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How Does COVID-19 Impact my Insurance?

As coronavirus continues to impact our community, there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fearful, and discouraged.

We want you to know you’re not alone. The entire McClain Insurance team is here for you and thinking about you during this difficult time. Over the past 43 years in business, our office has experienced five major recessions (and a Y2K scare!). Rest assured we’ll weather this storm together, too.

Our team has been busy fielding questions about how COVID-19 is impacting insurance policies across the Pacific Northwest. Below are some of the most common questions we’re receiving.

We last updated this post on Sept. 1, 2020, and we’ll continue to update it as the crisis unfolds.

How does working from home affect my insurance?

With many people still working remotely due to COVID, clients have asked us whether working from home impacts their insurance. Here are 5 important questions to ask:

  1. Do you have business equipment, supplies or inventory at your home? First, check with your employer to see if they provide coverage for business property at your home. In most cases, this coverage should be enough for any equipment or supplies you’ve brought home. Your homeowners policy also provides some coverage for business equipment like computers, desks, phones and tools, which should be adequate for most of our clients. However, if you have high-value equipment or inventory, contact us to see if you need to add coverage on your homeowners policy.
  2. Do you have regular business-related deliveries or visitors to your home? While your employer may provide limited coverage for business property at your home, they generally do not provide liability coverage for business activities at your house. If you have regular business-related deliveries or employees or customers coming to your home, give us a call to discuss whether you need additional coverage.
  3. Are you working in a detached structure on your property? Your homeowners policy typically covers hobby-related equipment and supplies stored in a detached structure, but it’s not designed to cover the risk that can come with businesses. If you’re using your detached garage, shed or outbuilding for business purposes, let us know.
  4. Are you self-employed? This is an important distinction for insurance providers. If you’ve got an in-home business or a hobby that’s turned into a side gig, we recommend a home-based business policy to make sure you’re properly covered.
  5. Are you driving less? In some cases, working from home may actually reduce your insurance rates! If you’ve gone from commuting to Seattle to commuting to your basement office, send us a text or email. We’ll update your auto policy and you may qualify for a low-mileage discount.
McClain Insurance Services is here for you!

The U.S. coronavirus pandemic started in the Seattle area. That’s why on March 12, 2020, our Everett, Washington-based office implemented a work-from-home policy to help keep our team healthy and do our part to prevent the virus’s expansion.

With the exception of walk-in visits, it’s business as usual at McClain Insurance. We are available to you by phone, text, or email, and through our website:

  • Phone: (425) 379-9200
  • Text: (425) 379-9200
  • Email: team@autohomeboat.com

Our entire team is monitoring phone calls, text messages, and emails during our normal business hours of Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please contact us for claims, changes to your policy, questions about your bill. We’re also accepting new business.

The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly.  We’ll continue to follow local, state, and federal government recommendations to help keep our community safe.

My hours were cut, and now I can’t afford my insurance payments. What can I do?

First, we’re so sorry you’re experiencing financial hardship. You’re not alone – many of our clients are being affected by the spread of coronavirus.

We’re proud of the resources and support our insurance company partners are offering to policyholders. All proactively issued formal statements offering payment leniency, waived late fees, and other support for policyholders experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

In addition, on March 25, 2020, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued Emergency Order No. 20-03,  which applies to all insurers authorized or admitted to transact property and casualty insurance business in the state of Washington.

Commissioner Kreidler’s order states:

A. Between March 25, 2020, and May 9, 2020, all Regulated Entities transacting any property and casualty insurance business shall provide grace periods for nonpayment of premium and shall waive otherwise applicable charges and fees associated with nonpayment of premium, such as late fees and reinstatement fees.

B. Between March 25, 2020, and May 9, 2020, no property and casualty insurer shall cancel a policy issued for nonpayment of premium, unless specifically directed to do so by the insured.

If your employment or income has been impacted, please call or text us at (425) 379-9200. We are on your side, and we are here to help.

Does my life insurance policy cover death from COVID-19?

Life insurance offers financial protection to your loved ones in the event you die unexpectedly, so it’s no surprise many people are asking, “Does my life insurance policy cover death from COVID-19?”

Yes, the insurance companies we work with do not exclude coverage for death from COVID-19 or similar pandemics. At this time, all of our life insurance companies are also continuing to write new policies. As long as you honestly answer the questions on your life insurance application,  you have little reason to be concerned about whether or not a claim related to COVID-19 would be paid.

I lost my job due to coronavirus and want to drive for Uber Eats to make ends meet. Do I need to tell my insurance company?
The coronavirus pandemic has already started to hit American pocketbooks, with nearly 1 in 5 households experiencing a layoff or a reduction in work hours, according to a poll by NPR. Employees of the restaurant, bar, hotel, and airline industries are among the hardest hit. The Seattle Times says 50 Seattle restaurants announced temporary or permanent closures in the first two weeks of March alone.

As a result, many laid-off employees are turning to delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates to replace lost income. This begs the question: If you start driving for a food delivery service, should you tell your insurance company?

Yes. Standard personal insurance policies exclude coverage for the delivery of food, people, and goods. This means if you get into an accident while performing these duties, you have no insurance coverage for the resulting damages and/or injuries. Luckily, many of our insurance companies can add an endorsement to your policy to cover food delivery for a small additional fee.

Progressive Insurance has taken a leadership position in providing temporary coverage for food deliveries, as has PEMCO Insurance. Please contact us for information about this temporary coverage and its restrictions.

What is the insurance industry doing in response to COVID-19?

All of our insurance company partners have the well-being of their customers, their independent agents, and their employees in mind. Most have enabled 100% of their employees to work remotely. Currently, there is no impact to normal customer service operations.

I own a small business. Does my business owners policy cover business interruption or loss of income while my business is closed?

McClain Insurance specializes in family insurance protection, including auto, home, boat, and earthquake insurance.

That said, we can tell you that according to the insurance industry publication National Underwriter, “Experts believe it will come down to what the insurance policy says and how it is interpreted.” Our recommendation: if you own a small business that has been negatively impacted by coronavirus, contact your independent insurance agent for guidance. They should be able to walk you through what your policy does and does not cover.

Can I get coverage for a canceled wedding?

At this time, insurance companies are no longer writing special events or wedding insurance policies that include cancellation or postponement coverage and lost deposit coverage as a result of COVID-19.

If you purchased a policy prior to the pandemic, please contact us for assistance.

 

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