COVID-19 Updates

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A Statement From Our Leadership Team

During this unusual time, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD wishes to reinforce our commitment to our agents, our policyholders, our claimants, our employees, and all stakeholders. We are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the country (and the world) and continue to follow guidelines issued by government health authorities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and local agencies. Through an established but fluid Business Continuity Plan that includes remote access for our work force, our goal is to minimize any disruption in service levels while also ensuring the safety of our employees.

As circumstances change, we remain committed to reacting timely and appropriately to state and federal mandates which help to assist our policyholders, claimants, and agents. Specifically:

Payment Flexibility Options

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we have payment options available for our customers experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also continue to comply with any directives issued by state departments of insurance on billing issues. We value your business and want to do what we can to help you during this difficult time. If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please call us at 1-800-673-2465 to discuss billing and make alternative payment arrangements.

See State-Specific Notices below.

Contact Us

Claims for all types of coverage should continue to be reported to us via 1-888-NEW-CLMS (1-888-639-2567). Our dedicated claims team is available 24/7. Disability claims related to COVID-19 should be reported using the forms available here.

Our Customer Service Department is available to handle calls from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM EST at 1-800-673-2465 or email us at csr@guard.com or contact us via online chat through our Policyholder Service Center.

Manage Your Policy

Login to our online Policyholder Service Center to manage your account. You can make a payment, review claims and converse with an adjuster, view and print policy documents, chat with a Customer Service Representative and more.

Warnings

We want all of our policyholders to be aware of the heightened risk of scams and price gouging during financial disruptions, and we would like to remind you to contact your insurance agent before purchasing unsolicited insurance policies or changing the terms of current insurance policies.

State-Specific Policyholder Notices

Oregon – 9/4/2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we recognize the negative impact this situation may be having on our policyholders, and we want to take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to all our customers.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services/Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) extended its Amended Property and Casualty Insurance Order through Sept. 29, 2020. We wish to notify you of certain measures that we are taking to provide temporary premium payment relief to policyholders experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, we are:

  • Providing a single 60-day grace period for premium payments due during the period March 17, 2020 through September 29, 2020, if the policyholder has attested that the nonpayment is due to COVID-19 pandemic-related loss of income and the person has not received a previous 60-day grace period for the policy;
  • Waiving late fees for premiums and not reporting late payments to credit rating agencies during the 60-day grace period; and
  • Ensuring that late payments during the 60-day period are not considered in any future premium calculations at any time (i.e., applicable late payments will not be counted for any rating, pricing, tiering attributes, etc.).

We will also continue to comply with any directives issued by the state department of insurance on billing issues.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us at 1-800-673-2465 or via email at csr@guard.com to discuss payment arrangement alternatives or to attest to your COVID-19 related hardship to receive your single 60-day grace period.

Payments for all lines of insurance can be made online at www.guard.com, through our Policyholder Service Center at policyholder.guard.com/access, by contacting our Customer Service Department at the phone number or email address shown above, or through traditional mail at: Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, PO Box AH, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703.

New Jersey – 4/20/2020

Posted 04/20/20, Updated 08/14/20

We recognize the negative impact the coronavirus may have to our policyholders, and we want to reinforce our commitment to all of our customers. As a result and in response to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance’s Order No. 123, we took the below measures to provide temporary premium payment relief to policyholders experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for the period of April 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020.

Specifically, we:

  • Suspended cancellations for non-payment of premium for 90-days retroactively from April 1, 2020 or May 1, 2020 (at the policyholder’s discretion);
  • Waived late fees for premiums and did not report late payments to credit rating agencies during the 90-day grace period;
  • Allowed premiums due but not paid during the 90-day grace period to be paid over the remainder of the current policy term or up to 12 months in up to 12 equal installments, whichever is longer;
  • Ensured that late payments during the 90-day period were not considered in any future premium calculations at any time (i.e., applicable late payments were not counted for any rating, pricing, tiering attributes, etc.).

We will continue to comply with any directives issued by the state department of insurance on billing issues.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us at 1-800-673-2465 or via email at csr@guard.com to discuss payment arrangement alternatives. Payments for all lines of insurance can be made online at www.guard.com, through our Policyholder Service Center at policyholder.guard.com/access, by contacting our Customer Service Department at the number or email address shown above, or through traditional mail to the address below.

New York – 4/2/2020

Posted 3/24/20, Updated 08/12/2020

We understand that there will likely be questions about your insurance policy and how it may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge you to carefully read your specific insurance policy and all the endorsements that are part of your policy.

When you review your insurance policy, please pay careful attention to the Coverage terms and Exclusions and specifically note the following:

  • Property Damage: Our standard form of Businessowner’s policy covers “direct physical loss of or damage* to Covered Property….”
  • Business Income: If you elected to purchase insurance for your property, our standard form of Businessowner’s policy includes coverage for loss of Business Income due to the suspension of your operations. Under the terms of the policy, “The suspension must be caused by direct physical loss of or damage* to property at the described premises.”
  • Business Income from Dependent Property: If you elected to purchase insurance for your property, our standard form of Businessowner’s policy includes coverage for loss of Business Income due to the suspension of your operations. Under the terms of the policy, “The suspension must be caused by direct physical loss of or damage* to property at the described premises.”
  • Civil Authority: If you elected to purchase insurance for your property, our standard form of Businessowner’s policy includes coverage for loss of Business Income due to the action of civil authority (governmental order) prohibiting regular operations at the described premise. Under the terms of the policy, the action must be a result of “when a Covered Cause of Loss causes damage to property other than property at the described premises.” (Emphasis added).
  • Exclusion of Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria: Our standard form of Businessowner’s policy includes an Exclusion for loss or damage, which provides:
    “We will not pay for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any virus, bacterium or other microorganism that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease.” This exclusion applies to all property coverages including business income, Business Income from Dependent Property, and civil authority.

    *Emphasis added.

This notice is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide coverage advice or opinions with respect to your individual policy or any claim. We will investigate property and liability claims as submitted to determine if your policy will respond to any such claim.

If you have questions about coverage contact your agent/broker or contact us. Our Customer Service Department is available to handle calls from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM EST at 1-800-673-2465 or email us at csr@guard.com or contact us via online chat through our Policyholder Service Center.

Last updated 08/12/2020

REGULATORY NOTICE: In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued orders or emergency regulations that required insurers to provide temporary premium payment relief for policyholders experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We suspended cancellations for non-payment, and did not assess late fees for premiums due from March 29, 2020 through July 6, 2020.

Payment Flexibility for Missed Payments
Policyholders who were not able to make a timely payment for premiums due from March 29, 2020 through July 6, 2020. due to financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who can demonstrate such financial hardship, may call us at 1-800-673-2465 to arrange to make their missed payments over a 12-month period.

We will continue to comply with any directives issued by state departments of insurance on billing issues.

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please call us at 1-800-673-2465 to discuss billing and make alternative payment arrangements.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

We wish the best to all during this challenging time.

The Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Leadership Team

Page last updated September 4, 2020.