Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coronavirus effects on insurance

Coronavirus And My Insurance Policies

I know people are wondering if this pandemic will affect their home and auto policy premiums

It can, but it shouldn't

Your premium will most likely change at your next renewal, but that is common. There is no way to know exactly how the effects of this pandemic will affect premiums in the future. When companies lose money, they generally increase premiums to gain it back. But for now, your premium should stay the same unless you make changes, such as adding coverage.

My neighbor said I should lower my auto coverage

You may hear it is a good idea to lower your coverage on your auto policy since you won't be driving much for a while. I would caution against this. If you cancel the policy, it is illegal for you to drive- anywhere. If you lower your coverage and have an accident, you will pay much more out of pocket expenses for the damage. We do not know how long we may have to stay in our homes. We may need to drive because of an emergency. Think long and hard about the possible consequences before you make changes.

Can I still get a hold of my agent?

If you are looking for a new policy or need service work done, this should not be affected by the pandemic. Most insurance can be done by phone, fax and email. I know many agents have closed their office locations, but many of those have set up a way to work from home. If you don't get an answer when you stop by, call. If you don't get an answer when you call, email your agent. 

How is my carrier reacting to all of these changes?

Most of the carriers are working from home also. They have set up systems so their workers can answer phones and email from home. Many of them have offered payment deferrals for 30-60 days. This is for people directly affected by the coronavirus (loss of job or contracting the virus would qualify) But keep in mind, you will still have to pay your premiums eventually and you may have less time to pay it in, leading to higher payments you have to make down the road.

I know these are scary and uncertain times. I know many will have to make tough decisions. Whether your insurance is valid shouldn't be one of them!

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