How Coronavirus May Affect Homeowners Insurance
Even in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, mishaps at home have not stopped. In the same manner, disasters brought about by the weather continue to happen despite the current situation.
Undoubtedly, many homeowners are wondering about the impact of COVID-19 on their home insurance coverage. While the pandemic's unprecedented effect on the economy is undeniable, not many are aware of the impact it has on their insurance coverage.
Many predict crucial variables can affect payments, claims, and costs down the road. However, no one knows for sure how everything will eventually play out over time.
Below are some of the ways the insurance industry has been responding to this unforeseen challenge:
Home Insurance Here's some good news: so far, COVID-19 has not significantly impacted homeowners insurance. That means your policy's property coverage stays as is, especially if you have been paying your premiums on time.
If you cannot pay your premiums because of financial difficulties, it is reassuring to know that many providers are allowing temporary payment suspensions to help clients during this time.
Personal Liability Coverage With school being suspended and stay-at-home orders in place, boredom will likely get the better of kids at home. The possibility of children (yours or that of your neighbor) finding their way into your property and possibly hurting themselves is high.
The possibilities are infinite—they can slip in the garden and injure themselves, they can get bitten by your dog, or they can fall in your swimming pool. Whatever the case may be, you need to ensure you have enough coverage for the medical expenses.
Since more people are now counting on delivery people to deliver groceries and other essentials, there is also a higher risk of delivery people slipping on your porch or breaking something in your home.
If you have homeowners insurance, any liability you have for accidents of those nature are covered. However, as mentioned earlier, you need to determine if your coverage is enough. Bear in mind that personal liability only covers up to the limit of the policy.
In other words, the lower your personal liability coverage is, the higher the likelihood that you will be paying a portion of the claims from your pocket.
Processing Claims Undeniably, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected various aspects of the real estate space, from how property management is carried out down to how homeowners insurance claims are processed.
Before the pandemic, providers typically dispatch assessors to process any claims. Nowadays, with quarantine-related regulations in place, this aspect will understandably change. While some providers still conduct exterior inspections, others ask clients to do the next best thing—send a photo or video evidence instead.
Saving on Home Insurance If you want to know if you can save on your home insurance policy, reviewing your policy with your agent is the first thing you should do. Nowadays, you don't necessarily have to go out and meet; a virtual conversation would suffice.
To ensure you cover all the bases, list down any questions you want to ask your agent. For instance, check with your agent if there is a specific coverage you can do without. One example of this is home-share insurance coverage, which is only essential for homeowners renting out rooms or spaces.
You can also save some money if you remove excess or unnecessary coverage. You can also ask insurance agents if they are offering any discounts. Covered claims can cost less if your insurer raises your deductibles. This is advantageous for both parties, as covered claim fees are reduced when premiums are reduced.
It might also be a good idea to consider looking for another policy. Figure out if you can do with just the basic coverage and opt for one with a more affordable rate.
Final Thoughts The home insurance industry is not spared from the new normal. Fortunately, no significant changes have been implemented yet. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you stay on the lookout for any policy changes that can be imposed in the coming months. After all, with the pandemic still ongoing, everything is still considered uncharted territory.