How Insurers Are Supporting Consumers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Canadians may be feeling the pressure trying to keep up with their auto, home, and condo insurance payments because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Insurers are aware of their customers’ challenges, and are taking extraordinary steps to help them find a balance between staying protected and juggling their financial responsibilities.

Below is a rundown of some of the financial relief measures different insurers are offering their clients:

Allstate Canada

Allstate Canada introduced what it calls a “stay-at-home” one-time auto insurance payment on April 8. It amounts to about 25% of your monthly premium. No action is required on your part: all Allstate Canada auto insurance customers will receive a cheque in the mail in May. Furthermore, the company offers flexible payment options by way of deferring payments for up to three months. Allstate Canada customers should contact their agent to inquire about payment deferrals.

Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada launched a “stay-at-home” endorsement for its auto insurance customers who are not driving because of the COVID-19 lockdown. This endorsement could save you up to 75% on your monthly premium. However, if you are still driving your vehicle, albeit not as frequently, you may qualify for a discount of up to 15% on your policy. Aviva Canada is also waiving non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees if you miss making a payment on time, and it’s offering a 90-day payment deferral with no penalties to customers who are struggling to make their payments. Call your broker or agent to discuss your situation. Additionally, rate hikes on renewals are paused until further notice.

belairdirect

A subsidiary of Intact Financial, belairdirect offers flexible payment options and is waiving NSF fees for policyholders who missed a payment. Moreover, the company is lowering premiums for drivers until June 30: if you’re driving significantly less, you can apply for a 15% discount. If you’re not driving at all and store your vehicle, you may get up to 75% off your monthly premium. Be sure to contact your broker to learn what your options are.

CAA Insurance

New and renewing Ontario auto and home insurance customers can get a 10% discount on their premiums for a 12 months. CAA Insurance is in touch with regulators in other provinces to get the green light to offer similar discounts elsewhere. The company’s MyPace program also provides discounts for drivers who demonstrate safe driving habits.

The Co-operators

Policyholders of The Co-operators can apply for payment and premium relief to help ease their financial challenges. The insurer offers payment deferrals and extended grace periods as well as waiving NSF fees for a missed monthly payment. Get in touch with them to find out how they can help.

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Desjardins

Desjardins Insurance customers can get an auto premium refund if they’re only driving for essential trips, such as heading to a grocery store or pharmacy. Policyholders have until May 31 to apply for the refund.

Echelon Insurance

Echelon is reducing auto premiums by as much as 15% for drivers who are driving less, and temporarily suspending coverage on vehicles that are not in use, which can save customers up to 80% on their premiums. It will also provide coverage for people who volunteer to deliver food and medicines in their communities, excluding coverage for paid deliveries through app-based companies like UberEats. Moreover, the company is cancelling planned auto rate hikes for the next three to six months. These measures will be applied retroactively to March 15 or the date of a customer's most recent policy change on all active auto policies.

Economical

Customers of Economical, and its sister companies Family Insurance and Sonnet, can take advantage of flexible payment options, deferrals, and waived NSF fees. Also, monthly auto insurance premiums can be reduced for 90 days by limiting coverage or reducing the annual kilometre count on your vehicle. Call your insurance representative or broker to apply for financial relief.

Gore Mutual

Gore Mutual’s customer care package provides its existing policyholders with a one-time auto insurance rebate of 20% for three months. New customers whose policies came into effect after April 8 are not eligible for the rebate. Flexible payment options are determined on a case-by-case basis. It is also upping personal liability property coverage to $5,000 for people who are working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. Moreover, Gore Mutual is waiving NSF fees and suspending policy cancellations for non-payment. Contact your broker or Gore Mutual directly for more information.

HTM Insurance

HTM Insurance is waiving NSF and short-term cancellation fees for its customers. Other relief measures will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

iA Financial

Quebec-based iA Financial is offering 20% discounts retroactive to April 1 on auto and home insurance to its policyholders for two months. Additional details regarding the discount are forthcoming.

Intact

As with its sister company belairdirect, Intact Insurance offers flexible payment options on a case-by-case basis, and it is waiving NSF fees for a missed payment. Auto insurance customers may qualify for a 15% discount on their premiums for driving less for three months, or up to 75% off their monthly premiums if you’re not driving at all.

Northbridge

Northbridge Insurance offers its policyholders flexible payment plans on a case-by-case basis, and it is waiving NSF fees for a missed payment. Contact your broker for more details. The company is also offering its policyholders an auto insurance rate rebate that could save them as much 15% for the months of April, May, and June.

Onlia

Onlia is giving its home and auto insurance customers the month of May off from paying their premiums. All active policy holders as of March 31st who have made at least one full monthly premium payment will automatically receive this premium holiday.

Pafco

As part of Allstate Canada’s group of companies, Pafco is providing its existing auto policyholders a one-time payment equal to 25% of their monthly premiums. New customers whose policies came into effect after April 8 are not eligible. Flexible payment plans are also available, but you need to contact the company to set it in motion.

Pembridge

Also part of the Allstate Canada group, Pembridge Insurance is offering its auto insurance customers a one-time payment equal to 25% of their monthly premiums. New customers whose policies came into effect after April 8 are not eligible. Like Pafco’s customers, Pembridge’s policyholders need to contact Pembridge to initiate a payment deferral if you need it.

RSA Canada

Auto insurance customers who are driving less or not at all can contact the company to request a reduction to their premiums. NSF fees after April 1 are waived, and payment deferrals for home and auto policyholders will be considered on a case-by-case basis. These measure will be in place until June 30.

SSQ Insurance

All of SSQ Insurance’s policyholders will get a 20% rebate on their monthly auto premiums for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown retroactive to April 1. No NSF fees will be levied for missed payments. Flexible payment options are considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact the company directly for more information.

TD Insurance

TD Insurance home and auto policyholders may be eligible for a 90-day payment deferral on their premiums. NSF fees are waived, and policy cancellations are suspended until July 8. Reductions on auto insurance may also be available for drivers who are driving less, and home insurance coverage limits can be increased to $10,000 if you are temporarily working from home. Get in touch with TD Insurance to learn what your options are.

Travelers Canada

Travelers Canada is expanding its billing relief program for policyholders affected by the pandemic. It is suspending policy cancellations and non-renewal of coverage for non-payment until May 15. Travelers is also waiving NSF fees during this time. Customers are encouraged to contact their broker or the insurer directly to discuss their unique circumstances.

Unica Insurance

Unica's private passenger car policyholders will automatically receive a rebate equivalent to a 15% refund over three months’ worth of premium payments. The refund is retroactive to April 1. The insurer is also allowing deferrals on premium payments on a case-by-case basis and waiving non-sufficient fund fees for all customers until further notice.

Wawanesa

Customers of Wawanesa Insurance should contact their broker if they cannot pay their premiums or need to discuss flexible payment options. Cancellations of policies for non-payment are suspended, and NSF fees waived until May 25.

Auto insurance policyholders who are not driving are encouraged to call their brokers to have their coverage changed to save up to 75% (or $80) each month. The insurer will not implement auto rate increases previously approved by regulators, amounting to an estimated $4.5 million per month for its policyholders. Also, if you are working from home during the crisis, Wawanesa is adding $5,000 of coverage to home policies to protect business property you may be using. Home insurance terminations and expiry dates can be deferred by up to 120 days upon the customer’s request.

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