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TDCI: Tornado Victims’ Insurance Policies Cannot Be Canceled For 60 Days

Department Reminds Consumers To File Complaints If Policies Canceled
Friday, March 13, 2020 | 12:02pm

NASHVILLE – As part of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) ongoing tornado relief efforts, Tennessee insurance policyholders affected by the March 3, 2020 storms cannot have their policies canceled for non-payment 60 days per Governor Lee’s executive order.

The Department has notified all licensed Tennessee insurance carriers that cancellations/non-renewals for non-payment of insurance premiums on all lines (health, home, and auto) will be suspended up to 60 days from the date of the loss. This affects policyholders in Benton, Humphreys, Dickson, Cheatham, Davidson, Wilson, Smith, and Putnam counties.

“Governor Lee’s order demonstrates to consumers that our Department and all of state government stands with our fellow Tennesseans during rebuilding and recovery,” said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “These devastating storms may have been strong, but Tennesseans’ resilience is stronger. I am proud of the recovery efforts thus far and proud that we are helping keep Tennessee strong.”

If consumers in an affected county discover a policy cancellation or if they have a question about their policies, they are encouraged to contact the department or file a complaint online or by phone at (615) 741-2218.

“If you were impacted by the March tornadoes and your insurance carrier cancels your policy for non-payment and will not reinstate you at no cost and at the same premium, contact our team immediately and file a complaint,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Rachel Jrade-Rice. “We are here to help Tennesseans recover and rebuild.”

Last year, the TDCI team returned over $4.27 million to Tennessee consumers as a result of  mediation efforts - a process where TDCI insurance investigators intercede between insurance companies and policyholders to get wrongfully denied claims overturned and paid for policyholders.

The 60-day extension is not a waiver of a policyholder’s obligation to pay a premium. Where a delay in a premium payment appears to be the result of a disruption to the mail delivery system or to the policyholder’s displacement due to the tornadoes, TDCI has requested insurers work with the policyholder and take those circumstances into account before policy cancellation.

As part of rebuilding and recovery efforts, TDCI reminds consumers of the following:

  • Never sign over your insurance check for rebuilding, do not pay with cash, or pay the total charges before the work is complete. State home improvement law prohibits contractors from asking for a down-payment of more than 1/3 of the total contract.
  • A contractor's license is required prior to contracting (bidding or negotiating a price) whenever the total cost of the project is $25,000 or more. If you have questions about a contractor, contact the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.
  • Only conduct business with licensed insurance agents and contractors. To verify an insurance license, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.

Visit TEMA’s recovery resource page for information on disaster help and recovery.

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