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COVID-19 emergency orders FAQs

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation issued a number of emergency orders and guidance about COVID-19 insurance and financial services issues.

The COVID-19 emergency orders that were issued during the COVID-19 pandemic expired in September. However, several protections remain in place for Oregonians.

  • Everyone affected by the recent wildfires is covered by the wildfire insurance emergency order.
  • People who were in a grace period when the COVID-19 orders expired will have their grace periods honored for the full term.
  • Many insurance companies implemented their own plans to help consumers.

The COVID-19 emergency orders were a temporary solution to provide relief to Oregonians in the early stages of the pandemic. The division expects insurers to remain flexible with their customers who need help during this time.

The frequently asked questions on this page serve as archived information related to the recently expired COVID-19 emergency orders.

General questions
Health insurance
Property and Casualty insurance
Long-term care and life and disability insurance

Visit the COVID-19 regulated businesses page to review the latest industry news and guidance issued by the division.

General questions

These questions apply to the emergency order that was issued on March 25. The orders issued on health, property and casualty, long-term care, and life and disability insurance supersede the March 25 order.

No. If an insured requests cancellation or nonrenewal, the insurer should follow the insured’s direction. The order prohibits insurers from canceling or nonrenewing policies without the consent of the insured for the duration of the order.​​​

No, it applies to cancellations or nonrenewals for the duration of the order. Renewals may proceed as normal, including making an otherwise permissible premium change.​​​​​

The order prohibits many types of cancellations and nonrenewals for the duration of the order. However, some cancellations and nonrenewals may be appropriate and permitted. Therefore, the department will exercise enforcement discretion now and after the order expires if an insurer cancels or nonrenews a policy for certain reasons. While the order is in place, an insurer may cancel or nonrenew a policy for the following reasons:

  • Voluntary or requested cancellation or nonrenewal
  • Fraud or intentional misrepresentation of a material fact as prohibited by the terms of an insurance policy
  • Criminal conduct as prohibited by the terms of an insurance policy
  • Cancellation during the first 60 days of a property and casualty policy, during which the insurer is underwriting the policy, as long as a minimum 10-day notice is provided
  • A notice of the cancellation or nonrenewal was issued before the governor’s Executive Order 20-07 (March 17, 2020), in compliance with all applicable laws and administrative rules
  • The insurer has obtained evidence that the insured secured new coverage with another insurer
  • Cancellation or nonrenewal is required by applicable state or federal law.
  • Cancellation or nonrenewal of a property and casualty policy permitted under the first property and casualty FAQ.

Insurers who believe other situations should be included are encouraged to email the division at dfr.policyteam@oregon.gov.​​​​​


Section 12(a) of the order prohibits all involuntary cancellations while it is in effect. Section 12(e) applies after the order expires. It prohibits insurers from canceling a policy due to claims related to the effect of the outbreak, except in instances of fraud or intentional misrepresentation.​​​

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No, it requires insurers to take all practicable steps to make reporting and communication methods available that are compatible with social distancing recommendations. It does not require insurers to adopt all possible methods for all forms of reporting and communication. For example, it does not require insurers to accept claims submitted solely by telephone call, without supporting documentation that may be necessary to substantiate the claim.​​​

The department strongly encourages surplus lines insurers to provide comparable relief to Oregon insureds, but the order does not apply to surplus lines.​​​​

Premium finance companies are encouraged to provide a 30-day grace period for payments and take other reasonable actions to help customers affected by COVID-19. Any notice given by a premium finance company should be consistent with state requirements and with the terms of the agreement.

