Coronavirus and Homeowners Insurance
Polina Wheeler May 28, 2020
The global pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives. As we adjust to this new normal, it’s important for homeowners to consider all the ways in which the coronavirus may affect you. This includes your homeowners’ insurance. While the pandemic has not caused major shifts to most policies, you should look at your circumstances closely to see where you may need to make adjustments. Here’s what you should know.
When you’re buying a home
Although Americans have continued to buy and sell homes during the pandemic, the process has changed somewhat. While buyers will still need to get a home inspection to close on a home, inspectors have adjusted this process. Before social distancing guidelines were enacted, inspectors would perform an on-site evaluation of both the interior and exterior of the home. This helps them to determine your coverage and if the rate needs to be adjusted. Now, many inspectors are only evaluating the exterior. As a buyer, you will still be covered; however, the interior inspection may be scheduled for a later date when it is safe to do so.
When you own a short-rental property
If you own a property that you rent out on sites like Airbnb or VRBO, then it’s likely you aren’t welcoming renters at this time. If your homeowners' insurance policy offers home-sharing protection, then you may want to temporarily halt this coverage. It will help you save money while your rental property is vacant.
When you’re working from home
Millions of Americans have begun working from home during the pandemic. In fact, many workers may discover that their jobs will permanently become working-from-home situations. Have you had to move any business equipment into your home as a result? While most homeowners' insurance policies cover business equipment, the coverage is low – usually around $2,500. If your business property is of higher value, then you may want to increase your coverage.
When you’re filing a claim
The way you file a claim on your homeowners' insurance policy may change during the time of the coronavirus. Most insurance adjusters are not making in-person visits at the moment unless you are filing a very large claim. Contact your insurance company for instructions about how to file a claim online and submit proof. In most cases, insurance companies are accepting virtual proof for your claim.
When you can’t make your payment
The pandemic has caused financial hardship for many Americans, who suddenly find themselves without the income needed to pay all their bills. If you are among them, then you should contact your insurance company. Most insurance companies are making adjustments to help consumers who are facing hardship as a result of the coronavirus. You may be able to adjust your coverage or work out a different payment plan that works within your means. It’s important that you contact your insurance company as soon as you know that you’re having trouble. They will be more willing to work with you to come up with a solution that is beneficial to both parties.
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