By Litigation Practice Group
As COVID-19 continues to impact Oregonians, the State continues to issue orders aimed at lessening its effects. On March 25, 2020, on the heels of Governor Brown’s moratorium on nonpayment-based residential evictions, Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services (“DCBS”) issued an order (the “Order”) directing all insurers in the state to suspend all cancellations and non-renewals for insurance in place as of the date of the Order and withdraw any notice of cancellation or non-renewal.
The Order also provides a 30-day grace period for payment of insurance premiums. Additionally, it extends deadlines for reporting claims and directs insurers to make reporting easier during this time of social distancing. The Order applies to all types of insurance coverage and will remain in place through April 23, 2020, unless extended by the DCBS director.
The Order is broad enough to effectively tack on additional coverage to policies set to expire between March 25 and April 23, 2020. However, it stops short of suspending payment for premiums; indeed, insurers are permitted to bill for coverage extended by the Order. For many Oregon consumers and businesses, the extensions and protections provided in the Order will help soften some of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are temporarily protected from losing their insurance coverage and have additional time to file claims—a boon to those who may already be preparing to file under their business interruption coverage. Furthermore, because maintaining property insurance is a requirement under the terms of most loans, the Order provides a brief shield from insurance-related defaults and the costs of force-place insurance.
The attorneys at Saalfeld Griggs continue to monitor and track state, local and federal responses to the pandemic. We will continue to provide updates as they occur. Those with additional questions regarding how the Order may affect their business may contact our office and/or visit the DCBS FAQ.