The professionals at SWITCH Insurance understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to financial struggles and uncertainty for many Canadians. There are a number of ways the current global crisis has affected people’s financial situations. Many individuals have been laid off from their jobs, while others who perform hourly work have seen their shifts reduced. In these very challenging times, it is understandable that some people are struggling to stay on top of their bills right now, including their insurance premiums.

One important thing to remember during these troubling times is that you are not alone. Virtually everyone is experiencing challenges with the current restrictions, and these challenges can lead to emotional exhaustion. Physical isolation can lead to emotional and mental isolation, which is why it is paramount that we stay connected and well-informed. While this applies to many facets of people’s everyday lives, it can also apply to Personal Insurance needs. Instead of feeling alone and helpless, reach out and speak to your insurance broker to make certain you have the most up-to-date information possible.

SWITCH Insurance is working diligently to connect those facing tough financial situations as a result of the pandemic with the best options for their Personal Insurance needs. By helping our clients stay informed, we can ensure that they are making informed decisions about their insurance options. Here are some of the measures that member companies of the Insurance Bureau of Canada will be taking to help support their customers:

Reassessed Automobile Insurance Coverage Needs

One very significant change noted during the COVID-19 pandemic is the reduced number of automobiles on our roads. Life has changed a great deal due to the need for social distancing. People are working from home, staying home evenings and weekends, and reducing the number of times they go shopping. People are spending less time behind the wheel than ever before, and Personal Insurance providers recognize the need to adapt to this shift in driving behaviour. Drivers whose habits have changed may qualify for reduced car insurance premiums. If someone is no longer commuting to work or school on a regular basis,  or one of the family vehicles is no longer in use, your insurer could reassess your coverage needs and reduce your premium to reflect these kinds of changes..

Deferred Premium Payments and Flexible Payment Options

With some Canadian workers facing reduced or even zero income due to business social distancing requirements, finding enough money to make ends meet can be a huge challenge. SHIFT Insurance has always been committed to connecting our clients with the products and services that will best meet their needs. Now more than ever, our clients need to have confidence that they can afford the insurance coverage they need for peace of mind. Thankfully, many Personal Insurance providers are deferring premium payments and exploring other flexible payment options for those Canadians and businesses who have been most affected financially. In a manner similar to how banks can offer mortgage payment deferrals, insurance companies are deferring insurance premium payments to people who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. In this way, customers will be able to keep their insurance coverage in place and defer payment until a future date when hopefully things have returned to a more normal state. Insurers are also exploring other payment options to help those who are still able to pay for insurance but may need some additional flexibility at this time. These kind of flexible Personal Insurance options will be specific to the needs of each individual, as circumstances will most certainly differ from customer to customer. As such, the best way to explore the options available will be through a personal consultation with your broker or insurance provider. Ask about your situation to discover how your insurance provider can help adjust to your current needs.

Waiving NSF Fees

Under normal circumstances, if someone had insufficient funds in their account to pay their Personal Insurance premium, they would end up paying a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee to their insurer as a penalty. Right now, insurance companies are waiving these fees for customers who do not have sufficient funds in their accounts because of COVID-19 financial impacts. It is important to note that while your insurer may waive your NSF fee, you will still need to pay the principal amount owing on your account. It is important to note, however that your bank may still charge you a fee if you try to make a payment without enough funds in your account to cover the full amount. Your insurer does not have control over bank fees such as this, so always communicate directly with your financial lending institution for any bank-implemented NSF fees.

Temporary Different Use Allowances

Many Canadians find themselves in very different circumstances from earlier in 2020. The daily routine of nearly everyone has been upset, if not completely turned upside-down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The professionals at SWITCH Insurance understand that significant number of people have had to make substantial changes; however, this does not mean that your Personal Insurance provider will leave you out in the cold because of it. If you are temporarily using your car or home differently because of the pandemic, it will not affect your premium or coverage. For example, if you are driving to work now instead of taking public transit, or if you happen to be working from home when you ordinarily work at the office, this will not affect the cost of your insurance or prevent you from making a claim.

Working Together

Challenging times have added significant personal financial pressure to many Canadians. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a choice of payment options and unparalleled flexibility relating to Personal Insurance can provide substantial peace of mind that you and your family are getting the best insurance coverage possible. If your car usage has changed; if you are using your home as a temporary workspace; if you need to defer premium payments, or are worried about not having enough money in the bank to pay all your bills on time, SWITH Insurance will help keep you informed with the best options available. By working together we can help make sure our client’s insurance coverage stays in place and also provides the necessary flexibility to see them through the current crisis.