To our clients and friends,

We sincerely hope this note finds you well.  We are working remotely and remain available by phone and e-mail to you!

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued an Emergency Regulation (202.13) requiring New York State regulated issuers of life insurance and annuity contracts, property and casualty insurers and premium finance agencies to provide relief to New York consumers and businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

  • Consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums for ninety (90) days.
  • Consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for sixty (60) days.
  • Premium finance agencies are required to provide the same relief as insurers.

The New York Legislature and Department of Financial Services have been implementing emergency measures in an effort to protect insurance policyholders who have been hit with financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Regulations they enacted apply to most insurance policies and include: the waiver of late fees; the prohibition on reporting negative data to credit reporting agencies; and the repayment of late premiums over a 12-month period.

If you have been impacted by this pandemic, this means help may be available.

  • If you can demonstrate that you’re unable to make a timely premium payment due to financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to pay such premium over a 12-month period.
  • If your policy is financed through a premium finance agency, they may be required to provide a grace period before cancelling your policy for late payment of an installment if you can demonstrate financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grace period will be 60 days for a property/casualty policy; 90 days for a life insurance policy.  You may be given a 12-month period to pay the missed installment, and the premium finance agency may not impose late fees or  report you to any credit reporting agency or debt collector because of that installment.

You may prove hardship by submitting a written attestation to the insurance company or premium finance agency regarding your financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click on the link for additional information https://www.biginy.org/nysdfs.

Additionally, we are detailing what we know to be currently accurate information regarding the recently passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security), March 27, 2020:

EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loans:

  • You can apply at www.SBA.gov with the Small Business Administration
  • Borrow up to $2M for 30 years at 3.75%
  • Payments deferred 1 year
  • Emergency $10K cash advance grant available

Paycheck Protection Program Loan:

  • Apply with your local bank.  Program is not yet up and running – however, is expected to be operational on Friday, April 3, 2020.  Please check with your bank for when the application period begins.
  • Borrow 2.5X average monthly salary – read the details – there are caps
  • Borrow up to $10M for 10 years at 4%
  • Payment deferred 1 year
  • Forgiveness clause if used for payroll and certain criteria are met

Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit:

Refundable credit is applicable for all wages paid between 03/12/20 & before 01/01/21

  • Credit is computed on a calendar-quarter basis and equals 50 percent of qualified wages up to $10k, paid to each employee or $5k in actual credit
  • Eligibility for the credit begins with the first 2020 calendar quarter in which the employer’s gross receipts declined by greater than 50% of the corresponding calendar quarter of the prior year and ends with the calendar quarter following the calendar quarter in which the gross receipts exceed 80% of the corresponding calendar quarter of the prior year
  • For purposes of computing the credit, qualified wages paid to an employee during the relevant period may not exceed an amount that would have been paid to such an employee within the preceding 30 days

Employer Payroll Tax Deferment:

  • Not available to any employer who takes a loan under the Payroll Protection Loan Program
  • Can defer payment of 50% of the eligible 6.2% employer portion of Social Security Taxes to 12/31/2021 and remaining 50% to 12/31/2022
  • Self-employed business owners can make the same deferral of their self-employment tax

For NYC businesses, please look into https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-employee-retention-grant-program.

Provisions and regulations will change as the world changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have tried to provide helpful and useful links and information.  Hopefully the above is supportive guidance to assist you.

We thank you for your relationship with Whitmore – you’re more than a client to us – you always have been.

Kindest regards,

James C.Metzger