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Premium Relief or Deferral from Insurance Companies?

Is it just me or is this a time where we need fast responses and my perception is we are dealing with Insurance Companies that do not normally respond quickly to change.

The CADA Association has set the Insurance World in a tizzy.  They are giving their members a 60 day premium relief, not a deferral, a relief.  Which I mentioned in my prior Blog should not be a huge stretch since employees can’t go to the Dentist, they can’t see Paramedical Practitioners, etc.

The time frame for a disability with the COVID-19 is approximately 2 weeks, so their shouldn’t be any additional Long Term Disability claims during this time.  However, there unfortunately could be an increase in Life Insurance claims.

This is the most up to date information from the Insurance Companies regarding their response to COVID-19:


“At this time we have extended our grace period for 120 days from today forward to allow individuals to have coverage during this time. We are not waiving premium, so the premiums are still due but we are allowing longer to pay.”

Benefits By Design

“Benefits by Design will continue to follow our standard contract and offer a grace period of 31 days following non-payment of premium. We understand that these are uncertain times for small businesses and they may choose to make changes to their benefits plan to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19. These are difficult decisions and we are here to help you and your clients navigate through the following options.

  1. Reduction of benefits through plan amendments
  2. Temporary suspension of benefits
  3. Continuation of benefits through temporary employee layoffs”.

Canada Life

“What happens if I end up in payment arrears because of the outbreak?

We understand your business may be financially challenged given the current environment. Speak to your Canada Life representative if you have concerns about premium payments over the next 60 days.”


“For our commercial clients, Chubb will commence a voluntary 60-day hold on cancellation and nonrenewal for all of its US and Canada insureds that advise that they cannot pay their premiums due to events related to coronavirus except where a longer period may be required by regulatory order. We will continue to bill premiums but will not cancel for non-payment and no late fees will be assessed during this hold. The hold will commence on March 23, 2020. Commercial insureds may contact us directly or reach out to their brokers to let us know that they will be requesting this accommodation.

In all cases, we will make sure that, in compliance with all applicable regulatory guidance, we are providing accommodations to our insureds where we are required to do so.”

Empire Life

Premium arrears handling
COVID-19 is putting a financial strain on many Canadian businesses. To help our customers
during this challenging time, we are extending the grace period to 60 days. This will take effect
for April premium payments.

Renewal deferral
To alleviate pressure on Canadian businesses during this time, we will defer all rate increases
scheduled for May and June renewals for 2 months for all non-ASO customers, effective
immediately. Renewal dates will remain unchanged.

Groups previously scheduled to renew in May will now have their renewal rates implemented
July 1, 2020 and for groups renewing June 1, these rates will be implemented August 1, 2020.


“In a situation where the business is actually closed as opposed to just laying off employees, then the following option applies as well:

Business Closures due to Covid – 19:

We will allow businesses to suspend coverage (no owed premium and no claims paid) for a maximum of 3 months. When coverage resumes, no back premium is owed and no medical underwriting is required to reinstate the prior benefits.

If the client wishes to either of the above, they need to notify their service specialist in writing (via email) on their desired course of action.”


No update on premium relief

Morneau Shepell

“We understand the financial impact of what is happening, but we hope the needs of the health of the employees can continue to be supported. If an organization is having challenges, I recommend working on a one off basis with the dedicated customer success manager to look at options.”

 Pacific Blue Cross

No update on premium relief


”A formal grace period for payments is currently being discussed and I expect something to be announced on this by the end of the week.  That being said, RBC currently has a very generous grace period and we will work with each plan sponsor as necessary.”

Sun Life

Flexibility on premium payments

SunAdvantage Clients. Small businesses can be the most impacted by the current pandemic. Some may have difficulty paying their premiums within the 31-day timeframe. For those that can, they should continue remitting their premiums as normal. For those that can’t, we’ll continue their contract. We’ll allow up to 60 days to pay the premium from the date it’s due. Beyond 60 days, for sponsors that have not made new payments or arrangements, our Billing team will reach out to your Client to discuss.

SunSolutions and National Account Clients. We want to support our larger Clients as well in these difficult times. We know that some may face a challenge in paying their premiums on time. In such cases, we invite them to contact their Account Executive to discuss extended payment terms. Each Client has different needs and we want to work with them to provide the support that’s best suited to them.


SunAdvantage Clients. We are deferring May and June renewals by two months automatically. This means that May renewals will be effective in July and June renewals will be effective in August. We will not apply any retroactive adjustments.

SunSolutions and National Account Clients. Some Clients may have concerns about upcoming renewals. We invite you to discuss those concerns with your Account Executive. We’ll work together to address them.”


Regarding Premium Deferral, requests are required to be sent in by written request (email will suffice).

If you would like to stay up to date on what is happening with your benefit plan, contact Glendinning Insurance Services at 250-764-0142 or [email protected]

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