Most insurance companies unveiled national advertising campaigns in March 2020, promising to “pause” all policy cancellations or expirations for at least a month due to non-payment of premiums. Many continued this policy, stating that insureds simply had to ask to have their insurance payment plan extended during COVID-19.
Insurance companies did not do this out of the goodness of their hearts. In most states, the state insurance commissioner issued directives asking or requiring insurance companies to do exactly this. The federal government similarly issued regulations for policies governed by ERISA, extending the deadlines for appeals until after the pandemic ends.
Despite the state and federal mandates, and their own advertising, insurers have not all followed these requirements. Many insurance companies did in fact still cancel or allow policies to lapse in the first month of the pandemic. Many more put the onus on their insureds to reach out and request help, despite promises that all such extensions would be “automatic.” Here is a summary of the positions taken by some of the major insurance companies: