Insurance Options with Covid-19
Making the right decision
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic go beyond health; the economic impacts are being felt by thousands of people who are facing an uncertain future. Many people are being told their job is no longer available or they must work from home and this poses some tough decisions, including what insurance options are available.
Insurance Broker Duty
Insurance has been deemed an essential service within Ontario and that means that your insurance broker will still be available to help you given the current circumstances. Major insurance companies have been encouraged to adapt to the work-from-home advice given by various governments and health professionals and that means it can take longer to get hold of an underwriting representative if needed.
We understand the current situation is having a negative impact for many of our clients. During this trying time, frustrations and worry will become more defined however we ask that patience be considered as brokers across the province adapt to the ever-changing situation we are all facing. Insurance brokers have a continued duty to their clients to keep them informed of all aspects of their insurance policies, from policy changes to renewals or cancellations. If you find yourself facing an uncertain time and you’re unsure of your options, call your insurance broker and they will advise you as best they can when it comes to your specific policy.
For auto insurance it’s worth finding out if you can temporarily suspend coverage on your vehicle – this means putting it to Comprehensive coverage only. The vehicle would not be legal to drive and considering we are all being encouraged to stay home, this might be the most sensible solution. Comprehensive coverage keeps fire, theft and vandalism coverage on your vehicle while it is parked and when you wish to drive again, you can reinstate the policy back to its original coverage.
The other option you have is to cancel your policy but this may come with fees however given the current situation some companies are choosing not to impose those fees but, as always, talking with your broker will help you make an informed decision.
For home insurance, there is no option to suspend coverage however some insurance companies are offering to defer payments for a certain amount of time, usually 30 days. Again, this is dependant on the company underwriting rules so speak with your broker as they will have been informed by the insurance companies of available options during this time. Deferring payment does not mean payment forgiveness; it means you may pay more the following months ahead to make up for the deferred payment.
Most importantly we encourage everyone to abide by the social distancing measures that have been put in place to try a stop the rapid spread of this virus. Stay home, stay healthy.