Insurance Commissioner Lara Calls for 60-Day Insurance Grace Period Due to COVID-19

On March 16,2020 Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice requesting that all insurance companies provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums. The Commissioner made the request to ensure policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.


For Those That Have An Insured Vehicle

Commissioner Lara is also requesting that all insurance agents, brokers, and other licensees who accept premium payments on behalf of insurers make payments accesible for customers with alternate pay methods such as online payments if possible to avoid unnecessary in-person contact.

For Those That Need to Renew Their License or Registration

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver license and vehicle registration expirations beginning March 16, 2020, in order to have at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying conditions, avoid required visits to DMV field offices.

Ultimately, Commissioner Lara called on auto insurers to refrain from using the expiration of policyholders’ drivers licenses or vehicle registrations for 60 days, from March 16, 2020, for any of the following reasons:

  • To affect a driver’s ability to secure and maintain auto insurance coverage;
  • To affect a driver’s eligibility for a Good Driver discount;
  • To determine eligibility for a California Low Cost Automobile policy;
  • To impact the rates charged to any driver.

“The evolving COVID-19 pandemic continues to test all segments of our communities, including motorists,” said Commissioner Lara. “While we address this evolving crisis, Californians should not have to worry about driving with an expired license or losing their insurance coverage and driver discounts during this extraordinarily challenging time.”

This second Notice regarding driver license and vehicle registration expirations will be reevaluated at the end of the 60-day period.

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