How COVID-19 Might Affect the Insurance Industry
I hope you are staying well in these unprecedented times.
COVID-19 has changed the world in just a few weeks, and we at Lindow are continuing to stay on top of this pandemic and what it means for our clients.
In many ways, we are in uncharted territory. No one could have predicted the drastic measures that would need to be taken to slow the spread of this disease, like closing many restaurants and bars, having employees work from home, and practicing social distancing whenever possible.
It is still unclear exactly how the insurance world — and our individual and small-business clients — will be affected by the coronavirus, but one thing will never change: We are committed to the health, safety, and long-term well-being of each and every one of you. It is an honor to protect your families.
Here are a few ways we anticipate COVID-19 changing the insurance landscape.
Greater access to remote services
One of our favorite parts of our job is getting to see you, our valued clients, in person — but we understand that’s not a possibility for most of us right now.
We expect the whole insurance industry to take advantage of remote communication opportunities, making it possible to change polices, make payments, and file claims online or over the phone.
With the changes in the world, we have seen insurance carriers change policies regarding payments and cancellations. They do vary significantly from carrier to carrier, so if you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to reach out.
Re-evaluation of business interruption insurance policies
Many business interruption insurance policies require that the insured party show a “Direct Physical Loss” that gave rise to the loss of income. The waters are muddy when it comes to covering pandemics like the coronavirus. Using the language described above, an example that might trigger coverage would be a confirmed COVID-19 case at your business which resulted in a shutdown action by authorities. Generally, a shutdown of business by the government would not be an event that would provide coverage.
If you have questions about whether your business is covered for losses caused by COVID-19, it is best to get in touch with your agent directly. We’re happy to help you figure out exactly what protections you have.
As always, we will keep you posted if the industry reacts moving forward.
Coverage for delivery drivers of restaurants
In Wisconsin, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance issued an order for insurers to assist restaurants that started offering delivery services for their customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Insurers will now cover delivery services for restaurants on personal auto insurance policies. Additionally, insurers must offer coverage for hired drivers and non-owned automobiles under general liability insurance. This will be at no extra cost to the policyholders. The order will stay in effect until the public health emergency is lifted to allow normal operations for restaurants.
Our team is here for you
If you have any questions about your coverage or additional protection you should consider adding in this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your agent. We are here for you — from happy milestones to unprecedented pandemics, we will support you every step of the way.
Thank you for allowing us to protect your families,
Sources: Wisconsin.Gov, Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, https://oci.wi.gov/Pages/PressReleases/20200323RestaurantsCOVID-19.aspx