Shelter In Place/Stay at Home Orders - Is Insurance Considered "Essential"?
When "shelter in place" orders were being discussed for North Carolina, IIANC remained in communication with regulatory and government agencies to advocate that insurance services be included with financial services as essential businesses that will remain open to the public throughout the COVID-19 emergency. On March 24, IIANC sent a formal request to Governor Roy Cooper. The NC Department of Insurance did the same. Insurance agents and agencies are specifically listed in the Governor's stay at home order as an “Essential Business”. IIANC is very appreciative of the NCDOI leadership and staff that have been working with us on this issue and others over the past couple of weeks.
4/9/20: Executive Order from Governor Cooper: New Distancing Requirements for Agency Seeing Customers in its Office
6/24/20: Executive Order from Governor Cooper: Extension of Phase 2 and Statewide Mask Requirements
5/20/20: Executive Order from Governor Cooper: Easing Restrictions on Travel, Business Operations, and Mass Gatherings [Phase 2]
5/5/20: Executive Order from Governor Cooper: Easing Restrictions on Travel, Business Operations, and Mass Gatherings [Phase 1]
4/23/20: Executive Order from Governor Cooper: Stay At Home Order Extended
Governor Cooper has extended Executive Order 121, North Carolina's Stay At Home Order, until May 8, 2020, as well as other orders regarding the closures of restaurants for dine-in services, bars, and other close-contact businesses.
While Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 131 (which takes effect on Monday, April 13 at 5 pm) applies primarily to conventional retail establishments among those deemed ‘essential businesses,' agencies should be mindful and abide by the required limits set in Section 1 (A) on the number of customers allowed to be inside your office at one time (no more than 20% of the stated fire capacity, or 5 customer per 1,000 square feet of the facility); in (B) to keep customers in your office at the recommended 6 feet apart for social distancing; and, in (C) to perform frequent cleaning in high-touch customer areas.
3/27/20: Statewide "Stay at Home" Order Announced
Gov. Roy Cooper announced a "stay at home" order for all 100 counties, effective Monday, March 30 at 5pm. Insurance agencies (along with insurance companies, underwriters, and related insurance claims and agency services) are considered "essential business" and can remain in operation. Essential business are required to maintain the Social Distancing policies set forth in the order (see Sec. E, page 8). The order is valid for 30 days (through April 29) but can be revised or extended. Nothing in the state or locally issued orders to date have mandated a "pass" for those traveling to and from the workplace of an "essential business." IIANC will continue to monitor this and inform our members should there be any change in this status.
View Governor's Full Stay at Home Order
View FAQ on Stay at Home Order
What does the Stay at Home Order mean for your agency?
3/26/20: List of Local SAH/SIP Orders
The NCDOI has provided a list of all "Stay at Home" or "Shelter in Place" orders that have been issued by local units of government across our state, and includes a reference to whether the orders exempt insurance services.
3/26/20: NCDOI Advisory on SAH/SIP Orders
The NCDOI issued an advisory regarding the "Stay at Home" or "Shelter in Place" orders being issued around the state. Includes details on which areas are considering insurance as an essential service and what that means for the agency, actions the NCDOI is taking, etc.
3/25/20: Video Q&A from IIANC
With areas around North Carolina issuing Shelter In Place orders, IIANC has received many inquires from members on what this means for insurance agencies. IIANC staff (Aubie Knight, CEO, Rebecca Stewart, COO, and Joe Stewart, VP of Governmental Affairs) recorded a helpful video to answer the many questions and address concerns.
Unemployment Benefits Increased in NC
On March 17, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits. To learn more about what the unemployment insurance changes mean to your business, including detail on the provision that employers will not be responsible for benefits paid as a result of the coronavirus, view recommendations shared by Capital Associated Industries (CAI).
Disaster Recovery Loans Available to Small Businesses
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest federal disaster loans to help businesses recover from declared disasters. Since the SBA approved the request for North Carolina's disaster declaration, eligible applicants may now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans (EIDLs) to help fulfill financial obligations and operating expenses as a result of the ongoing effects of COVID-19. More information regarding eligibility, loan specifics and the application process can be found at the link below.