By Rachael Harper
With Coronavirus still making its presence felt all over the world, we all continue to restructure our once comfortable lives. Our personal and social lives have taken a different route, with physical distancing very much a need and a reality. Businesses have also made significant changes in their day-to-day operations.
Since most of the general population has lost their jobs or have had to accept salary cuts, companies are now coming out with alternative solutions for the benefit of their clients and partners. Everybody has had to change and adjust – startups, SMEs, and even established enterprises.
While the insurance industry is also affected, it continues to serve its clients. In particular, homeowners insurance providers are busy working on adjusting certain aspects of their clients’ policies.
If you have home insurance or are planning to get one, here are some things you may want to know first before considering your next stop.
The general recommendation of the NAIC or National Association of Insurance Commissioners is for each state to create a plan that will give homeowners a specified period for paying their premiums. Some states give homeowners a 60-day grace period, but the range varies from state-to-state. It would be best for you to get in touch with your insurance agent for the details.
Your first step is to review your home insurance policy. You can do this with your agent to guarantee that you’ll cover all the necessary aspects. You don’t have to go out and meet; a virtual conversation will do.
Be particular in the questions you’ll ask your agent. For example, ask him if you have the coverage you no longer need. An excellent example of this would be home-share insurance coverage, which is essential for homeowners that rent out spaces or rooms. You’ll save a significant amount if you eliminate unnecessary or excess coverage.
Ask your insurance agent what discounts the provider is offering.
Covered claims will cost less if you ask your insurer to raise your deductibles, which is good for both parties because when premiums are reduced, covered claims fees also decrease.
Lastly, taking into account the current situation, looking for another policy is a good idea. Shop around and try to find one with more affordable rates and the basic coverage you need.
Liability coverage is essential at this time when homeowners and their families are staying home. Everyone will be around, and when the children are playing in the backyard, there is an increase in the possibility of household members, including pets, causing bodily injury to neighbors. Check if your liability coverage is updated.
In the same manner, an update in your personal property coverage is also needed. Your electronics, furniture, jewelry and other belongings need insurance in case of loss or damage due to fire or theft. The risk is high because everyone will be home.
A pandemic has a way of changing the way we do things. In the home insurance industry, several adjustments were set in the insurance claims payout process. It would help if you found out what these are.
The first noticeable change is the elimination of physical interaction. Most insurance companies are strict in implementing the social distancing policy, which means physical meetings with insurance agents and other similar activities are on hold.
Instead of physical meet-ups, agents and their clients now communicate virtually using video conferencing apps or programs. The same is also true for damages and claims inspections.
Home visits are also prohibited, so homeowners applying for home insurance use digital resources to interact and communicate with their insurers and inspectors.
While it is true that the pandemic has dramatically impacted the home buying process, there are also advantages for new homeowners.
If you are a new buyer who recently lost his job because of the pandemic, then paying off insurance fees or mortgage won’t be easy. For new homeowners with secure employment and salaries, now is the best time to get home insurance coverage because interest rates are very affordable.
It will take months, probably even years, before things get back to normal – the normal we used to have, not the normal that Coronavirus forced us to create. So, talking to your home insurance agent, even via video conferencing tools, is the best step to take in these crucial times.