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5 Lessons Learned About Insurance in Times of Covid-19

— November 10, 2020

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear masks… and make sure your insurance is providing you with the kind of protection you need, at rates you can easily afford.

Now that we are seeing the exhaustive duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are coming to terms with the fact that they will need more than just the top gadgets for dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic to actually position themselves to endure and persevere successfully through these dark times into the brighter future up ahead.

One of the most often discussed but least often understood impacts of the pandemic is the profound way it will change the decisions people must make with regard to their insurance coverages. Everything from the treatments covered and turnaround times on claims needs to be carefully reevaluated in the post Covid-19 era.

These matters become even more complex for entrepreneurs and small business owners who may not have previously thought policies like business interruption insurance are necessary, though in the wake of so many CEOs and small business owners becoming hospitalized for lengthy period of time, kinds of coverage which used to be considered luxury items by most risk assessment officers are now seen as vital to the continuation of any legitimate business entity.

That’s why we have assembled this simple list of 5 Lessons Learned About Insurance in Times of Covid-19 from American Insurance experts for your benefit:

Talk to Your Insurance Agents Regularly

If you already have insurance, it is very important that you stay current and have a full understanding of what each policy will cover presently. This can be more challenging during Covid-19 when a face to face meeting in person isn’t practical, especially if you have several polices handled by a variety of agents. 

Make the time to hold digital meetings and conference calls with each agent to get an accurate up to date assessment of your coverage every thirty days (at a minimum) during the pandemic. Policy changes happen quickly, government regulations tilt the entire landscape and your own insurance needs may change even quicker, so there really is no excuse for relying on outdated information when a simple phone call is all it takes to keep your coverages up to date.

Minimize Risk by Limiting Direct Contact

Two women wearing face masks on left and a man’s hand holding a smartphone on right; image by Geralt, via
Two women wearing face masks on left and a man’s hand holding a smartphone on right; image by Geralt, via

The best way to control your insurance costs is by minimizing your risk and the number of claims made necessary. In the Covid-19 era this includes everything from having non-essential employees working from home, to including provisions in all business contracts for the specific purpose of eliminating liability caused by Covid for things like completion and performance milestones. Every aspect of your business decisions should start with answering the questions “what about Covid?” 

Expedite Your Insurance Quote Process Immediately

In a normal period of time you may have a scheduled insurance review to consider quotes from other carriers once a quarter or once a year. Far too many businesses overlook these timelines during ordinary times to their own financial detriment, but during Covid-19 the cost of delaying competitive quotes becomes exponentially higher.

Obtaining free quotes on each of your insurance polices from multiple carriers is now a simple task that can be performed online any time, without any physical interaction or contact with a live insurance agent. The only true way to be sure you aren’t overpaying on your premiums or accepting too little insurance for your operations is by forcing insurance entities to openly compete for your business with free quotes that delineate an apples-to-apples comparison of policy coverage features and expenses.

Get your policy quoted early and often, to take advantage of short term windows on limited time offers that may discount your rates substantially and to avoid the subtle drift toward higher prices and lower coverages that many carriers engage in after getting a new customer to purchases polices from them at “short term come on rates” meant to entice new business.

Check for Covid-19 Specific Coverages

Prior to 2020 virtually nobody bothered to check the co-pays and coverages associated with a respirator in-patient hospital treatment. It simply wasn’t a service anyone expected to need. In the Covid-19 era, a difference of $1,000 per employee for respirator treatments can quickly become a five or six figure expense for an unwitting business owner who fails to review the pricing of Covid specific treatments.

Many rely on public sentiment to their detriment, believing politicians who claim that coverage will somehow be subsidized by public institutions and agencies. The simple fact is, if they haven’t passed specific legislation to cover a specific expense, when the bills start rolling in, it will be your accounts that are drawn against to cover all of the associated costs. Make sure your coverage fits your needs and rely on the text of your insurance policy rather than puffery espoused by politicians who cannot be prosecuted for misstating regulatory intentions.

Focus Intently on Turnaround Times of Open Claims

In a normal time, if you file an insurance claim on a policy and the carrier issues reimbursement in a month it may not matter much. During Covid-19 when margins are universally narrower in nearly every sector, collections are less reliable, revenue forecasts are less clear and the specter of high volume claims becomes a likely result of illness throughout your organization, being paid for your claims in only a few days can make all the difference.

While there is no known cure or vaccine available for Covid-19 currently, cutting through bureaucratic red tape to ensure your reimbursement payments arrive in a timely manner may quite possibly be the difference between overcoming these challenges or succumbing to preventable difficulties that arise as a series of ancillary problems capable of ending any business endeavor entirely.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear masks… and make sure your insurance is providing you with the kind of protection you need, at rates you can easily afford. Anything less is simply unacceptable when considering how to handle your personal and business insurance in the Corona Virus pandemic era.

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