Important Update: Insurance is Considered “Essential” Service in Ohio
This afternoon, Gov. DeWine announced that all non-essential businesses will be ordered to close tomorrow night at midnight until April 6th in an effort to further blunt the spread of coronavirus. OIA advocated that this order permit insurance agencies and companies to continue to operate as essential services during this time of uncertainty.
In this order, the business of insurance falls under Essential Businesses and Operations. This means that you can continue to operate but must do so under the Director of Health’s operating requirements. The following requirements and precautions must be taken in your physical agency location:
- Your agency must ensure employees and customers are six feet from each other
- Separate hours must be established for vulnerable populations that may be visiting your agency
- You must have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers
- You must post online whether your agency is open and how best for your customers to reach the agency and continue services by phone or remotely
While OIA has offered many resources to help members transition their agencies to a work-from-home environment, we recognize that many members do not have the resources available to conduct their business remotely, making access to their office essential to the continued operation of their business. We have prepared a one-page summary of the state orders and bulletins that impact insurance agencies and your clients.
OIA would like to thank Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, ODI Director Jillian Froment and her leadership team for their ongoing efforts during this crisis. We will continue to proactively advocate with our state leaders and communicate with the agent community any decisions or issues that impact Ohio insurance consumers and your agencies.