Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Louisiana insurance moratorium to expire mid-May

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BATON ROUGE - Thousands of Louisiana citizens have filed for unemployment due to the coronavirus. To address the statewide public health emergency, several emergency rules have been issued by the Department of Insurance.

One of them deals with a moratorium on cancellation of insurance policies and non-payment of insurance premiums. It essentially puts a 60-day hold on all insurance payments and for that period a company can't drop a policy holder for non-payment. Louisiana is one of about a dozen states that have issued such moratoriums.

At the end of the 60 days, premium payments must be made up to date.

"The premium is still owed, but it would be due at the end of the 60-day moratorium period," Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said.

"It applies to all forms of insurance, not just health insurance."

Many people who have recently lost their job due to the coronavirus might suddenly find themselves without health insurance. Donelon says those people have to find coverage through the Affordable Care Act or COBRA.

Car insurance is a little different and Donelon warns some people could be getting notices in the mail and face hefty fines if they don't get their payments current at the end of the 60 days.

The moratorium could harm auto insurance writers. Some policy holders who aren't paying their premiums during the 60 days could cancel at the end of the moratorium and change companies, starting over with a new one.

"That's the negative side of doing this relief during these trying times that we're all experiencing," Donelon said.

Some companies are crediting customers because people are driving less and claims are down. Donelon says it's a savings of $180 million in Louisiana.

The current moratorium expiration date is May 12.


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