Acceptance Insurance - Navigating Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

Acceptance Insurance - Navigating Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

Acceptance Insurance - Navigating Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

Acceptance Insurance is committed to caring for the safety and well-being of our employees and customers. Read about the latest decisions being made by the company and the actions being taken regarding COVID-19.

March 25, 2020

Acceptance Insurance is closely monitoring and complying with all state and local regulations and mandates regarding essential business operations. Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of everyone who comes into our locations. At this time the majority of our locations are running under modified business operations with the doors locked to the public but having agents on site. To learn more about potential changes at your local office, please visit our Find a Location link.

As of today's date, there are a growing number of state and local governments that have entered some form of stay at home order. The primary purpose of the order is to keep people at home as much as possible in order to slow the spread of the virus.

In general, the stay at home orders do the following:

  • Define what is essential
  • Close non-essential businesses
  • Require individuals to remain at home
  • Identify limited reasons people may leave their homes

The terms "essential business" and "critical infrastructure" are often being used interchangeably in the orders. This is because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo providing federal guidance on businesses critical to the infrastructure of the country. Insurance services is listed as a critical operation under the "Financial Services" section of the memo.

Orders may focus on only businesses or both individuals and businesses. For example, the statewide CA Order requires all non-essential businesses to close and also directs all residents of the state to stay at home unless:

  • They work for an essential business (e.g. insurance)
  • They need to utilize essential services for their health and safety like getting groceries or medication or to secure other supplies and services for themselves or their family
  • They need to care for a family member or pet in another household
  • To engage in outdoor exercise activity such as walking, running, biking, so long as the use social distancing

The PA order requires all businesses except life sustaining businesses to close, but there are separate orders in 7 counties that require, in addition, that all residents of the county remain in their homes, except for the specified reasons.

Below is a link to a NY Times article that summarizes stay at home orders across the county as of this morning. They report that 175 million people in 17 states, and at least 26 counties and 10 cities are being ordered or urged to stay at home.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-stay-at-home-order.html

March 23, 2020

OH has now entered a Stay at Home Order for the entire state. This Order, like the orders issued in our other business states continues to consider insurance services an essential business operation.

While the governor has elected not to issue a statewide order in Texas, he has encouraged local governments to do so as they deem appropriate. As of this morning Dallas and Denton Counties have issued stay at home orders that exempt insurance services. It is expected that additional counties will do likewise, and we will update you as these occur.

March 23, 2020

Acceptance Insurance has taken extraordinary measures to protect our Team Members from the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization began taking measures as early as March 13th with communications to Team Members ensuring precautions were taken to maintain a healthy environment.

In light of the continuously evolving COVID-19 outbreak, after mandates for Shelter in Place were issued in California and Pennsylvania, the company made a decision on March 20th to close all Retail locations to the public (with employees on site) ensuring the safety of Team Members, nationwide. This adopting of social distancing remains in place and we encourage Team Members to continue to abide in this act to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, March 22nd, the Nashville Metro Public Health Department issued a Safer at Home Order directing all residents of Nashville and Davidson County to stay inside their homes and limit outside activity to what is absolutely necessary for essential needs.

Based upon analysis by the US Department of Homeland Security, Insurance companies are identified as an essential business and are to remain open and supporting the general public while utilizing all precautionary measures to combat COVID-19 as outlined by the CDC. In our continuing efforts to minimize the number of our Team Members working in large environments such as our Green Hills, Haywood and Tampa offices, the organization has proactively worked toward adopting a work from home model. And, with Acceptance identified as an essential business, Team Members are holding critical roles of great responsibility to ensure people have the resources needed to protect their families and assets.

During these difficult times, the organization remains committed to the safety of our Team Members and customers. Each of us will make significant contributions in the operations of the business, positively affecting those who depend on our excellent customer service and in the delivery of compensation they are entitled to when a loss occurs.

As we continue to conduct these important obligations, know that we are moving forward to further adopt and establish additional methods for Team Members working in large environments to work remotely. We encourage Team Members to remain vigilant and adhere to the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization which include social distancing, limited physical contact, washing hands often and staying at home if feeling sick.

As our day to day operations are disrupted in such challenging times, let's continue to work collectively as one team to stay healthy and calm during this temporary period of change.

March 20, 2020

Late Friday afternoon, March 20, 2020, in response the DHS memo, the governor of PA revised the "Life Sustaining Business" order to expand the list of business that should maintain critical operations to include insurance services. In light of this modified Order all PA stores are once again operating with agents in the stores but the doors locked against public entry.

March 20, 2020

Throughout the week we have been monitoring information that has been released about the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday at 8pm Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. Starting tomorrow Saturday, March 21st our Pennsylvania locations will be closed to comply with Government directives. To continue to serve our customers, the local office phones will continue to be monitored and answered accordingly. Acceptance will continue to monitor the situation, providing updates as we receive it. We know these are very challenging times, but we'll continue to do our best to serve you.

