The Coronavirus and Homeowners Insurance: What You Need to Know

The effects of the Coronavirus on the economy is nothing short of devastating. Millions of people have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.

This crisis has put us all in a place of uncertainty. And homeowners, too, are getting worried that this outbreak could possibly affect their insurance policies, one way or another.

Here’s what you need to know about homeowners insurance in the time of COVID-19.

1. Your existing homeowners insurance policy should be enough to protect your home during the pandemic.

The pandemic does not pose any threats to homes and personal property, so your existing policy should be enough. However, if you’re currently working from home because of the outbreak, you might want to checkout upgrades or policies to cover your business equipment.

Homeowners policies may include some level of home-office equipment coverage, usually around $2000 - $2500. If your current set-up costs more than that, you should consider a home business endorsement or an altogether separate business equipment policy.

2. You may also want to give your liability and personal belongings coverage a good review.

Another aspect of your homeowners insurance that’s worth checking is the liability coverage. The liability risks run high these days as families are forced to stay within their neighborhoods because of the pandemic.

You want to be sure that you have more than enough liability coverage for third-party injuries that might happen in your home or if your household members (including pets) damage other people’s property.

Also consider updating your personal property coverage to protect your belongings from losses due to fire or theft.

3. You can still purchase home insurance and process claims during the quarantine period.

COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, and the insurance industry is no exemption. If you’re planning to purchase a new policy or file a claim during the pandemic, you may still do so. However, adjustments were set in place to make these processes safer.

For one, face-to-face interactions are discouraged. Insurance companies are implementing strict social distancing policies, which means you can’t meet with your agent in person. If you have any questions or concerns, call them or communicate virtually using available video conferencing platforms.

The same goes for insurance applications and claims. Instead of visiting your home, the company performs a virtual inspection via photos or videos for assessment.

4. There are plenty of ways to save on home insurance during the pandemic.

Coronavirus has taken a toll on every household’s finances. Everyone’s trying to cut back on their spending these days, and maybe you can save money on your insurance policy, too. Here’s how:

  • You have a lot of time in your hands, so why not use it to shop around for a new policy? Other insurance providers might offer you a better deal.
  • Don’t forget to ask the agent if you’re qualified to receive discounts. Insurance companies have plenty of discount offers but don’t advertise them. It’s up to you to find out!
  • Make your home safer by installing alarms and detection devices. This will help lower the cost of your premiums.
  • Check if there are coverages in your policy that you currently don’t need. If you’ve been renting out a room in your house on Airbnb or similar platforms, you’re probably paying for home-sharing coverage. Ask if you can pause this for the meantime.

The Coronavirus has not had any drastic impacts on the insurance industry. But as we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, nothing is certain yet. For now, contact your Petley-Hare insurance broker (if you haven’t yet) and update yourself of any rules or changes that your insurer might have implemented to cope with the new normal.