April 09, 2020
New Jersey residents now have 60-day and 90-day grace periods to pay insurance premiums due to the coronavirus pandemic across the state, Gov. Phil Murphy announced during his daily briefing on Thursday.
The executive order signed by Murphy on Thursday mandates a 60-day grace period for health and dental insurance policies, and a 90-day grace period for home and auto insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, and premium-financing arrangements.
The order states that all claims covered by an insurance policy must be paid out to those who are within these grace periods, Murphy said. He also said that insurers cannot demand repayment of unpaid premiums in a lump sum at the end of the grace period, and that back-payments must be spread out over the remainder of the insurance term. Insurers are also required to provide policyholders with a readable description of the terms of the extended grace period.
“Not only should no New Jerseyan lose their insurance during this emergency, but we cannot leave them in a weaker position once it ends,” Murphy said. “We’re all in this together, and that’s the only way we will also be able to come out of this, together.”
New Jersey has 51,027 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,700 deaths due to COVID-19, both the second-most of any state across the country, as of Thursday afternoon. While the vast majority of cases have been discovered in North Jersey, South Jersey has 2,740 positive cases and 65 deaths due to COVID-19.
Murphy’s executive order is just the latest in a series of actions taken by the state to help out individuals and businesses who have been impacted financially by the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to Murphy’s executive order on March 21 to shut down all non-essential businesses across the state until further notice, many workers have either lost their jobs or seen their hours slashed due to the pandemic.
As a result, New Jersey is providing financial relief through the state's earned sick leave law — which covers public health emergencies. Residents are eligible if the person's workplace or their child's school or daycare closed due to the pandemic. They also are eligible if a quarantine is recommended by health officials or if they need to take care of themselves or a family member.
These benefits are applicable to full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers. Employees can earn up to 40 hours of sick leave a year — or 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Any New Jersey workers needing to file for sick leave should contact their employer.
Murphy announced on March 31 residents who are eligible for unemployment insurance will receive an additional $600 towards their benefits through July.
New Jersey has also created a special jobs bank during the coronavirus outbreak with over 49,000 openings across the state for those looking for work.
On March 26, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) approved $75 million in financial support aimed at helping small and mid-size businesses affected by the crisis. That funding could grow to more than $100 million if additional resources from the private sector, or federal and state governments, become available.
Among the programs approved: A grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for midsize companies, additional support for private-sector leaders, increased funding for entrepreneurs, and resources for providing more technical support and marketplace info. The programs are expected to help out 3,000-5,000 businesses across the state.
Murphy also implemented a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments and a 60-day eviction program for state residents on March 28.
All municipal and private-sector water companies voluntarily halted all service shut-offs until the pandemic is over, Murphy said on March 31.
Murphy announced on April 1 that the deadline to file individual and corporate state income taxes was being pushed back from April 15 to July 15. He also said that the FAFSA deadline for eligible New Jersey college students to apply for a renewal of state tuition aid ahead of the 2020-21 school year would be moved from April 15 to June 1.