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COVID-19 tips for Homeowners

When we are hit with a bombardment of changes in our lives, this is when we are most vulnerable to shortfalls, our own, and falling into other’s pursuit to take advantage of our overwhelm for their gain.

The Santa Barbara Business Network is an organic network of business owners and entrepreneurs, providing resources and inviting collaborations for mutual benefit. Information that is valuable for decision making is gladly shared. As a network we often receive notices that individual business owners may not, and so we will share these with you whenever possible.

Here is a few highlights from an article provided by Review.com, which is an independent source for consumers. It’s a small group of consumer advocates that teamed up in 2013 to create Reviews.com, which was acquired by Red Ventures in 2016. Today, its operations span the U.S., with offices in Seattle and Fort Mill, South Carolina. Our team of expert reviewers is united around a common goal: being your guide to the best services. The link to read the FULL article is on the bottom of this page.

COVID-19: Relief Options and Considerations for Our New Reality

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted almost every aspect of American life, and many people are struggling with pay cuts, furloughs, and unemployment. Among those who are still working, some are adjusting to the new reality of working from home.

Here, you’ll get a full understanding of the effect the COVID-19 pandemic may have on homeowners insurance, including new policy considerations. The article includes how insurance companies are responding, and what you can do as a policyholder during this time to save by looking for better rates.

Homeowners Insurance and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The pandemic has created several lifestyle changes that may impact your homeowners insurance. If you’re working from home and your children are engaged in virtual education, you can no longer separate your home life from your work life.

When your place of employment and the place where you live become the same, you should revisit your homeowners insurance policy to look for potential gaps in coverage. For example, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover damages to property that you don’t own, such as property from your workplace. So if bringing your work home introduces new risks or considerations, it may be a good idea to increase your liability coverage.

Similarly, young adults who have been furloughed or laid off may have to move back home if they can’t cover the costs of rent or mortgage payments. Most home insurance policies will cover your adult children’s property if they are part of the household. However, you should still look for limits in your policy and take stock of all your child’s belongings.

Young children will be home from school, which could increase the chances of damages to the property. More people will be using utilities more often while away from work, which could increase the chances of electrical fires and plumbing issues.

Dan Baily, President of WikiLawn, says, “You should increase your liability to compensate for this, raising it as high as you can reasonably afford.”

Insurance Companies Providing Financial Relief

Insurance companies are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a variety of ways. Some are issuing immediate discounts to their customers, while others are offering customers cash rebates as a form of relief.

Here are some of the best homeowners insurance companies offering relief during the pandemic:

Allstate

Allstate auto and home insurance customers can request a special payment plan that delays payments without penalty if they are experiencing financial hardship. You can call Allstate to see if you qualify.

American Family

American Family Insurance is working with customers on a case-by-case basis to offer payment assistance, deferments, and partial payment options to customers with homeowners insurance. You can call American Family Insurance to discuss your options.

Amica

In some states, Amica is offering grace periods, moratoriums on insurance cancellations, and other relief programs to their homeowners insurance customers. The Amica website currently lists California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington D.C. as applicable states and districts for relief.

Eirie Insurance

Eirie Insurance is expanding its identity recovery services to help homeowners who might be impacted by scams.

Farmers Insurance

Farmers homeowners insurance customers who have optional IdentityShield coverage qualify for extended identity fraud remediation services through September 30th. This program applies to policyholders’ adult children (26 or older), their spouse, parents, and siblings, including stepbrothers, stepsisters, and adoptive siblings.

Geico

Geico is pausing homeowners insurance policy cancellations due to non-payments in some states.

Hanover Insurance Group

Hanover Insurance Group is offering self-service virtual home inspections in some states, which can help policyholders safely submit claims. The company is also waiving its limit on extra living expenses for homeowners who must stay in their homes after covered losses.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is offering payment flexibility to insurance customers. The company has automatically waived all late fees and will continue coverage for customers who have overdue payments.

Metlife

MetLife won’t be canceling any policies due to non-payment until July 1st. The company has also expanded its cybersecurity services through CyberScout to cover immediate family members of their current customers.

USAA

USAA is offering payment flexibility on property and casualty insurance. The company won’t cancel or charge fees for property and auto insurance policyholders who are late on payments until at least June 17th, 2020.

The Bottom Line

Like many Americans, you may be struggling to pay your bills or make everyday purchases in the wake of COVID-19. You may also be experiencing stress due to lifestyle changes in association with stay-at-home orders or working from home.

If you’re struggling to pay your homeowners insurance premiums, your best course of action is to contact your insurance provider to determine what programs they offer. Some insurance companies may provide flexible payment options on a case-by-case basis, even if they don’t have a relief program for property insurance policyholders in place.

There are many considerations to take into account when revising your homeowners insurance. Hopefully, the examples above will be a good place to start while you work toward creating a healthier budget.

Here’s the link to Read the full article at Reviews.com: https://www.reviews.com/insurance/homeowners/homeowners-insurance-and-covid19-precautions/

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