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COVID-19 Statement

On behalf of everyone at the FitzGibbons and Huntington agencies, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to address the evolving coronavirus outbreak. We hope that you and your families are healthy and we hope this message provides direction on how we will continue to support our customers through this challenging time.

Our top priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. Please call or email us to make alternative arrangements for something that you may believe requires face-to-face contact. This includes insurance policy payments. While we will miss seeing our clients, email and phone interactions are the most prudent forms of communication and ensure that we are complying with the recommendations of “social distancing”.

We continue to take the precautions recommended by federal, state, and local health organizations to safeguard you as well as our employees and offices. This may result in reduced in-person office hours while remaining open to clients via our office phone system. To ensure that you are the most up to date, please make sure we have the most current email and phone contact information for you. A list of our agency contact information is listed below.

Much like local municipalities, school districts, community organizations, and businesses, we are making decisions every day to balance our commitment to serving your needs with our responsibility to support the global effort to contain this coronavirus.

Again, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Please feel free to contact our agency by any method listed below:

  • Fax: 315.342.5200
  • John FitzGibbons – Direct Line: 315.592.8884
  • Tara FitzGibbons – Direct Line: 315.312.0822
  • Emily Lukowski – Personal Lines Insurance – Direct Line: 315.312.0812
  • Ray Byrne – Personal Lines Insurance – Direct Line: 315.312.0804
  • Maura O’Toole  – Commercial Lines Insurance – Direct Line: 315.312.0803
  • Dawn Dashnaw – Commercial Lines Insurance – Direct Line: 315.312.0825
  • Morgan Shortsleeve – Commerical Lines Insurance – Direct Line: 315.312.0808
  • FitzGibbons Real Estate NY RE Broker
    • Brendan Benson – NY Real Estate Associate Broker – Direct Line/Cell: 315.256.4066
    • Tammy Murphy – NY Real Estate Salesperson – Direct Line/Cell: 315.374.6495

 

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NYS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES NOTICE TO POLICYHOLDERS:

A recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo, together with recent amendments to the insurance and banking regulations (the “regulations”) issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”), extend grace periods and give you other rights under certain property/casualty insurance policies if you are an individual or small business and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus (“COVID‑19”) pandemic (“affected policyholder”).  These grace periods and rights are currently in effect but are temporary, though they may be extended further.  Please check the Department’s website at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/coronavirus for updates.

If you are an individual, generally, personal lines property/casualty insurance policies are covered by these amendments, including auto, homeowners’ and renters’ insurance.  If you are an individual and an affected policyholder, please contact your insurer or broker if you are uncertain whether your policy is covered.

If you are a small business, only certain types of commercial lines property/casualty insurance policies are covered by these amendments, generally including property, fire, commercial general liability, special multiperil, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation, commercial auto (including livery and other for-hire vehicles), and commercial umbrella insurance. A business qualifies as a “small business” if it is resident in New York State, is independently owned and operated, and employs 100 or fewer individuals.  If you are a small business and an affected policyholder, please contact your insurer or broker if you are uncertain whether your policy is covered.

If you have a life insurance policy, please note that premium grace periods also apply and the notice for such policies can be found at: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/industry_guidance/coronavirus/model_producer_notice/life_annuity_fraternal

Moratorium on Cancellation, Non-Renewal, and Conditional Renewal

If you are an affected policyholder, there is a moratorium on your insurer cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing your property/casualty insurance policy for a period of 60 days.  If you do not make a timely premium payment and can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, your insurer may not impose any late fees relating to the premium payment or report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding such premium payment.

Catching up on Overdue Insurance Payments

The regulations also require your insurer to permit you, as an affected policyholder, to pay the overdue premium over a 12-month period if you did not make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This also applies if the insurer sent you a nonpayment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.

Policies Financed by Premium Finance Agencies – Grace Period

If your insurance policy has been financed through a premium finance agency, and you, as an affected policyholder, do not make an installment payment, the premium finance agency may not cancel your policy for a period of at least 60 days, including any contractual grace period, and subject to the safety and soundness of the premium finance agency.  In addition, if you do not make a timely installment payment to the premium finance agency, the premium finance agency must extend the due date for the installment payment by at least 60 days, may not impose any late fees relating to that installment payment, and may not report you to a credit reporting agency or a debt collection agency regarding that installment payment.

Catching up on Overdue Payments to Premium Finance Agencies

If you, as an affected policyholder, do not make a timely installment payment to the premium finance agency due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the premium finance agency must permit you to pay the installment payment over a 12-month period if you can still demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the safety and soundness of the premium finance agency. This also applies if the premium finance agency issued a non-payment cancellation notice prior to March 29, 2020.

How to Demonstrate Financial Hardship

If you, as an affected policyholder, are unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may submit to your insurer or premium finance agency, as applicable, a statement that you swear or affirm in writing under penalty of perjury that you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which the insurer or premium finance agency, as applicable, shall accept as satisfactory proof.  Such statement is not required to be notarized.

Questions

If you have any questions regarding your rights under the Executive Order or regulations, please contact your insurer, broker, or premium finance agency.