The first question our brokers were asked when COVID-19 hit in March of 2020 was, ‘what is my insurance company going to do for me during this time?’ And with Ontario subsequently dealing with wave two and wave three of the pandemic, we’re seeing the need for insurance companies to continue to offer discounted rates to assist their clients. Within the first two weeks of the Ontario government announcing a global pandemic, we heard from the majority of our partnering insurance companies with their plans on how they were going to tackle the situation as well as what relief measures they were going to provide. Now that we are more than a year on, we are seeing insurance companies continue to offer discounts and alter their operations according to market conditions.
What was done?
While some companies allowed premium reductions based on your driving habits, others offered a one-time payment of premium equivalents. Since the response was quite different across the board, we did the best we could to help our clients as much as possible. To help with the financial impact a lot of our clients have faced during these times, insurance providers reduced or even suspended filing for rate increases during the pandemic. This means keeping policy premiums as they were prior to COVID-19.
On top of premium relief measures and keeping rates lowered, insurance companies were offering overall rate reductions, payment deferrals and even allowing relief for missed payments. Overall, insurance companies provided an array of options to clients for insurance relief during the unprecedented times of COVID-19.
What’s happening in 2021?
One of our largest insurance partners, Aviva Canada, will be reducing their rates on a set rate of 10-15% based on your policy. It is always best to speak with your Broker to fully understand what level of relief you are eligible for.
What, exactly, is being discounted?
The return premium or discounted premium is based on the base coverages of your insurance policy. This means the coverages that are automatically included on your policy, no add-ons. Included coverages on an Ontario auto insurance policy consist of, Accident Benefits, Direct Compensation for Property Damage, Family Protection, liability – Property Damage and Bodily Injury and Uninsured Automobile.
Base coverage on a homeowners insurance policy, to name a few would be; Legal Liability, Contents, Detached Private Structures, Dwelling, and more. Insurance provides were able to take the base premium amount from a home or auto policy to figure out a relief plan for each individual policy. The two main relief measures were geared toward personal home and auto policies, but measures were also put in place for commercial insurance clients.
I own a business, what does this mean for me?
On the business side of things, insurers understood that it was not business as usual for a large number of our clients. Mid-term premium adjustments were made in relation to loss of revenue, reduction in distance traveled, limited staff on job sites and more. There are lots of factors that come into play with business insurance and that is why our insurance companies worked with their broker partners and our clients on a case-by-case basis to provide appropriate relief.
Personal home and auto insurance relief measures were not as complex, so insurers allowed clients to make changes to their policies that reflected their current situation such as:
- Kilometres driven discount due to job loss or reduced hours
- Removing road coverages from vehicles that were parked for an extended period of time
- Lump sum premium payment
Insurers did what they could to help our customers in a time where no one really knew what was going on. They kept up with the situation and adjusted their outlook as the pandemic unfolded. Insurers listened to their customers as well as broker partners on how to better their current relief measures and make things easier for clients to make changes to their policies in relation to the current circumstance.