While most of us are staying home during the pandemic, we may not realize the affects it has on our home and auto insurance. The last thing anyone wants is to have a claim that may not be covered during such an uncertain time. We are seeing several trends across the country that every family should be thinking about.
Auto credits: Almost every auto insurance carrier has recognized that far less cars are on the road during the pandemic. Most carriers have offered a percentage or flat dollar refund to offset a policyholder’s premiums. If you have not heard from your agent or carrier, check in to see what savings is coming your way. To help reduce auto insurance premiums even further while not driving your cars, think about increasing your deductibles or talking to your agent about potential cost-saving coverage changes.
Additional household residents: We have seen an influx of college and adult children coming back to the nest to live with their families during the pandemic. If your house has recently grown in numbers with no future departure date in sight, do not forget to contact your agent and add these drivers on to your auto policy. It is important to make sure every permanent household member is a listed driver to make sure all individuals are fully covered.
Vacation homes: Many clients who have second homes have canceled their summer travel plans and instead decided (often for the first time) to rent out their vacation homes to a third party for a fee. Renting out your home requires different coverages and it is incumbent on the homeowner to let their carrier know your plans to rent out the home. If the carrier is not made aware of this change, coverage could be denied should a claim occur while the house is rented out.
Special events: Unfortunately, many weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs as well as other large events have been canceled or postponed due to COVID. To avoid this loss in the future, more requests than ever before are coming in to purchase special event insurance to cover the potential cancellation of a future important (and costly) event. At this time, these special event policies are still exclud-ing cancellation due to a pandemic, so be careful and make sure to read the small print before purchasing this type of policy for your big day.
Cyber: Home internet usage is at an all-time high with so many working from home and as a result, cyber-attacks are also at an all-time high. Certain carriers now provide an option to add personal cyber coverage to a homeowner’s policy at a very nominal cost.
Michelle Hirsch is senior vice president of Brunswick Companies in Garfield Heights.
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