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Many major home insurance companies are working with customers facing financial strain due to lost income during the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are even required to extend payment dates in states that are mandating longer home insurance grace periods.
We’ll update this page as new details emerge in the world’s response to COVID-19.
The grace period may range from 10 to 30 days, depending on your state’s requirements and the insurance company. If you’re late on your home insurance payment, your insurer is usually required by the state to cover you for a certain time after your last payment due date.
Some states like California have extended insurance grace periods to at least 60 days in an effort to help customers during the current economic downturn.
Take advantage of benefits your insurer is offering during the coronavirus:
Most home insurance companies are encouraging customers to reach out if the coronavirus outbreak is limiting their finances. Companies have offered customers payment assistance, with a few companies taking bigger steps to relieve financial strain.
Checked as of July 10, 2020, individual companies are helping customers:
|Company||How are they helping?||How to make payments|
|Allstate||MyAccount login or mobile app|
Your local agent
For identity theft protection, sign up at Allstate identity protection
|American Family||The company acknowledges some customers need financial help. It encourages you to discuss payment options with a rep.||Call 1-800-692-6326|
Contact your local agency
|Assurance||No direct COVID-19 response on its website. Its customer service team wants to help with your policy from beginning to end, including modifying coverage when needed.||Call 844-334-1948|
|Geico||Geico is offering flexible and special payment plans to customers in need, including partial payments.||Geico app or geico.com account|
Check the customer service number on your policy
Otherwise, call 888-395-1200
|Kin||There’s no direct COVID-19 response on its website.|
But Kin leaves the door open for you to contact by phone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
|Lemonade||The company is helping customers and the community weather these hard times by:||For questions, contact customer service via the app|
|Liberty Mutual||This insurance giant is helping customers with flexible payment and overdue balance payback options:||Liberty Mutual app or online account|
|Progressive||The insurer says it’s committed to supporting its customers. Progessive encourages customers to contact support if still experiencing financial difficulty.||Chat through the Progressive app or online account|
|State Farm||State Farm is standing by to help those whose lives are disrupted by COVID-19. You can learn about payment options most efficiently from your local agent.||Your local agent|
|Farmers Insurance||This well-known home insurer is taking multiple steps to help customers, including:||You must call 888-327-6335 to extend payments further or pause cancellations|
|USAA||USAA is on a mission to care for its members during hard financial times. The company is providing special payment plans to those who need extra flexibility.||Mobile app or usaa.com account|
You might not want to skimp on home coverage in case of an accident or property damage. Weigh your personal and financial situation carefully before requesting any changes to your policy.
You might see changes in your customer service wait times or in a few other specific situations:
It depends on your policy. Some home insurance policies cover business property with low limits like $1,500. This may exclude equipment stored in a garage or shed.
However, other policies exclude coverage for home-based businesses. Whether you’re a business owner or employee, you may need an add-on for home-based businesses or a business owner’s policy if you don’t have coverage elsewhere. Talk through your new work situation with your insurance company.
If you work for an employer, any work-related injuries or property damage is likely covered under your employer’s business policy.
The coronavirus might affect home insurance premiums because risk factors are fluctuating with people staying at home. For example, theft rates have gone down, but the likelihood of kitchen fires is higher. Also, home insurance companies may see a rise in insurance fraud with scams already on the rise with credit cards.
As an example, fraudulent home policy claims rose nearly 10% in Florida during the Great Recession, according to the state’s Division of Insurance Fraud. Specifically, companies saw rising theft and damage claims filed by homeowners several months before a foreclosure, suggesting that owners may have tried to get an insurance payout during financial hardship.
On the other hand, home insurance premiums rose about 60% from 2008 to 2017 anyway. So owners might have a difficult time parsing out whether premiums are rising from the coronavirus or natural industry increases.
Your home insurance premium may increase for a number of reasons, including:
Notify your insurance company right away if you expect to miss an insurance payment. Many companies are offering help with payments during the coronavirus outbreak. However, if you don’t contact your company, you can expect some repercussions to follow:
Not if you have a home loan. Your mortgage lender likely requires home insurance in your contract. If you violate the terms of your contract, your lender can foreclose on your home.
However, some lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working out special plans for mortgage payments or forbearance if you’re in financial distress. This option may not affect your home insurance requirement, but it can take some pressure off home-related expenses. Call your lender to see what financial relief options it offers during this time.
If you don’t have a home loan, you’re not required to keep home insurance. However, around 5% of homeowners file a claim every year, according to the Insurance Information Institute, and the average claim amount totals over $12,000. Unless you can pay out of pocket for catastrophic damage, it’s probably a good idea to keep your policy active.
If you’re concerned about missing a home insurance payment, insurance companies are offering due date extensions as their main line of support. That combined with other steps like reviewing your coverage can help you stay financially secure during the coronavirus.
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