How Does COVID-19 Impact Car Insurance?Published: Jun 8, 2020 in Auto Accident
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is more to worry about than just the health and wellbeing of yourself and others. Unfortunately, coronavirus may affect your car insurance premium. If you make any changes to your policy or if your insurer lowers or pays back a percentage of your policy, this will affect your current premium. Make sure that you are keeping up with changes to your policy and you fully understand the way COVID-19 is affecting your insurance company.
Why is Car Insurance Important?
If you get into a car accident, it is important for you to have car insurance for financial protection, especially if you are liable for any damage. Car insurance will also help you in case your car gets stolen or damaged. If your insurance policy is active and payments are kept up to date, you will continue to be protected and insured.
Despite driving less during this time, it is still necessary to keep your policy as-is for the future. You may think that reducing your policy coverage is necessary during this time, but there are things to consider before doing so. If you do drop some of your coverage, make sure that you can afford to pay out-of-pocket for any car damage that may happen. Car accidents can still occur during a pandemic, and if you do not think you can afford to get your car fixed or get a new one, then keep your policy the way it is.
If you feel as though your current policy is not conducive to your current lifestyle, you can see about dropping optional coverage to reduce your payment costs. If the value of your car is less than the amount you are paying, it may be time to drop certain coverage costs.
Another option is to suspend your current car insurance plan. This will temporarily remove your coverage until you decide to renew it; this option is recommended for those who will not be using their car at all during the pandemic.
For advice, contact your insurance company to talk about your best option during this pandemic. They may be able to offer payment plans to help with lowering costs.
Should You Contact Your Insurance Company?
If you have questions for your insurance company, you may experience difficulties and long wait times during this pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has encouraged most employees to work from home and completely change their work lifestyle. Also, due to financial problems, companies have had to lay off or furlough employees during the pandemic. This causes high volumes due to the lack of representatives and because of the many customers who are trying to contact an agent.
There are a few reasons why you may need to contact your insurance company during this time, including:
- Adding someone to your policy
- Removing someone from your policy
- Increasing or decreasing coverage amounts
- Relocating out of state
- Applying discounts or reducing payment questions
Depending on what insurance company you use, most of these issues can be resolved online rather than through a phone call. If you do need to speak to an agent, be prepared for this process to take a while. Once you reach an agent, remember to be respectful and understanding as this is a stressful time for everyone.
What Are Car Insurance Companies Doing in Response to COVID-19?
There is no exact way for companies to handle a national pandemic as this is all new for everyone. Not every insurance company will handle the pandemic in the same way and they may make different changes to their policies depending on the ongoing circumstances. Some changes you may notice include:
- Paybacks on monthly premiums
- Flat rate refunds for policy holders
- Billing support
- Payment extensions
- Decreased insurance rates
- Holds on policy terminations due to late payments
- Handling claims over text messages
If you need financial help during this pandemic, contact your insurance company to discuss the options they have for you. You may be entitled to extended grace periods and waived late fees. Depending on your insurance company, there may also be discounts available that will help with reducing costs.
If you have questions regarding your policy or any changes your insurance company has made, go to their website and read up on their coronavirus response for answers to common questions. This pandemic has caused a lot of confusion for many people, and insurance companies are doing the best they can to help their customers.
How Can You File a Car Insurance Claim During the Coronavirus?
Due to business closures and layoffs, the claims process may be delayed during this time. To file a claim during the time of social distancing, there are a few options to maintain safety for you and other parties involved:
- File a claim through your insurer’s website.
- Talk to an agent over the phone.
- Talk through a mobile app if your provider has this set up.
Once your claim is filed, you may need to work with your adjuster virtually due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Video calls are a great resource during this time so that you are able to see your adjuster while discussing your claim. As usual, always collect as much evidence as you can, including pictures of the damages. This will help expedite the claims process.
For social distance purposes, remember to maintain six feet from other people if you need to exit your car after a car accident. Write down data on the other vehicle and verbally tell the other party your insurance information. Safety is a main priority during this time and practicing CDC guidelines will help prevent you and others from getting sick.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is advisable to speak to an experienced lawyer about your legal options during this time.
Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Fight for Your Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you have been injured in a car accident and need legal help, our dedicated Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC are here to fight for you. This is a difficult time we are living in, and our legal team understands the importance of exceptional legal advocates. Call us at 618-277-3644 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we represent clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.