relevant declarations and bulletins that may be issued for insured customers who reside in counties declared federal or state disaster areas. This information will be provided to our distribution partners as it becomes available.

We will continue to monitor the storm and its impact in the days ahead as local, state and federal agencies assess its impact, and update our distribution partners and customers with details as they become available.

AXA

Four AXA Financial, Inc. insurance companies. are relaxing the premium-payment grace period for policyholders affected by Hurricane Harvey in the counties declared disaster areas by the states of Texas and Louisiana. Details follow below. The four companies are:

  • AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (formerly known as The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S.)
  • AXA Equitable Life and Annuity Company (formerly The Equitable of Colorado, Inc.)
  • MONY Life Insurance Company of America (MLOA)
  • U.S. Financial Life Insurance Company

Hurricane Harvey:

The companies listed above will extend the grace period to Oct. 31, 2017, for the cancellation/non-renewal of policies for non-payment of premiums for life, health and disability income policies due between Aug. 25, 2017 and Oct. 30, 2017. The grace period commences on the date the policyholder’s damage occurred. This moratorium is not automatic. Interested policyholders must request this extension from their insurance carrier. All claims that occur from the storms will be given prompt attention. On an individual claim basis, every effort will be made to limit the needed requirements to expedite the disbursement of funds. All policyholders of the four companies listed above are advised to contact their financial professional or call the following toll-free number for expedited customer service:

Hurricane Irma:

Regarding the cancellation/non-renewal of policies for non-payment of premiums for life, health and disability insurance, for grace periods expiring from Sept. 6, 2017, to Nov. 13, 2017, we will extend the grace period until Nov. 14, 2017, in the impacted areas. Clients with an employer-sponsored annuity residing in an impacted area who have outstanding loan payments due between Sept. 6, 2017, and Nov. 13, 2017, will not default as a “deemed distribution” until Nov. 14, 2017. The grace period commences on the date the policyholder’s damage occurred. All claims that occur from the storms will be given prompt attention. On an individual claim basis, every effort will be made to limit the needed requirements to expedite the disbursement of funds.

Please see the formal announcement from AXA for additional details.

Brighthouse Financial

Following are the acceptable extensions to normal short-term relief periods for disbursements for those cities/zip codes within the counties that are listed as impacted areas by the relevant authorities in both Texas and Florida. We do have short-term relief procedures that are activated during these types of disasters.

  • Extension timeframe on free-looks – 30 days
  • Extension timeframe on loan defaults – 30 days
  • Extension timeframe on penalty free surrender on any fixed contracts – 30 days
  • Extension on grace periods – 30 days

Foresters Financial

Foresters has implemented measures in the following areas to support policy owners impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma:

  • Policy Owner/Member Emergency Assistance Benefits
  • Premium Payment exceptions/alternatives
  • Priority handling for all loan and withdrawal requests
  • Streamlined death claim processing

Please see the following news releases regarding Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma for additional details.

Global Atlantic

The well-being of our customers in Texas and Florida is of primary concern, so Global Atlantic is offering relief to those dealing with the aftereffects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Effective immediately, we will temporarily suspend policy lapses, cancellations and other activities over and above the policy’s grace period for insured customers living in a county declared a federal or state disaster area in Texas and Florida. This relief will remain in effect for 60 days, ending on 11/23/17. Upon 11/23/17, policies will need to be brought current and normal grace periods will be in effect. Please see the formal announcement from Global Atlanticfor additional information.

For additional information, contact (855) 887-4487, Option 5.

John Hancock

John Hancock is closely following the impact of the recent hurricanes, and we are doing our utmost to be sensitive to the needs of the producers and customers who have been directly affected by these events. This includes putting the following temporary measures in place for counties declared a federal or state disaster area due to the hurricanes:

For pending cases, we are:

  • Granting extensions on critical dates such as outstanding requirements, policy delivery, premium receipts, and placement period extensions.
  • Please contact your case manager directly for assistance (see number below).
For inforce clients, we are:
  • Waiving fees for customers who require a duplicate policy.
  • Covering any courier fees for disbursements.
  • Expediting customer requests in the impacted regions.
  • Proactively identifying policies in the declared regions (by zip code) that go into lapse pending or lapse during this time, and stepping up our efforts to reach these policy owners by:
  • Sending a letter (in addition to the lapse notice), alerting policy owners of the need to pay more to keep the policy in force
  • Attempting to reach clients by phone to ensure they know they have more time to fund the policy and prevent a lapse

We will continue to monitor and adjust our procedures as more information becomes available.

