Car insurance in COVID-19: How companies are responding

Amid COVID-19, banks began offering mortgage deferrals and slashing credit card interest rates in half for cardholders who need relief. Home and auto insurance companies COVID-19 plans are now being released. How will this impact your insurance right now? How can you save on insurance during COVID-19, while making sure to stay protected?

What insurance companies are doing in response to COVID-19

The car insurance industry is promising discounts, rebates, deferrals, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada[1] (IBC), “expects this could result in $600 million in savings to consumers.” The province of Ontario is now allowing further discounts in these unprecedented times going beyond the need to file forms and risking other problems by putting your car insurance on hold[2].  The change will allow insurance companies to provide auto insurance premium rebates to consumers for up to 12 months after the emergency has ended, according to the CBC[3].

Each insurance companies COVID-19 response is different, but in general you can expect the following:

  • Deferral options
  • Waiving non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees
  • Potential discounts
  • Extension of coverage 

Car Insurance during COVID-19: deferrals

A deferral means after speaking with your provider, you can pause your monthly insurance premium until your stream of income resumes. But, be aware, a deferral doesn’t exempt you from paying. Those deferred payments are due, along with your regular payments whenever your insurer asks for it. The bonus is there’s no interest added to the deferral. IBC says the reduction measures will continue for 90 days, so expect to have to pay back a deferred payment at that time. For most insurance companies in COVID-19 mode, you’ll have to call them to discuss options.

Waiving NSF fees

The insurance industry will cover any charges they would have otherwise charged for insufficient funds being available in your account. Beware, the industry is not waiving NSF fees charged by the banks.

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