In order to encourage insurance coverage for consumers, premium finance companies should not pursue any default actions for the duration of the outbreak.​​​

The order is focused on relief for consumers. The department is carefully considering the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak on insurer operations and will issue guidance as appropriate​.​​​

The department expects insurers to immediately undertake good faith efforts to comply with the order. It will exercise appropriate discretion in enforcement, understanding that it may take time for companies to achieve full compliance. The department encourages insurers to contact them if full compliance is unexpectedly delayed.​​


The department released the order to provide Oregon consumers and businesses with immediate relief. The department may take more action in response to any federal action affecting the order as appropriate.​​​

The order does not alter any statutes of limitations.​​


No, an insurer may not cancel any policy for nonpayment of premium while the emergency order is in place.​

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Health insurance

The questions in this section are for the emergency order for health insurers that was issued on May 5, 2020. For health insurance, this order supersedes the March 25 order.

The order applies to all policies of health insurance in Oregon, with the exception of accidental death and dismemberment, disability, and long-term care polices. This includes all fully-insured commercial health insurance policies, including individual and group health benefit plans, limited benefit, short-term limited-duration, and Medicare Supplement policies. However, to the extent that federal requirements for Medicare Supplement plans conflict with the order, federal requirements supersede the order.

The order does not apply to self-insured employer plans. However, the division strongly encourages self-insured employers to take steps to provide similar relief and flexibility to employee benefit plan members.


No, the order provides a one-time grace period. If there is a new delinquency after an insured has been provided the 60-day grace period required by the order, an insurer may revert to the grace period specified in the terms of the policy.

This does not apply to the three month grace period for people who receive advance premium tax credits through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. The three month grace period must be applied as specified by federal law.


With the exception of qualified health plans purchased with tax credits through the Health Insurance Marketplace (see next question), health insurance policies that were in a grace period as of the March 25 order must be provided a grace period of at least 60 total days. For example, if a policy was provided a 30-day grace period ending March 31, the grace period for that policy must be extended by at least 30 days to provide a total of 60 days.


The three-month grace period must be applied as specified by federal law. The order does not lengthen, shorten, or delay the grace period required for policies purchased using APTCs.


Yes. For example, if a policy enters the grace period April 1, and by the end of 60 days, only one month’s premium has been paid, the policy may be terminated. However, the cancellation may not be retroactive to a date earlier than the last day of the first month of the grace period.


If the insurer does not receive the required premium payment by the end of the 60-day grace period, the insurer may terminate the policy as of the last day of the first month of the grace period, and may deny claims for services provided after that date.

Patients may be eligible for other coverage to help cover these claims, including the Oregon Health Plan or coverage through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, where they may be eligible for financial assistance. The division strongly encourages businesses and people struggling to pay premiums to consider all their options and seek expert assistance from a licensed insurance agent, if appropriate.


Yes. The division expects insurers to provide comparable flexibility for health care providers submitting claims or other communications on behalf of insureds.

The division also expects health insurers to provide appropriate flexibility to health care providers in situations where claims submissions may be delayed or affected by uncertainty about the patient’s health insurance coverage, since many people may be transitioning between sources of health coverage at this time.


Insurers offering health benefit plans are reminded that the division’s guidance on employee counting is based on the average number of employees during the preceding calendar year (see https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/OAR/div53-0015_exA.pdf ).

Consistent with that guidance, insurers offering health benefit plans should consider group size only at the time of renewal. These insurers may not cancel a group health benefit plan policy based on a change in the number of employees during a contract year.

At the time of renewal, the insurer may review the number of people employed over the preceding year to assign the group to the appropriate market, consistent with the division’s guidance on employee counting.

Insurers offering health benefit plans are also reminded, even if an employer’s market size has changed, the employer is still entitled to guaranteed issue in the small or large employer market. Accordingly, the insurer must still offer to renew the employer onto any plans the insurer offers in the appropriate market.