If you have any questions about this message, please contact:

  • For pending cases, 800-505-9427
  • For customer service, 800-387-2747

Lincoln Financial

Lincoln Financial Group® to Work with Policy Owners Impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida

Lincoln Financial Group® (Lincoln) recognizes the hardships many of our policy owners and agents have experienced related to Hurricane Irma in Florida. As the severe weather may have impacted the timeliness of payments and submission of paperwork, we will work with our policy owners, agents and brokers, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure their Lincoln insurance coverage will remain in force and not lapse due to nonpayment of premium.

If you were impacted by the recent storm, please contact us at the phone numbers listed below with any questions you may have with your coverages:

  • Individual Life Insurance: 1-800-487-1485
  • Group Life, LTD, STD and Dental: 1-800-423-2765

Minnesota Life

Hurricane Harvey:

To assist our mutual clients living in the above mentioned Texas counties and to fully comply with the Emergency Bulletin, we have implemented the following temporary changes to our normal procedures:
  • No policies will be allowed to lapse or cancel between 8/23/2017 and 11/30/2017
  • Policies which lapsed between 8/23/17 and 9/7/17 will receive communication stating their payment period has been extended to 11/30/17. If payment is received by this date we will reverse the lapse.
  • Every policy with a premium, loan interest or loan repayment due during this period will be given an additional 90 days to submit premium and loan payments, on top of the normal 61-day payment period.
  • Please note, the state of Texas may extend the 11/30/17 deadline, and perhaps add other counties.
Hurricane Irma:
To assist our mutual clients living in Florida and to fully comply with the Emergency Bulletin, we have implemented the following temporary changes to our normal procedures:
  • No policies will be allowed to lapse, terminate, expire or cancel between 9/4/2017 and 12/3/2017.
  • Policies that have lapsed, terminated or expired since 9/4/17 will receive communication stating their payment period has been extended to 12/3/17. If payment is received by 12/3/17, we will reverse the lapse.
  • Every policy with the end of their 61-day payment period for premium, loan interest, loan repayment, expiry between 9/4/17 and 12/3/17 will be given until 12/3/17 to submit the required payment.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is in the process of identifying the customers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and a note will be added to the customer accounts. The grace period will be extended by 30 days on affected policies as well as a special message being added on eService. For plans providing prescription benefits, the state is requesting us to authorize payments to pharmacies for up to a 90 day supply.

Principal Financial

For government-declared disasters, our company website, www.principal.com, banners its front page with a header and a “Get in Touch” link. This link is directly related to the disaster and how Principal can help customers in their time of need. We encourage customers to contact us, as each product line may have unique regulations governing how features of that product can and should be handled in an emergency such as regional disasters. For individual life insurance those regulations typically provide extensions for impacted policies relative to premium and loan payments, as well as grace period payments. This provides policy owners more time to make the payments required to keep their life insurance coverage in force. Other product lines may be governed differently. Be assured that Principal proactively monitors and responds to these situations with a focus on helping our customers.

Protective Life

Hurricane Harvey:
Because of the effects of Hurricane Harvey, we are temporarily halting certain actions we might normally take related to lapsed policies (including cancelations and nonrenewals) for policyholders in counties included in the Texas Governor’s Disaster Declaration. Additional information is available from the Texas Department of Insurance.
Hurricane Irma:
Because of the effects of Hurricane Irma, we are temporarily halting certain actions we might normally take related to lapsed policies (including cancelations and nonrenewals) for affected policyholders in counties included per the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Order. Additional information is available here.
Symetra Financial
Symetra customers residing in counties affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma may be eligible for special assistance. For more information or assistance, contact the Symetra customer service line for your product.
Life insurance and annuities: 1-800-SYMETRA (796-3872)

Group benefits:
Group life, disability and stop loss insurance: 1-800-426-7784
Select Benefits: 1-800-497-3699

Transamerica 

Transamerica will follow the guidance of the Texas and Florida Departments of Insurance relative to those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Please see the official releases from Transamerica relative to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma for additional details.

Voya Financial

Hurricane Harvey:

Voya Financial is implementing emergency guidelines in accordance with TDI guidelines including:

  • An extension of premiums due and all other contractual deadlines beginning August 23rd, 2017 through October, 31, 2017 for any policy/contract holder affected by the severe storms within the impacted areas listed in the TDI announcement.
  • Consideration of extension requests on delivery requirements for New Business cases and free look period requests when it pertains to policy or contract holders living in the affected areas of Texas.

Hurricane Irma:

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner recently issued emergency orders and directives to assist residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Voya Financial insurance companies will provide an extended grace period to its affected policyholders with respect to the potential lapse or termination of our clients’ life insurance policies and/or any time sensitive features of those policies, including premium payments.  For more details, please click here.