How can the coronavirus pandemic affect your personal insurance?
The coronavirus pandemic and your personal insurance
Has the coronavirus pandemic has caused you to use your personal vehicle or home in a business manner? If so, you will need to review your personal insurance plan.
The coronavirus caused the government to shut down non-essential businesses. Many of our clients have found they are being asked to work from home. Or do things that were not originally hired to do. Things such as using their personal vehicle for delivery. I have also seen beauticians, accountants and yoga instructors offering to provide services out of their home.
And now with the daycare centers being shut down, we know people will be tempted to offer to watch non family members in their home for a fee. And once you start watching non family members, it creates issues with coverage under a standard homeowners policy,
The coronavirus pandemic may have adverse effects on your personal auto insurance
For example a lot of businesses have started offering delivery of their products. And they are having employees use their personal cars for the delivery.
The standard ISO personal auto insurance policy excludes the use of an auto used for delivery of food or products. So insurance carriers may deny coverage based on this exclusion for the delivery of food, grocery or other deliveries.
You don’t want to find out after a loss that the insurance company is denying coverage.
If you are using the vehicle in this manner, you should let your insurance company know. Even if it is just temporarily.
The good news is that we have a few of our companies that are allowing delivery during these tough times. They are allowing it as long as it is a temporary solution to the restaurants having to offer pickup and delivery services only.
Also, ask your employer if they have a coverage called “Non-Owned Auto” coverage on their business insurance policy.
Here are a some things you can do to save money on your auto insurance:
- If you are now working from home, call your agent and have them adjust the usage of your car from commuting to pleasure use.
- Call your agent to see if your company offers a discount for using a telematics device. Since you are not driving your car as much, the discounts for using the devices can be larger.
- Evaluate your comprehensive and collision coverage deductibles. If your deductible is really low, say $100 or $250, raising them to $500 or $1,000 could create a nice savings.
Here is what not to do to save money on your auto insurance.
DO NOT lower your liability limits.
You may be thinking that you are not driving as much, so why do you need the higher limits?
Think about the economy and job market of today. Your odds of getting into an accident may be reduced because you are driving less. BUT, because of the high unemployment rate and the economic uncertainty, the odds of being sued if you are in an accident are high. So it is more important now that ever to make sure that you have adequate liability limits on your auto insurance policy.
The coronavirus pandemic may have adverse effects on your homeowners insurance
Are you now conducting your business from your home?
We are seeing a lot of people who cannot work at their business location due to the COVID-19 shut downs offering to conduct business or provide services at their home for their clients.
On the homeowner’s insurance side, there is an exclusion for business activities for liability coverage. So if you have customers coming to your home for a haircut, to get their taxes done, or for a yoga class, there is no coverage if they get injured on the premises.
So if your client falls on a step in your home, trips over your kid’s toy, or your dog bites them, there may not be coverage since they were in your home for business purposes.
Another concern is that the current ISO HO-3 Homeowners form only gives $2,500 on premises and $1500 off premises for personal property primarily used for your business. If your business equipment is worth more than $2,500, contact your insurance agent to have this coverage increased.
If you are conducting business from your home, call your insurance agent. They may be able to add a home business endorsement to your existing home insurance policy. If not, they may be able wot write an affordable home based business insurance policy.
Are you now working from home for your employer?
With today’s technology, telecommuting is easier that ever before.
To avoid layoffs, the government is encouraging businesses to allow employees to work from home during this time of social distancing. And they are even willing to help pay for technology purchases that may be needed to allow for this to happen.
Many companies have been sending computer equipment home with their employees to allow them to work remotely. I know we have done that ourselves here at Huff Insurance so we can provide seamless great service to our clients.
Do you have items that belong to your employer at home? If so. a standard homeowners insurance policy only will cover up to $500 for personal property of others in your care, custody, and control. Your company’s equipment would fall under this category.
So check with your company to make sure that they have the proper insurance business insurance coverage to protect their equipment.
Are you angry at your former employer or other businesses for their decisions during the coronavirus pandemic?
If so, keep in mind that personal injury is not automatically included on the homeowner’s insurance policy. So think twice before going online and bashing your employer or other business. Also, if you “hear” of a business that may have had an employee diagnosed, be careful about spreading the news. Posting of rumors on social media can cause great financial harm to businesses. If this happens, you are open for a lawsuit if you are posting or sharing posts that may not be factually correct about a business.
Social media is a great platform to voice your opinion. But if you are sued for slander, or libel then you would not have coverage without a personal injury endorsement on your homeowners insurance policy.
As people like to say, you do have freedom of speech, but not always freedom from consequences.
Has your employment status changed due to the pandemic?
If you are laid off then the usage of your vehicle may have changed. Contact your insurance agent or company to let them know. They could change the usage of the vehicle or add a low mileage discount until you return to work. During this tough time, every dollar will count.
If the way that you work has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic then please give us a call to discuss how these changes impact your personal insurance.
Most carriers are trying to work with clients on their payments but it is important that you contact your insurance company before the payment is due to make arrangements and this will allow them to be the most flexible.
We know that these are trying times and people are trying to do what they can to support their families, but we don’t want you to have an unexpected loss that causes you more of a financial hardship.