While in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our isure-approved insurers are stepping up to the plate and giving back with COVID-19 relief auto and home insurance discounts and offerings. According to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)’s consumer relief survey results in July 2020, Ontario customers have received (or are eligible to receive) almost $1 billion in premium relief in response to COVID-19.
Below is a breakdown of how each isure-approved insurer is partaking in COVID-19 relief for their clients:
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAA Insurance announced that all customers would receive a rate reduction and have continued this promise into 2021. As of March 17th, 2021, CAA Insurance has increased rate relief to 15% for a 12-month term. This COVID-19 relief reduction will be applied to all new policies effective April 15th, 2021, and all renewing auto policies effective June 15th, 2021. If you have renewed your auto policy beginning January 1st, 2021, you have already received a 10% reduction. Visit CAA Insurance’s website to fill out their form to receive your extra 5% reduction. CAA Insurance encourages its customers to consult with their isure brokers to ensure they are saving as much as possible on their policy premiums.
Specifically geared towards personal auto customers who have begun working from home due to the pandemic and essential workers commuting to work daily, Intact allows COVID-19 relief requests equivalent to one month of their auto premium. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Intact has helped more than 1.2 million personal and business customers through flexible payment options and premium adjustment measures, resulting in $530M in relief.
To access this relief fund, customers are encouraged to speak with their isure broker or to apply through Intact’s Client Centre here or official app. “Our purpose is to help people, businesses and society prosper in good times and be resilient in bad times,” Louis Gagnon, president of Canadian Operations at Intact Financial Corporation, commented. “For more than a year, the pandemic has tested the resilience of individuals and society. This latest wave has been even more challenging. As a company, we came into this pandemic on strong footing and we are in a position to continue helping our customers.”
This relief also extends to Intact’s subsidiary, Jevco, who have helped more than 1.2 million personal and business customers through flexible payment options and premium adjustment measures, resulting in $530M of relief funds. “As COVID-19 continues to impact Canadians, Jevco is committed to helping customers affected by the evolving pandemic. If you’re a personal auto customer in need whose driving habits have changed, including commuting for essential reasons, you may request relief equivalent to one month of your auto premium.”
Due to the continuing stay-at-home orders in Ontario, Travelers Canada has extended its Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program, which allows customers to receive an additional 15% rebate for one month’s premium. Customers paying in monthly installments will also receive the automatic credit on a future bill. For customers who have already paid in full, they will receive their payment via cheque. Since May 2020, Travelers has been offering a 25% premium reduction, along with extended auto coverage for customers temporarily using their personal vehicles for food, grocery deliveries, pharmacy, and/or medical supply deliveries.
Pembridge/PAFCO (Allstate Insurance Company of Canada)
In order to provide COVID-19 relief, Pembridge and PAFCO, subsidiaries of Allstate Insurance, have created the “Stay at Home Payment.” The Stay at Home Payment provides all Allstate personal auto insurance customers with a payment equal to 25% of 1/12th of their annualized premium for automobile or motorcycle insurance policies. Visit their pandemic relief page for more information on both the Stay at Home Payment and ID theft and legal expense protocols.
Aviva is currently offering up to a 20% premium reduction for existing Ontario auto insurance customers who renew on or after June 15th, 2021. Any new Aviva customers who apply after May 1st can also take advantage of the COVID-19 relief reduction. This reduction will be automatically applied when a customer’s existing policy renews or a customer applies for a new policy.
Echelon is offering up to 15% off of premiums for their customers. Echelon recommends clients speak directly with their isure brokers about enabling any additional premium reductions. For example, Echelon can enable premium reductions up to 80%. They of course still offer comprehensive coverage from auto coverage, given the insured vehicle has been safely parked and stored throughout the pandemic.
Economical clients who are driving less these days due to the pandemic may be eligible for an enhanced auto insurance rate reduction. Monthly rates can be reduced up to 15%, depending on the number of expected kilometres driven over the course of the year. A parked vehicle can also save customers up to 75% on the vehicle’s policy, but notify your isure broker if you choose to begin driving the vehicle again. Customers using their personal vehicles for deliveries or volunteering of any kind must also inform their isure broker, with no impact on premiums. Personal insurance customers experiencing financial impact from COVID-19 are encouraged to reach out to their isure broker. Visit Economical’s website or contact isure today for more information.
Gore Mutual Insurance Company
Gore Mutual’s Customer Care Package offers relief for personal auto, property and commercial clients, along with providing quicker access to claims settlements and other financial relief options. Personal auto policyholders with Gore Mutual will receive a one-time payment equivalent to 20% of three months of premiums paid. Gore is also offering a ‘Quick Cash’ payout option to speed up claims settlements. Gore Mutual customers can claim an optional cash payout for a claim instead of repairing the damage. Additionally, short rate fees will not apply to any personal or commercial cancellations made by the client.
