After the death of George Floyd last month, riots followed peaceful protests in cities across the country, including Illinois, and many have been overwhelmed by the scale of property damage, looting, and vandalism. As a result, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued disaster proclamations for 14 counties. To ensure that Illinois insurance consumer rights are protected, the Illinois Department of Insurance implemented Bulletin 2020-15.

The Department requested that all insurers licensed or authorized to transact insurance business in Illinois immediately implement the following protective measures:

• Insurers should apply claims best practices consistent with the categorization of this event as a catastrophic event, including expedited claims handling, advance claim payments, and fair treatment of all policyholders, regardless of size.

• Insurers should implement a moratorium on the cancellation or non-renewal of impacted policyholders for a period of 60 days from the date of this Bulletin.

• Insures should err on the side of the policyholder when paying claims as a result of riots, civil commotion, or vandalism from commercial policyholders who were unable to make full premium payments during the period following the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-10, dated March 20, 2020 (Executive Order in Response to COVID-19).

• To the extent business interruption provisions are included and operative under a policy, insurers should base payouts on business activity levels that eliminate the impact of COVID-19.

• Insurers should err on the side of the policyholder when considering the use of exclusions that may or may not be applicable.