The world has been shocked by the COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) outbreak and pandemic. To stop the spread of the outbreak, social distancing has been the key. Many states have declared Shelter-In-Place orders. In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb issued a Shelter-in-Place order on March 23rd, 2020. As part of this order, he required that all bars and restaurants be closed to dine-in customers, all non-essential businesses to close, and non-essential employees to work from home if at all possible. This order was then extended effective April 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. until April 20. You can read the entire executive order here.
So How Does Coronavirus Affect the Insurance World?
At Priority Risk, along with other insurance agents and brokers, we are defined as essential business and employees. We care about our community, our employees, and our clients. We remain open during this outbreak, however, we are closed to walk-ins and the general public. We are maintaining social distancing and have employees who are currently working from home. Should you have a claim, policy change, any questions about your policies, or would like a quote, we are still here for you via phone call, text, or email. If you are financially affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and unable to pay your premiums, don’t fret. The Indiana Department of Insurance has issued a moratorium on policy cancellations and non-renewals of any insurance policy in effect for a policyholder in Indiana to allow a grace period for any policyholder in Indiana for a period of 60-days for any premium payment due from March 19, 2020, to May 18, 2020. If you would like more information about this you can read Bulletin 252 from the IDOI here.
To our business clients, we have purchased an HR portal full of resources to help you with your response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Contact us if you would like to get signed up.
Our Carrier Partners
At Priority Risk, we are proud to represent ALL of our carrier partners but would like to highlight the actions being taken by some of them. Many of our carrier partners are taking further steps to ensure your financial stability and personal safety throughout this outbreak. For claims, many of our carriers are switching to virtually adjusting losses whenever possible. Furthermore, several of our carrier partners (and we expect more to follow) have already announced that they will be giving a credit/discount or cash-back on your personal auto insurance premiums for the months of April and May in 2020.
More than 61,000 Hoosiers filed for unemployment in the weeks after the outbreak began, and businesses were shut down. It is reasonable to suspect some of these Hoosiers seek employment through some of the essential businesses that are open. Many will try to start driving for DoorDash, UberEats, or other delivery services. The additional risk that is added by using your personal auto to deliver food or provide livery services usually causes you to be ineligible for certain carrier’s auto insurance policies. Traditionally, this type of risk is excluded unless you purchase a Ridesharing Endorsement. (Which you can read more about on our Understanding Uber Car Insurance In Indiana Blog Post.) However, in-lieu of the Coronavirus outbreak, we have been notified by some of our carrier partners that they are loosening their underwriting guidelines and expanded their coverage for this type of risk.
Encompass was among the first of our carrier partners to issue a cash-back offer. On average our clients who are insured with Encompass will receive 15% money back based on their monthly premium in April and May. Clients will receive the money-back through a credit to their Encompass account, bank account or credit card on file, depending on how they make payments. Please check your payment information to make sure it is up to date. Encompass will also automatically cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and other goods for a commercial purpose during their COVID-19 state of emergency period. Encompass is also offering free identity protection from Encompass’ parent company, Allstate. Allstate Identity Protection helps protect people from identity theft and financial fraud while giving them more control over the private information they share through online accounts. U.S. residents can receive the Allstate Identity Protection product free for the rest of the year when they sign up in April or May, regardless of whether they are already an Allstate customer or not, by accessing https://allstateidentityprotection.com. For more information regarding the steps Encompass is taking to during the outbreak, you can visit their Coronavirus Response Page.
Travelers is also providing a 15% credit for these two months. They are also pledging $5 million to COVID-19 relief efforts to assist families and communities across North America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. You can read more about Travelers COVID-19 response here.
As of April 7, 2020, Safeco is also offering a 15% refund. (For our clients with Safeco on their Ultra program, this is in addition to the 2% cash-back you already receive every 6-months for going without claims and violations.) Liberty Mutual (Safeco’s Parent company) and Safeco will grant $10,000 in donations to community nonprofits hit hardest by COVID-19, selecting them from organizations nominated by our independent agent partners. At Priority Risk, we have already nominated one of our favorite non-profit organizations we support, Fueled for School, which operates in Hamilton County, IN for this grant. We also encourage you, if you can afford it, to donate to them which you can do here. Safeco has expanded all their personal auto policies to cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine, medical supplies, or medical equipment for a commercial purpose. This accommodation does not apply to drivers completing deliveries for a transportation network company or online only delivery platform. This additional protection is already in effect for all personal auto policies in all states for losses occurring from March 16 to May 22, 2020, and reported by July 1, 2020. Additional limitations apply, please contact Safeco for more details. You can read more about Safeco’s response here.
If you have an active personal auto policy with Progressive at the end of April, you’ll receive a credit for 20% of your April and May premiums. On Monday, March 23, Progressive announced that they temporarily modified the enforcement of policy exclusions to provide applicable coverage for claims involving food delivery activity by their Personal Auto and Motorcycle customers. Effective 3/27/2020, they are also adding medicine delivery in an effort to help support our clients affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Progressive has also funded an $8 million donation by the Progressive Foundation. This donation will go to charities focused on hunger, health, and homelessness, including Feeding America, the American Red Cross, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness. You can read more about their response here.
In support of our communities and Nationwide’s mission to protect people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care, the Nationwide Foundation is providing $5 million in national and community response grants to assist non-profits as they manage through the current environment. For losses occurring on and after March 23 through April 30, Nationwide will waive application of the delivery exclusion and extend coverage to some restaurant and pharmacy employees delivering food or medicine/essential needs on behalf of the restaurant or pharmacy. To get relief in the hands of our clients quickly and simply, Nationwide is offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020. Clients don’t need to do anything. Refunds will automatically be credited to the client’s most recent method of payment (automatic withdrawal, credit card, personal check) within the next 30 days. You can read more about Nationwide’s response here.
Indiana Farmers Insurance is working hard to assist customers during this unprecedented time. They are delivering short and long-term relief by offering flexible payment options and taking a rate reduction for personal auto. The personal auto rate reduction amounts to about $3 million in savings for all of Indiana Farmers clients in Indiana and Illinois. This is effective on 06/01/2020 for new business and renewals. They are also extending their moratorium for non-payment cancellations past the Indiana Department of Insurance’s deadline of 05/18/2020 to 06/18/2020. During this grace period, they are waiving all NSF and late fees associated with non-payment cancellations as well. To read more about what Indiana Farmers is doing, click here.
For our policyholders with Grange who are affected by the coronavirus, you will be receiving a 25% credit on your personal auto policy for the months of April and May 2020. Grange estimates the total credit impact to be up to $25 million throughout the 13 states in which their enterprise operates. To read more about what Grange is doing to combat the Coronavirus, visit https://www.grangeinsurance.com/Coronavirus.
If your carrier is not highlighted above, don’t hesitate to contact us or them with questions about their response to the Coronavirus outbreak.