The COVID 19 pandemic has rattled not only businesses, but also individuals and families.Lockdowns and restrictions on social distancing have led to resurgence in anxiety and apprehension; as people are unable establish physical contact. Many people have lost their jobs and quite a few are facing salary cuts. Even business owners are experiencing diminishing sales and in some cases, even losses.
Experts say that this fast changing social and economic environment has caught us unawares, as we were not prepared for it. As a result, many of us are facing uncertainty in our daily lives and have many questions related to insurance and COVID 19, especially how they impact our work, our home and the health of our families.
Below is a compilation of some of the most frequently asked questions about insurance and COVID-19 with answers from an expert business insurance broker.
Ques: How do I register a new vehicle that I have purchased?
Ans: Before registering your vehicle, you will need a pink card. For this, you will need to contact your business insurance broker. You will get an insurance policy, or the vehicle will be added to your existing policy and you will get a pink card.
In order to register your new vehicle, you need to visit the registry office with the following documents:
- Proof of ownership document (Bill of Sale).
- Proof of valid insurance for the vehicle mentioning the name of the person who is requesting registration.
- Driver license or any other acceptable identification.
- An out-of-province, salvaged or commercial inspection report, if applicable.
Ques: If I have work materials at home, will I need extra home insurance?
Ans: No. That’s because the cover provided under most insurance policies includes incidental work materials. There is no additional endorsement needed. However, if this happens to be a full-time arrangement, then you need to inform your business insurance broker and have your policy endorsed accordingly.
Ques: Am I allowed to park my vehicle?
Ans: Yes, you are. For this you need to talk to business insurance broker who will advise you of the changes in your cover and new premium applicable. It will take a few weeks for the changes to be processed.
Ques: Since I am working from home and no longer using my car to travel to office, will my auto insurance premium get reduced?
Yes, if your daily commute has decreased, then your premium could get adjusted.
Ques: Supposing I don’t pay my insurance premiums? What will happen then?
Ans: Everyone is facing the crisis and is under pressure to manage. By having an insurance cover you are rest assured that your property and valued possessions are protected.
To continue enjoying the cover and avoid cancellation, you need to keep paying your insurance premiums. However, in case you are facing a problem in making premium payments, you need to contact your business insurance broker and they will check with the insurance company to see whether there is any flexibility with payment terms.
Ques: Is there any relief available from payment of insurance premiums?
Ans: This is a question being asked by most people. In most cases, you can have the option to spread your premiums out over time and your business insurance broker can best guide you here.
However, if you are looking to simply postpone paying your insurance premium, then that is not possible. That’s because:
- Premiums are paid to your business insurance broker mostly for business insurance policies and to the insurance company directly for home and auto policies.
- Your business insurance broker becomes your trusted advisor when they receive your premium. This money is treated as money held in ‘trust’ and the broker cannot do anything with it, except pay it to the insurance company on your behalf.
- Your business insurance broker has no power to defer, suspend or delay premiums, since they only act as a trusted advisor to guide you and to do all the work in creating the insurance contract.
What is possible, however, is that the business insurance broker can help you gets funds – either through an independent premium financing company, or through the insurance company itself, or from a bank and these funds can then be used to pay the insurance premiums.
Ques: Will it help to defer payments, in case I decide to pay my insurance premiums directly to my insurance company?
Ans: Paying premium directly to the insurance company is known as a ‘direct bill’. In such a case, there are sometimes instances where your payments can be deferred for a short period of time.
Ques: I have a tenant, but since he is no longer working due to his employer shutting down the business due to COVID 19 pandemic, he is no longer paying rent. In such a situation, am I within my rights to evict him?
Ans: In this situation, you are advised to contact the appropriate government body in Alberta to learn about the rights and obligations of tenancy.
Ques: Are there any consequences if my rental property is, or remains vacant?
Ans: In such a situation, you are advised to contact your business insurance broker who will inform your insurance company and provide you a vacancy permit. This is an important matter and it is recommended that you keep your business insurance broker always updated on the status of your property to make sure that coverage is not voided during a vacancy situation.
Ques: Will I have a cover for lost rental revenue due to COVID 19?
Ans: Unfortunately not, because insurance cover is provided only against risks that are considered as insurable perils. Since COVID 19 pandemic is not an insurable peril, therefore there is no cover provided for lost rental revenue.
It is important to note that these FAQs are in the form of generalizations only. They are not meant to serve as definitive answers to any and every situation. Every individual and family finds itself in unique situations during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Since your needs are unique, they need to be discussed in detail with your business insurance broker and only after a proper assessment of your situation has been made, should a course of action be followed.