LVB: Many people are now working from home. Does that have an impact on insurance needs compared to when they were commuting to an office?
Heydt: With auto insurance your annual milage would change significantly. If you were rated at 10,000 to 12,000 miles a year and now you’re 5,000 or 6,000 that would lower your rate. You could have significant savings.
There is also usage-based insurance, mile wise it can be a real win for someone who’s working from home if you’re charged a per-mile rate.
You want to report that new usage pattern. However, you may have to work it out over a year or so to establish a record.
As for home insurance, homeowners who work from home generally don’t have foot traffic so there’s no need to change there.
There should be adequate coverage under a homeowner’s policy.
From a risk target an insurance company prefers work from home because you’re less of a target. For example, a water leak could occur. If you were working in an office it wouldn’t be detected until later, while if you’re home you can catch it quicker. Keeping a small thing from becoming an expensive repair.
LVB: Should people who find themselves in different circumstances now, talk to their insurance agent to make sure their policy is what they need?
Heydt: You should talk to an agent if there is any life change like a job change, marriage, divorce or addition of a child. Those would all be a reason for a contact with your insurance agent to make sure everything is current.
LVB: What other things could impact an individual’s home and auto insurance needs?
Heydt: Major repairs such as a new roof, renovations, additions or a new HVAC system could mean a new cost calculation.
One bit of good news, many policies have inflation protection built in, which is very relevant right now. A home repair cost may be 10% higher or more than it would have been last year.
For cars you might want to talk about the level of coverage. You don’t want to find you have the wrong kind of coverage when an accident occurs.
LVB: Under normal circumstances how often should an individual review their personal insurance policies?
Heydt: Some would say annually, but the review process doesn’t have to follow any specific frequency. It’s really at the discretion of the agent and the client as to when they’re going to meet. However, we try to reach out when there are new products that they should be aware of.
If it’s been several years since you had a good roll up your sleeves talk with your agent, you should probably make a call.