No, it requires insurers to take all practicable steps to make reporting and communication methods available that are compatible with physical distancing recommendations. It does not require insurers to adopt all possible methods for all forms of reporting and communication. For example, it does not require insurers to accept claims submitted solely by telephone call, without supporting documentation that may be necessary to substantiate the claim.​​


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Property and Casualty insurance

​The Property and Casualty Order was amended on Aug. 1, 2020. It requires insurance companies providing these policies to do the following:​​

  • Provide a one-time grace period, upon request of the policyholder who attests to a financial covid-19 related financial hardship, to pay any past-due premiums
  • Pay claims for any covered losses during a specified number of days during the grace period
  • Extend all deadlines for reporting claims and other communications, and provide members with communication options that meet physical distancing standards

​​The property and casualty order is in effect through Sept. 29, 2020, but can be extended in 30-day increments as needed to address the COVID-19 outbreak.​

​​The property and casualty insurance order applies to all property and casualty policies issued in Oregon. Examples include auto, home, renters, business, condominium, church, farm and ranch, personal articles, manufactured home, liability, and umbrella policies.​

​​The order allows for a one-time minimum grace period for each property and casualty policy. The policyholder must attest to COVID-19-related financial hardship to receive the one-time grace period.​

​Yes. However, the cancellation may not be retroactive to a date within or before the expiration of the grace period.


​Yes. The division expects insurers to provide comparable flexibility for third-parties, such as health care providers, body shops, and contractors when submitting claims or other communications on behalf of policyholders.


​No. The orders require insurance companies to take all practicable steps to make reporting and communication methods available that are compatible with physical distancing recommendations.

However, the orders do not require insurance companies to adopt all possible methods for all forms of reporting and communication. For example, the orders do not require insurers to accept claims submitted solely by telephone call, without supporting documentation that may be necessary to substantiate the claims.​​


​​No documentation is required. A consumer only needs to attest to the fact that they have been affected by a COVID-19 financial hardship. An insurer can require the attestation be verbal or in writing.​

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Long-term care and life and disability insurance

​​​​​ The orders requires insurance companies providing these policies to do the following:

  • Provide a minimum grace period to pay any past-due premiums
  • Pay claims for any covered losses during a specified number of days during the grace period
  • Extend all deadlines for reporting claims and other communications, and provide members with communication options that meet physical distancing standards

 The other orders are effective through Sept. 20, 2020​, but can be extended in 30-day increments as needed to address the COVID-19 outbreak.​

Review this​ chart of minimum grace periods and days claims must be paid

The long-term care insurance order applies to all long-term care policies issued in Oregon. Long-term care policies help cover the cost of nursing home, assisted living, or home health care for people unable to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing.

The life and disability order applies to all types of both life and disability insurance issued in Oregon, except for annuities.

Examples of life insurance includes term, whole, universal, mortgage term, and final expenses. Examples of disability insurance includes both long- and short-term, mortgage, and supplemental. Disability policies cover you if you cannot work because you are sick or injured for an extended period of time.

Emergency order for specific types of insurance supersede the original emergency order issued on March 25 for all lines of insurance.​

Unless otherwise specified, the emergency order issued March 25, and extended until June 22, applies to all other lines of insurance that do not fall under one of the four specific emergency orders.

This emergency order requires all insurance companies issuing policies not covered by one of the specific emergency orders to postpone policy cancellations and nonrenewals, extend grace periods for premium payments, and extend deadlines for reporting claims.


​​​​Each insurance emergency order has a minimum grace period as well as a minimum length of time claims will be covered. Insurance companies can provide longer grace periods and coverage windows if they want. This chart details each type of insurance and its minimum grace periods and coverage window.

* The policyholder must contact their property and casualty insurance company to request the one-time grace period to pay a past-due premium.

* The policyholder must contact their property and casualty insurance company to request the one-time grace period to pay a past-due premium.

Type of insurance

Minimum length of grace periods

Length of time claims will be paid during grace period

Health

60 days

30 days

Life and disability

90 days

90 days

Long-term care

60 days

30 days

Property and casualty

60 days*

60 days

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* The policyholder must contact their property and casualty insurance company to request the one-time grace period to pay a past-due premium.​

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