Northbridge personal auto customers will receive a 15% rebate on premiums for three months. It is important to note that ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles don’t qualify for this offer. Customers are encouraged to speak with their isure broker about policy options for vehicles no longer in use.
Royal & Sun Alliance Canada (RSA)
Depending on the customer’s needs and the situation presented, RSA Canada customers will receive a break on their insurance premiums. Customers no longer commuting daily because of the pandemic are encouraged to call their isure broker or representative to make auto coverage changes. Flexible payment schedules and payment deferrals are also possibilities for RSA customers struggling financially due to the pandemic. RSA encourages customers to consult with their bank for more information on any additional charges outside of the deferred payments. RSA is also working to support small and mid-sized businesses directly impacted by the pandemic through temporary closures or operation changes. They are allowing mid-term coverage adjustments, payment deferrals and premium adjustments. Flexible underwriting solutions are also available for businesses changing operations due to the pandemic.
SGI Canada has been offering payment deferrals, particularly the opportunity to spread payments over the policy’s remaining term. SGI customers are also able to change payment plans without financial penalty. Any payments unable to be met will have non-sufficient funds fees waived. For customers no longer driving a vehicle, reduced coverage options with up to 75% off premiums are also available.
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company
Wawanesa relief measures during the pandemic have reached approximately $40M in household reduction support. In 2020, the company paid out in claims and expenses $1.06 for every dollar of premium that was paid, meaning they paid out more than they received. If you are no longer commuting due to the pandemic, require coverage allowances, closed a business temporarily or have experienced a reduction in business revenues, Wawanesa is here to assist their clients. Reduced coverage can generate up to 75% (or $80) in savings each month! Additionally, their Caring Together campaign provides financial support to those affected by COVID-19 across Canada and the US. With this campaign, Wawanesa has increased their 2020 financial commitment to communities by over 40%!
For policyholders in need of premium relief or flexible payment plans, contact your isure broker to discuss the many ways Wawanesa is working to help you. This may include the deferral of premiums to retain your insurance protection during the crisis.
Other insurer COVID-19 responses:
TD Insurance is offering a variety of COVID-19 relief options to its home and auto clients. An example of these options is its 90-day payment deferral for customers directly impacted by COVID-19. For customers looking to review policies, make changes or perform other transactions, TD Insurance has created an online portal called MyInsurance. MyInsurance is a secure, 100% online service for home and auto insurance. For customers whose travel plans were affected by COVID-19 travel advisories, TD Insurance’s Travel Insurance Information page will be able to answer any frequently asked questions about travel insurance.
The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group
Commonwell has taken a creative and supportive approach to COVID-19 relief. Through their “Pay It Forward” program, Commonwell will provide $100 to members as relief, but strongly encourages members to pass the money on in their communities if they can do so. “As a community insurer, we are stepping forward to help our communities in a time of challenge that is affecting all of us,” said Tim Shauf, President and CEO of Commonwell. “Our ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative stems from the fact that we have been able to carry on business as an essential service while others have not. It recognizes that while we can’t fix all problems, each of us, through individual decisions and individual actions, can make a difference.” On a case-by-case basis, Commonwell will avoid cancellation for non-payment, waive non-sufficient fund fees and offer a payment deferral of up to one month.
The Co-operators is offering flexible payment options, along with extending payments, for its clients as COVID-19 relief. Specifically, coverage for stored vehicles not currently in operation can be suspended or reduced as well. The Co-operators encourage customers to utilize their online services here to manage policies, make payments and start a claim.
Desjardins General Insurance
As of January 2021, all of Desjardins’ main relief measures (such as payment referrals) will remain in place. Desjardins has also raised the insurance coverage limit up to $10,000 for customers working from home. Desjardins will automatically apply this measure to all policies related to work from home items, such as computer equipment and ergonomic chairs.
iA Financial Group
iA is currently offering discounts for both home and auto policy holders. Additionally, any customers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be considered eligible for short-term disability insurance benefits. However, if a customer has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and is required to quarantine, they will not be eligible for short-term disability insurance benefits. Make sure to visit iA’s COVID-19 FAQ and updates page for additional information.
Ontario Mutual Insurance Association
All companies across the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association are waiving non-sufficient funds and fees, and are offering flexible payment options and extended payment grace periods throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
All SSQ Insurance companies will receive a 20% monthly premium rebate on all insured vehicles. All auto insurance customers will receive this rebate, regardless of whether their vehicle’s mileage has been reduced or not. Customers using their vehicles for volunteer work or delivery purposes do not need to inform SSQ as they will be automatically covered with no impact on their premium. Additionally, no premiums are necessary for clients using their homes for work.
If you have any questions about your coverage and what your insurer may be doing to help with COVID-19 relief, contact your isure broker today.