New Jerseyans who are unable to pay insurance premiums for health benefits, homes, and cars because of the coronavirus pandemic will receive a bit of reprieve, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday.
Murphy signed an executive order that extends the grace period for residents who can’t pay their health or dental insurance premiums by 60 days.
Home and auto insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, insurance premium-financing arrangements and others will have a 90-day grace period, Murphy said.
“No New Jerseyan should lose their insurance during this emergency,” Murphy tweeted.
Murphy announced the measure after he revealed New Jersey now has at least 51,027 cases of the coronavirus, with 1,700 deaths.
Only New York state has more cases among U.S. states.
CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker | Businesses that are open | Homepage
The governor’s new order prohibits insurers from demanding a “lump sum” payment after the grace period, Murphy said. Instead, policyholders will be allowed to spread out repayments over time.
Insurers must also continue to pay out all claims filed during the grace period if policyholders take advantage of the grace period, Murphy said.
Many residents have been financially effected by the crisis. To help slow the virus’ spread, Murphy has ordered residents to stay at home, banned social gatherings, closed schools, and mandated non-essential retail businesses close until further notice.
That has caused a rash of business closings and layoffs. Nearly 577,000 New Jersey workers have filed for unemployment benefits over the last three weeks, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Tell us your coronavirus stories, whether it’s a news tip, a topic you want us to cover, or a personal story you want to share.
If you would like updates on New Jersey-specific coronavirus news, subscribe to our Coronavirus in N.J. newsletter.
Sign up for text message alerts from NJ.com on coronavirus in New Jersey:
Matt Arco may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.
Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com’s newsletters.