Can I get a home insurance payment break during the coronavirus outbreak?

Some home insurance providers are letting you suspend payments due to financial hardship.

Updated

The coronavirus outbreak is having a major effect on our everyday lives, including our finances. If you’ve been affected, it can be a tough time. You’re not alone, and home insurance providers are doing their bit to help. Many are offering payment extensions, reduced payments and more.

How are home insurers helping during the coronavirus outbreak?

You might be able to reduce or defer your payments depending on who you are with. Most of the providers offering help are financial institutions who also provide home insurance. Therefore, the financial hardship assistance they provide might not be limited solely to your home insurance.

Can I defer or reduce my home insurance premiums?

To find out if you can defer or reduce your home insurance payments, you should:

  • Contact your insurer. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, possibly as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and can’t pay for your home insurance, contact your insurer. Check their website first, as many outline the kind of financial assistance they’re offering due to COVID-19. But you’ll probably have to call them to work through your specific case. They might be able to offer you a more affordable policy, temporarily reduce your payments or allow you longer to pay your premiums.
  • Deferring payment. If you are able to defer payment, keep in mind that you may have to pay double the amount when your next payment is due. You might be able to pay in fortnightly installments. Speak to your insurer to see what options are available.
  • Pay on time. To ensure you don’t go into arrears, make sure you take down the new payment date. If you don’t, you risk having your home insurance coverage cancelled.

Other ways to save money

If your home insurance provider doesn’t offer the extent of financial assistance you need to stay afloat, there are few other ways you can keep cash in your wallet.

  • Comparing providers. In the current climate, now is a good time to assess your expenses. You might be able to save by switching providers. Use Finder’s home insurance page to learn what to look for in home insurance policies.
  • What type of insurance is right for you? There isn’t just one type of home insurance. Comprehensive coverage is likely the most expensive kind, because it’s the most inclusive type of coverage. You could pay less and still be covered for common issues with a basic or named perils policy. If you want to cut back even more, you could get coverage just for specific items like jewelry or a laptop.
  • Cancel your policy. If you can’t afford to pay your home insurance, you might need to cancel your policy. It’s not ideal, as your home is the largest asset you’ll likley own, but it might be necessary. Remember that some policies will have a cancellation fee. However, it will likely be less than $100.

How you can save with cheap home insurance

What happens if you stop paying your home insurance premiums?

While it will differ from insurer to insurer, you can expect the following to happen in most cases:

  • If you don’t pay your premium. You’ll be sent a reminder from your provider, usually by mail or email – often both.
  • If your payment is overdue by a month or more. By this time, if you haven’t paid, they will probably cancel your policy.

If you go about it this way, you’ll probably have a hard time getting an insurance policy in the future. The best way to cancel your policy is to do it in writing. Email and call your insurer letting them know that you would like to cancel. You’ll usually need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your policy number
  • The address of the insured home
  • Your contact number
  • Your signature

Keep up-to-date on all things related to COVID-19

Looking for more ways to save some cash?

Are you worried about your finances during this time? Spending time on a little admin can save you from spending more cash than you need to.

Here are some guides on how to save money on your daily expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak. From small steps you can take to save money to special programs – it all adds up in the end!

More guides on Finder

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