New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance issues emergency order to help South Fork and Salt fire victims

June 22, 2024

Contact: Colin Baillio – [email protected]

In response to the devastating Salt and South Fork fires that affected Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Reservation, New Mexico’s Office of the Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) issued an emergency order. This action follows Governor Lujan Grisham’s executive order and aims to provide increased insurance protection and support for policyholders in fire-affected areas over the next 120 days.

“The entire OSI team is thinking of the communities affected by these horrific wildfires,” said Insurance Superintendent Alice T. Kane. “Evacuates should focus first and foremost on keeping themselves and their families safe. Our hope is that the protections give these communities one less thing to worry about as they navigate the devastating impact of wildfires.”

Key provisions of the emergency order:

  1. Health insurance protection:

    • Grace periods for premium payments: Health insurers must offer grace periods for premium payments to ensure continued coverage.

    • Early bookings with prescription: Insurers are required to allow early prescription refills.

    • Coverage for out-of-network services: Insurers must cover out-of-network services.

    • Waiver of Patient Cost Sharing and Prior Authorizations: These financial and administrative burdens are waived to ensure access to necessary medical services.

    • Replacement of essential medical supplies and equipment: Coverage is extended for essential medical supplies and equipment left behind due to evacuations.

  2. Property Insurance Protections:

    • Grace periods for premium payments and submission of claims: Property insurers, including those that offer homeowners and auto policies, must offer grace periods.

    • Waiver of deductibles: Deductibles are waived to reduce financial stress on policyholders.

    • Deferral of cancellations and non-renewals: Policy cancellations and non-renewals are deferred.

    • Suspension of late payment charges: Late payment charges are suspended to financially support policyholders.

    • Advance Payment for Additional Living Expenses (ALE): Policies covering ALE must promptly issue a $5,000 advance payment to policyholders affected by the wildfires.

Most homeowner policies cover ALE, including hotel costs, meals and other necessities for displaced policyholders. This advance payment aims to provide immediate financial relief.

Emergency telephone line and additional information: OSI is ready to serve New Mexicans as they navigate these wildfires. The agency’s emergency number for the Salt Fire and South Fork Fire is 1-833-485-1336. For more information, visit OSI’s Fire Resources page.

These measures are designed to ease the financial and administrative challenges faced by those affected, allowing them to focus on their safety and recovery during this difficult time.

Related documents:

Original NM OSI press release

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