The novel coronavirus has certainly affected our lives, especially since it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Social distancing measures may seem drastic, but they are helping reduce the impact of COVID-19. Though necessary, these procedures do affect our lives. We’ll discuss how your insurance is affected by COVID-19 and if you have coverage for related claims in this article. This includes: 

  • Insurance premium payments
  • Delays with insurance companies 
  • Claims
  • No walk-ins or in-person meetings at brokerages 
  • Your home insurance 
  • Your car insurance 
  • Your travel insurance 
  • Your business insurance 
  • Ongoing claims 

We also have several resources for to help you through this difficult time.

Insurance Premium Payments

Your options for paying your insurance premium payments will depend on your insurance company and bank. Here are a list of common methods of payment:

  • Paying online directly through your insurer
  • Paying through online banking through your financial institution
    • You will need to add your insurance company as a "bill payee"
    • Pay each policy separately
  • Paying through telephone banking through your financial institution
  • Call your broker and they may be able to accept payment over the phone
    • This applies to credit card only
  • A cheque or money order
    • Contact your broker to help you with this process as there are several steps you must follow
    • We would prefer to not handle cheques at this time for the safety of our employees and clients. Please only use cheque as a last resort.

Please note that cash and debit are not currently being accepted at this time.

There may be other options available depending on your policy. Contact your broker for your individual payment options.

Insurance Premium Payment Deferrals

If you need to defer your insurance premium payment, please contact your broker as soon as possible.

Some insurance companies are offering payment deferrals, payment plan changes, waiving NSF fees, and temporarily waiving cancellation for non-payment. However, these offerings are not consistent and are not available with all insurers. Contact your broker to see what options are available with your insurance company.

Delays with Insurance Companies Due to COVID-19 

There may be some disruption to your service with insurers. Response times have increased due to an increase in calls, particularly for travel insurance companies. Many insurers are also transitioning employees to work remotely. They’re doing their best to minimize the delays. You can contact your broker if you have any concerns.  

Claims 

You will be able to submit a claim online or by phone either directly to your insurer or with the help of your insurance broker. 

If you have an ongoing claim, you may experience some delay due to the transition to working remotely and social distancing practices. Please be patient and contact your broker or insurance company to find out next steps.  

Here is a list of our insurers and how to contact their claims service. 

Social Distancing at Our Brokerages

In order to protect staff and clients and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, many brokerages have temporarily stopped walk-ins and in-person appointments. Please contact your broker directly to see if your branch is affected.

That doesn’t mean your broker isn’t available – it just means you’ll need to call, email, or video chat with your broker instead of visiting in person. There may be a few bumps to working from home, but all brokers are doing their best to minimize the impact to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your broker. 

Your Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance is one of the most-affected by COVID-19. Coverage is determined by the Government of Canada’s travel advisories. If the country had a coronavirus travel advisory when you booked, you would not be covered for trip interruption, cancellation or travel medical related to COVID-19. 

On March 13, 2020, the Canadian Government issued a travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel globally. If you had already left your home province and travelled to a destination that did not have a coronavirus-related travel advisory, you would likely have coverage for COVID-19-related claims. However, if you left or booked after this date or travelled to a country with a coronavirus-related travel advisory, you would not have coverage for COVID-19. You may still have coverage for non-coronavirus claims.  

Some travel insurance companies considered the coronavirus as a “known event” earlier than March 13, 2020. This means that the traveller is booking while aware of the risks and that coronavirus-related claims will not be covered. Allianz Global Assistance declared COVID-19 a known event on March 11, 2020 while TuGo Insurance and Manulife Insurance declared the virus a known event on March 4 and March 5, 2020, respectively. 

If you have a trip booked for the future and decided not to go due to the coronavirus, you may be eligible for trip cancellation or a travel insurance refund, depending on where you were planning to go and when you booked your trip. 

If you have questions about your coverage, please contact your broker or travel insurance company. 

COVID-19 Personal Insurance FAQs

Visit our COVID-19 personal insurance FAQ page here.

Your Business Insurance 

With social distancing and quarantines, we understand that many businesses are struggling.  

You may be wondering if there was a policy that you could have purchased to protect your business during a pandemic. Unfortunately, while some specialty insurers to provide such a policy, they’re rarely marketed in politically stable countries.  

Business Interruption 

Unfortunately, business interruption insurance will most likely not cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Most policies require an insured claim to trigger the coverage, such as a fire. As pandemics are not physical damage, they do not trigger business interruption coverage.  You can learn more about this here.

Civil Authority 

The civil authority clause of your business insurance only gives you coverage if the civil authority direction is triggered by an insured claim, such as a wildfire or flood. Civil authority coverage will not cover business interruption for the coronavirus pandemic. 

Business Insurance COVID-19 FAQs

Please visit our business insurance coronavirus frequently asked question page or contact your broker. 

Resources 

We have some best practices for business continuity for the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes how to develop a response plan, managing employees, and reducing transmission of the disease. There is also a section on workers’ compensation claims with regards to the pandemic. 

Business Continuity PlanningThere is also a business continuity self-assessment checklist to evaluate your level of preparedness to deal with a disease outbreak.

Self-Assessment Checklist

The Harvard Business Review also has some great advice about communicating through this crisis

Working from home can be a challenge – especially if the kids are home, too. Here are some resources to make it easier: 

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. If you’re struggling with anxiety relating to COVID-19, please see these resources: 

Finally, we recognize that this situation is difficult and fluid. A-WIN Insurance is here to help you through this as best we can. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  Find your branch here.