The coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes to the lives of Americans. Some of these changes affect people in unexpected ways that may be overlooked during such a crisis. One of the most overlooked items in many households that may have been changed by new circumstances is your insurance.
What life changes may have occurred that call for a review of your coverage? Here are three of the most common.
1. You Work From Home
The ability to work from home is a great option for many Americans, but it changes your insurance needs. For instance, you may have brought home valuable company equipment — items ranging from a laptop to specialty recording or transmission devices. Check with your employer to determine how these will be insured while in your home. Because you aren’t the owner, they could be a risky gray area.
What about self-employed persons who start doing more work from home? On the surface, it may seem like nothing has really changed, but business activities and assets are usually not covered by homeowners insurance. Computer equipment you take from the office or injuries sustained by a customer at your home may not be covered. You would need business insurance for these scenarios.
2. Other Family Has Moved In
If you’re practicing self-isolation with other family members — often adult children — is everyone covered properly? Start by assessing the health insurance of all family members, particularly during this time of increased health risks. Many young people can get back on their parent’s insurance, or they may be able to use the insurance marketplace if they lost a job or moved.
What about homeowners insurance? People are protected differently depending on whether they are considered guests or household members. A guest who is injured on your property would, then, be covered much differently than a member of your household. Each insurance policy defines these categories differently, so you’ll have to research it.
Finally, make sure that other current insurance will cover new assets or responsibilities. If your adult family members brought with them new valuables, such as jewelry collections or high-end equipment, you ought to increase homeowners insurance. And if you are now responsible for providing for more people, you may want to boost your life insurance.
3. You Face a Recession
With a looming recession in the news, some people may be tempted to react by cancelling insurance policies without enough forethought. Instead of putting your finances or health at risk by cancelling insurance coverage you may need, look for other ways to save.
If you need to conserve money, assess each policy with your agent. Determine what it covers and why. Are any policies redundant alongside other coverage? Can you change a particular policy to increase its range and make up for the loss of a different one? With a creative approach, such as adding a specific rider, you and your agent may be able to keep good coverage and save money.
You may also be able to reduce premiums for existing policies. For example, ask about discounts for bundling multiple policies or based on age and habits. If you won’t be using your car due to job loss, you might lower your mileage estimates for a discount on auto insurance. Or you could increase a deductible or reduce certain limits in order to keep the policy as a whole.
While these times are challenging for everyone, a thoughtful approach to major changes will help you weather it. At Metropolitan Insurance Service Consultants, Inc, we can help. We will help you find ways to reduce costs, increase targeted coverage, and ensure everyone is protected. Call today to make an appointment with one of our agents.