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The federal freeze on evictions wasn’t obeyed by all landlords, which may have forced many people to take shelter with friends and family. School closures meant dorms were shut down, sending scores of students home indefinitely. People who were able to stay in their homes despite job losses soon realized that the freeze did nothing to protect them against owing back rent and mortgage payments. People may have chosen not to renew leases on apartments and to take shelter with loved ones. Others may wait for their leases to end and plan to do the same.
During tough times, people consolidate — not just their living spaces, but their bills too. As an insurance agent, you should look at group living arrangements during the pandemic to determine which products your clients need most right now. If you hold multiple insurance licenses and can sell everything from health to auto policies, this is a good time to start calling existing clients. I have some insurance tips that may help prevent more hardship.
Many people lost jobs when the lockdowns went into effect, and chances are that they lost their health insurance too. Or, maybe they didn’t have health insurance because they are young and healthy. As you may already know, the novel coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. People young and old have been infected. Let your prospect know they could face burdens from medical bills if they turn out to be one of the unlucky ones. Many states have opened their health marketplaces up, and they may stay open through the regular open enrollment period.
Remind your clients who have kids that parents can add their children on their health insurance plans until the children turn 26. Parents may even be eligible for a state-subsidized plan if they can prove financial hardship.
Another fact that many independent insurance agents should know is that some carriers allow adults to add parents or other dependents to a health insurance plan, especially if they live in the same household. Sharing a health insurance policy with others may save your clients quite a bit of money and prevent financial catastrophe.
Unlike health insurance, there is no age limit for how long your client can keep their kids on their auto insurance policy. The only stipulation is that they must all live together. Consolidating the two policies into one could be much cheaper than having separate ones.
By far, I’ve found that having a multicar policy is a better option than leaving a car uninsured. Your client’s child’s rate will typically also continue to drop each year as long as they avoid accidents, so they will have more affordable options when they shop for a separate car insurance policy in the future.
It’s not just children who can bundle with parents. Everyone in the household can get on one policy by adding their cars. Do take into consideration that if one of these people has a bad driving record or gets into an accident while they’re on your client’s policy, your client’s rate could increase, possibly by a considerable amount.
If someone is now living with your client and sometimes borrows the car, make sure to list them on the policy to ensure that your client is covered in the event of an accident. Check exclusion lists, and let your client know that if they loan the car to anyone the policy excludes, they may not be covered if that person has an accident.
Homeowners And Renters Insurance
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Unlike auto insurance, homeowners and renters insurance are more complicated to consolidate. With renters insurance, for example, your clients can’t share a policy under one name. Roommates should each have a policy of their own to ensure coverage for their personal belongings. Not only is there typically a limit on the contents portion of a renters insurance policy, but the coverage is also designed only for the policyholder.
If your client is a homeowner and is now housing more people than usual, it’s important to let them know that the contents portion of their homeowners insurance policy typically covers their belongings, not their guests’. Tell your client to ask the people staying with them to take out renters insurance policies for their own good. If your client is living in the house with guests, most insurers will not mind adding a renters policy, but if they are renting out the home entirely, they should consider a landlord policy so they’re covered in case of a mishap. Otherwise, your client may not be covered if the home is damaged.
Each day we hear about unprecedented deaths due to Covid-19. Naturally, more people than ever are probably considering buying life insurance to protect their families. You may be wise to try selling to a demographic that may have not considered buying a policy until much later. Tell them that even before the novel coronavirus, people were buying life insurance as a savings account or a college fund for their kids. There’s never been a better time for them to start protecting the entire family than now.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.
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