March 19, 2020

On Thursday, March 19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Memo outlining critical businesses that should be allowed to continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list includes insurance as a critical part out our country's infrastructure. As states and local governments continue to issue Shelter in Place or Stay at Home orders, insurance services is consistently listed as an essential business that is exempt from shutdown under these orders.

March 19, 2020

Given the unprecedented nature of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption it is causing, several states have issued notices requesting that all insurance companies extend leniency to its policyholders who have been directly impacted by this pandemic. While recently several states have requested us to take this action, First Acceptance wants you (our valued customer) to know we have been and will continue to work proactively with all customers through this crisis.

Effective Tuesday March 17, 2020 and continuing until at least May 17, 2020, First Acceptance will make reasonable efforts to work with First Acceptance policyholders:

  • By suspending late payment, reinstatement, or insufficient funds fees
  • By allowing exceptions for proof of loss deadlines and other time related insurance notice or response requirements in the event of an underwriting request or a claim
  • By refraining from denying claims solely because a customer was impacted by the pandemic

These extensions and/or exceptions do not address circumstances involving fraud or material misrepresentation or any coverage reason unrelated to the hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, this notice is not intended to waive a policyholder's obligation to pay premiums owed, but rather to aid those in need of an extension of coverage during this difficult time.

If you receive a notice regarding due dates and potential cancelation or non-renewal of your policy mailed on or after March 17, 2020, please be advised, during this time, Acceptance will not act on these notices of cancelation and/or non-renewal of policies for affected policyholders.

March 18, 2020

As information and consensus has continued to evolve in California and across the county, we have re-evaluated the Shelter in Place order that was entered in seven counties in the San Francisco bay area. We have now determined that, based on new information, the five locations initially impacted may have agents on site without public access and with signs posted on the locked doors. This will allow customers to slip payments under the doors to the agents during operating hours if they were so inclined. We will use this approach for any additional California counties that adopt a substantially similar Shelter in Place order.

We will continue to make adaptations to our operating procedures to help flatten the Coronavirus curve and practice social distancing while delivering on our brand promise. Acceptance Team Members all over the country are rallying to try to find new and innovative ways to keep our commitments to the communities we live and work in.

March 18, 2020

Acceptance Insurance provides essential services that help people deal with life's uncertainties. Our business offers peace of mind today and in the future and we want to ensure we live our brand promise and continue offer exceptional customer service during unexpected and trying times. Rest assured, Acceptance is following the directives and recommendations of the government and as the impact of COVID-19 continues we are proactively doing what is in the best interest of our customers and safety of our Team Members.

In our ongoing effort to keep everyone safe, Acceptance continues to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and World Health Organization to maintain a healthy work environment. Through instructing our Team Members to limit their physical contact with others, frequently washing their hands and repeatedly disinfect often-touched surfaces such as door handles, countertops, keypads, restroom surfaces and chairs throughout the day, rest assured we are putting measures in place to help take care of our Team Members to ensure they can continue to best serve our customers. Team members located in our corporate and claims office who have the ability to work remotely have been encouraged to do so and alternative options are being provided for employees who are unable to work remotely.

On Monday, March 16th government officials in California mandated a Shelter in Place for numerous counties in the San Francisco bay area. Five of our California stores were impacted by this mandate. Notifications to customers were placed on the doors encouraging engagement through our web and phone channels. Agents impacted by this mandate are currently working remotely.

Additionally, the governor of Pennsylvania closed public access to non-essential businesses which impacted 10 of our locations. Agents in these locations are conducting business as normal except for the doors being closed to the public. Notifications were placed on the door encouraging customers to engage through our web channels or directly with their local agents over the phone.

Given the current circumstances and the ever-changing environment, we made the decision to adapt the Pennsylvania model for ALL Retail locations, excluding the five stores in California impacted by the Shelter in Place. This allows us to proactively balance the needs of the customers and Team Members.

Effective Wednesday March 18th, every retail location (with the exception of the bay area stores under Shelter in Place) will be operating under normal business hours with agents on site with the office closed to the public. Our locations are open from 9 AM – 6 PM on Monday – Friday and 10 AM – 5 PM, on Saturdays.

We understand some customers may have concerns interacting with others during this time. With this in mind, we want to inform the public of a variety of service options that we have available:

  • Customers can call their local stores who are available to assist customer service needs over the phone during regular business hours.
  • Customers can call 800-321-0899 (during regular business hours) to make a payment, file a claim, or talk with a customer service representative.
  • For 24/7 service, customers should visit Acceptance.com to manage their account, download id cards, make a payment, file a claim, review policy documents or pay a bill.

For fast service we encourage customers to convert to electronic payment methods by phone or online. However, in non-Shelter in Place locations we do have the option to (during regular business hours) accept payments under the door when agents are present.

Acceptance Insurance remains true to its promise to make a difference in people's lives by offering the products needed with the service and respect deserved. We will continue to provide our customers with information regarding closures and preventive measures via email, website and social media outlets.