Amidst all of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering what the effects could be on your auto insurance. Should you get a discount since you aren’t driving as frequently? Do you need insurance at all while you are sheltering in your home? Let’s dig into what the current climate means when it comes to your car.
Can I Get Lower Car Insurance Rates for Driving Less?
This is a great question, and one that is being asked nationwide. There are a few factors that come into play here, such as your particular insurance provider and how they set your rates. Some companies take into account your annual mileage, so even though there are still uncertainties surrounding when you may or may not begin your post-COVID-19 commute again, the amount of time you spend at home is too short a period in the grand scheme. While a mileage discount is typically considered during the initial setting of your rates, it’s tricky to effectively compute a discount for a short period of time.
A silver lining, when it comes to saving money on your auto insurance, is that many companies are working diligently with customers to provide them specialized extensions on payments. It never hurts to ask for a lower rate – the caveat being that you will need to be the initiator in most cases. Many auto insurance companies simply have too many customers to reach out to each one individually, so if you want to request an extension or propose a lower premium, go for it! The worst thing they could say is “no,” leaving you no worse for the wear.
Should I Cancel My Car Insurance While I’m Sheltering In Place?
It’s never a good idea to cancel your car insurance unless you are 100% certain you will not be driving. Even a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on supplies could turn into a costly fiasco if you were to get into an accident – even a minor bump-up.
If you get caught driving without a license, you could face steep fines, license suspension, or even jail time. Likewise, many states require you to have car insurance if your vehicle is registered. So, if you plan to drive, even the smallest distance, don’t cancel your car insurance.
Remember that even if you’re working from home and driving very little, there is still the possibility that something could happen to your car. Comprehensive insurance covers theft and damage from fires, floods, vandalism, and even tornados – and these issues could unfortunately arise even if you never leave your driveway.
What about temporarily suspending my car insurance or switching to pay-per-mile?
Some companies allow their customers to temporarily suspend their auto coverage. It’s usually intended for customers who may be traveling for long periods of time or leaving on military deployment. Basically, for instances when the car will not be in use at all. These terms may not apply to you simply because you are staying home due to COVID-19.
Likewise, it may not be your best move to switch to a pay-per-mile plan, as the current stay-at-home orders will most likely be lifted relatively soon (relative to the entire year). Pay-per-mile plans are great for those who don’t drive often in the long term; they are able to lock in a rate per mile, and mileage is calculated by a tracking device that plugs into your car’s diagnostics port. But, again, they’re not an ideal option for those who are simply home for this short time.
Should I Drop Optional Coverages to Save on Auto Insurance?
This could certainly help you save money on your premium, but bear in mind that you won’t have comprehensive coverage in the event of theft, hail, fires, flood, or vandalism. If you are leasing your car, then your lender will most likely require that you maintain your collision and comprehensive coverage.
Your best bet for saving money on your auto insurance during these strange times is to reach out to your provider and discuss possible discounts or increasing the amount of your deductible to save on premiums.
How Can I File a Claim During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
If you are in an accident or your car is damaged from theft, vandalism, or natural causes, you will need to file an insurance claim. That is exactly what they are there for, and you should take full advantage of their assistance in times of need. Many companies make it easy, allowing you to file online or through their mobile app. You can also call customer service to file your claim. Claims are still being processed, despite the current pandemic, so never feel that you can’t reach out to your auto insurance provider for help.
If you have questions about your auto insurance options and want to speak to a professional that can provide you with knowledgeable expertise, give Evans, Ewans & Brady Insurance Agency a call at 512-869-1511 or contact us conveniently online! We are happy to get you the answers you need during this unprecedented time.