Coronavirus and Car Insurance
Nearly overnight, all of our lives have shifted dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus is being contained in mandatory quarantines all around the country, so if you’re home you’re not alone. Many people are forced to work from home or not work at all. The future seems a little uncertain, but we all hope for the best while hunkering down with loved ones.
Some of us who were laid off, or are worrying about a layoff in the near future, are looking for ways to save money or to cut back entirely. If you’re considering what to do about your car insurance, we’ve gathered some information that may be helpful to you.
Be advised that to drive legally, you must meet your state’s minimum requirements for car insurance. If you’re not insured, we can find you the best auto insurance prices.
Will My Auto Insurance Policy Be Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak?
Car insurance is the ultimate way to protect one of your most costly possessions: your car! An insurance company will never revoke that legal protection without giving you advance warning. As it stands now, as long as you’re making the payments you agreed upon, you will remain covered. Remember to stay up-to-date in paying premiums, even if you’re thinking about finding a more affordable insurance company.
The only way you can lose coverage is if you make changes to your policy. Most insurers and agents are still working, albeit remotely, so don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about your policy or wish to make changes.
With that said, the question of whether or not you should make changes to your policy because of coronavirus has a more complicated answer. For one thing, the quarantine may be lifted in a month or less. Soon, you’ll be driving just as much as you did before coronavirus struck.
If you’ve lost your job or are working from home, you’re probably driving far fewer miles than before. It’s safe to say that you are mitigating risk by being homebound. But should you remove your collision and comprehensive coverage? Well, your car is still in danger of being stolen, even during a ten minute stop at the grocery store. Only comprehensive insurance would cover the theft of a car or a cracked or shattered windshield, which can happen at any time. Also, during that quick run to the store, you may have an accident. Parking lots are where many collisions happen, so reconsider losing your most important coverages.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re at such a low risk during this quarantine period that you should streamline your car insurance policy, but don’t make any decisions lightly. If one of the aforementioned scenarios does take place, you’ll be spending much more money on fixing your car than the money you saved on insurance.
Should I Let My Car Insurance Lapse During Coronavirus Quarantine?
No, you should never let your car insurance lapse for many reasons, not even when you don’t use your car at all.
Consider how much coverage you can live with temporarily but don’t let your car insurance lapse altogether due to coronavirus. After you let your car insurance lapse, your rates will be much higher when you try to get insured again. As unfair as that may sound, it’s just the way insurance works. People who allow their coverage to lapse are seen as higher risk drivers (who knows if they were driving without insurance!). Even students who go away to college and don’t take a car are advised to keep their car insurance active to avoid higher rates.
Even quarantines are not reason enough to let your car insurance lapse. However, let’s say you are married and you have two cars and are barely using one while the coronavirus has us hunkered down. You may want to consolidate and insure only one car. If you do this, just make sure you’re both on the insurance policy you choose to keep (so you don’t have a lapse in your record) and cancel coverage on the second policy. However, depending on your insurer, you may incur a penalty charge by canceling before the end of the policy term. On top of that, we may all be sent back to our respective offices in a couple of weeks. Whether or not you save any money depends on how long it’ll be before we all return to normal. It’s up to you to decide if the hassle of canceling and reactivating your policy is worth ten or twenty dollars.
If you decide you want to make changes and are seeking the best rates in the business, visit here.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Change Due to Coronavirus?
For the most part, your car insurance will remain the same, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. If there are any changes, your insurer will alert you immediately. Chances are that your agent is still working, even though s/he may be doing so from home.
If you’re interested in seeing if you qualify for a lower rate, this is a great time to review your information with SmartFinancial, where you'll be smart-matched with the right insurance agent who may be able to save you some money. While you’re comparison shopping, you may want to consider bundling your home and auto for the deepest discounts.
How Do I Get Car Insurance Quotes?
After you visit SmartFinancial.com, be prepared to answer some questions, which will determine how accurate your online car insurance rate is. Usually, when you’re given the official quote, the information will be in your records so it does you no good to lie. In fact, if you’re caught lying, your car insurance rate may go up because you’ll be seen as a potentially high-risk driver. Saying you’ve never been in an accident when you have only works against you.
What Do I Need for a Car Insurance Quote
For more about what kinds of information you need and what to expect from the quoting process visit here. Note that getting a quote doesn’t affect your credit score.
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