Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Department of Insurance is responding to COVID-19 with a series of steps to protect public health and maintain a strong insurance market to serve consumers. We are supporting actions by our state and local public health leaders to mitigate the spread and severity of COVID-19. We hope you find the following information useful.
With the end of state and federal public health emergencies in 2023, we are still working to protect your health and safety. California requires most insurance companies to continue covering COVID-19 vaccine, testing and treatment without cost sharing. Read our fact sheet to learn more.
- If you are experiencing a problem with an insurance matter, please visit our online Consumer Complaint Center to file a complaint.
- General insurance questions and inquiries can be submitted online, using our Contact Us form, or call us at 1-800-927-4357.
The following links provide useful information on current developments of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the California Department of Public Health and other agencies.
- Local California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response by County
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- California Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Employment Development Department
- Department of Business Oversight, Guidance to Premium Finance Companies
All Lines of Insurance
What if I cannot pay my insurance premiums?
Requesting a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums - On March 18, 2020, the Department issued a Notice requesting all insurance companies provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay their premiums.
Consumers should contact their insurance company if they need additional time to pay their premium.
I am driving less or my business is closed -- can I reduce my insurance premium?
Ordering insurance companies to return insurance premiums to consumers and businesses - Commissioner Lara ordered insurance companies to return premiums to consumers and businesses in at least six different insurance lines: private passenger automobile, commercial automobile, workers' compensation, commercial multi-peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice, and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date this action has saved consumers more than $1.2 billion in premiums and will continue as long as the risk of loss is reduced due to the pandemic.
What about deadlines from my insurance? Am I at risk of losing my benefits if I do not meet them?
- No — you will not lose benefits such as additional living expenses related to a residential loss during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a Notice instructing all insurance companies to stop enforcing policy or statutory deadlines on policyholders for claims or coverage until 90 days after the statewide “state of emergency” or any other “state of emergency” has ended related to COVID-19. The Commissioner issued this to protect policyholders from losing, limiting, or waiving policy benefits as a result of the current national state of emergency.
With the end of the federal public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023, certain federal provisions requiring coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic testing without cost sharing will end. However, if you are in a health insurance policy that is regulated by the state of California, most coverage requirements are permanent. View our fact sheet about COVID-19 testing, vaccines and treatment.
- Consumers with concerns or complaints about accessing care for COVID‑19 under their health insurance policy may also contact the Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or file a Request for Assistance online.
- Treatment for COVID-19 and related illnesses is covered by health insurance under your plan. Review your plan or contact your insurance company if you have questions about cost-sharing and other charges for in-network or emergency care.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
- Uninsured Californians and those who have lost coverage may be eligible for to purchase health coverage through Covered California, or through health plans and health insurers offering coverage outside the health insurance benefits exchange pursuant to a special enrollment period.
- Consumers can find out if they are eligible for coverage, financial help and see which plans are available in their area by using Covered California’s Shop and Compare Tool and entering their ZIP code, household income, and the ages of those who need coverage.
- If you have a substantial loss of income, subsidies available through Covered California may pay for almost all of your premium, or you may qualify for low or no-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
- Those interested in learning more about their coverage options can:
- Visit www.CoveredCA.com.
- Call Covered California at (800) 300-1506.
What if my driver’s license expires or my registration lapses? How does that affect my auto insurance?
Maintaining auto insurance for those with expired license or registration - On March 16, 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles asked law enforcement to use discretion in enforcement of driver's license and vehicle registrations. On March 18, 2020 Commissioner Lara issued a Notice calling on auto insurers to refrain from using the expiration date of policyholder's drivers licenses or Vehicle Registration to affect a driver's ability to secure and maintain auto insurance coverage, affect a driver’s eligibility for a Good Driver discount, to determine eligibility for a California Low Cost Automobile policy, or to impact the rates charged to any driver. The DMV has extended non-commercial driver licenses expiring between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 to May 31, 2020, and commercial driver licenses expiring between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for individuals 69 years old and younger.
What auto insurance protections are in place for delivery drivers working for essential businesses?
- Extending personal auto coverage for delivery drivers for California’s essential businesses – On April 10, 2020, Commissioner Lara and the California Department of Insurance issued a notice requesting insurance companies extend auto insurance coverage for drivers who are using their personal vehicles to fulfill deliveries for California’s essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action ensures that businesses can continue to provide essential goods to residents and families at their homes and that delivery workers are protected at all times so that they may continue their work critical to public health and safety.
What if I have lost my job or am unable to work due to COVID-19?
- Governor Newsom's March 12 Executive Order spelled out several steps that employees can take if they lose their jobs or are unable to work due to COVID-19. These include disability and unemployment insurance, paid family leave for caregivers, and workers’ compensation if you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work.
- The Governor waived the one-week waiting period for employees who are unemployed or become disabled as a result of COVID-19. Learn more here: About EDD: Coronavirus-2019
- Check out OnwardCA connecting COVID-19 displaced workers with over 70,000 job opportunities in critical industries.
Business Interruption Insurance
Does workers’ compensation insurance apply to COVID-19?
Yes. On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1159 which codified the COVID-19 presumption created by Executive Order N-62-20 and created two new rebuttable presumptions that an employee’s COVID-19 illness is an occupational injury and therefore eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if specified criteria are met. Employees who are sick can stay home and be provided workers’ compensation benefits, thereby reducing the spread of the virus to others at work and in the community. The law encourages employers to comply with all local health directives and guidance concerning safely reopening businesses to reduce risk of exposure and mitigate outbreaks in the workplace. Learn more at this web page: COVID-19 Resources and Workers’ Compensation.
- The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency have posted information regarding COVID-19 on the Safer at Work website, including available benefits, FAQs, and information regarding disability insurance, paid family leave, and unemployment insurance: https://saferatwork.covid19.ca.gov/
How will COVID-19 affect the cost of workers’ compensation insurance for business?
While it is too soon to know how COVID-10 will affect the cost of workers’ compensation insurance, Commissioner Lara has taken steps to reduce premiums for affected businesses.
- Commissioner Lara issued an Order on June 17, 2020, adopting Emergency workers' compensation regulations in response to COVID-19 Pandemic. These new regulations will mandate insurance companies to re-compute premium charges for policyholders to reflect reduced risk of loss.
- Commissioner Lara directed insurance companies to refund workers’ compensation premiums in his April 13, 2020 Bulletin and May 15, 2020 Bulletin, which will result in savings for many policyholders as businesses continue to struggle financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can I avoid being scammed?
The Department is working with state and local agencies to respond to fraud and ongoing scams. Our Enforcement staff will continue to investigate insurance fraud and work with our law enforcement partners to protect California consumers and businesses. The following websites provide information about Coronavirus scams.
Click here for information on some of the ongoing scams the Department of Insurance is working to combat.
- Federal Trade Commission
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
- Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
- Premium Refund to Reflect Cost Savings Associated with Underutilization of Health Services Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Bulletin 2020-8 Premium Refunds, Credits, and Reductions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Bulletin 2020-4 Premium Refunds, Credits, and Reductions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Bulletin 2020-3 Premium Refunds, Credits, and Reductions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Bulletin 2020-2 COVID-19 Screening and Testing
- Bulletin 2020-1 Mandatory Moratorium on Residential Non-Renewals Pursuant to Insurance Code Section 675.1(b), 2nd Amended 2/3/20
- Premium Refund to Reflect Cost Savings Associated with Underutilization of Health Services Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
- Notice of Extended Grace Period for Insurance Premium Payments Due to the Disruption Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
- COVID-19 Protection for Policyholders from Unfair Settlement Practices
- Expired Drivers Licenses and Insurance
- Automatic Extension for Premium Tax Filing and Payment During COVID-19 State of Emergency
- Requirement to Accept, Forward, Acknowledge, and Fairly Investigate All Business Interruption Insurance Claims Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Coverage for Delivery Drivers for California Essential Businesses During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- Compliance with Regulatory Filing and Submittal Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- Prelicensing Requirements During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Extension of Policyholder Deadlines that Impact Claims or Coverage Due to the current State of Emergency Caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
- Notice re: Telehealth During COVID-19 State of Emergency
- Request for Information: Business Interruption and Related Coverage in California
- Guidance on "Essential Businesses" and Insurance
- Insurance Laws COVID-19 Notice
- Billing Grace Period Notice
- Drivers License Registration Notice
- Emergency Notification Filing Requirements COVID-19