2020 turned out to be quite an unpredictable year, teaching us all to truly be prepared for anything. 2021 is a great time for fresh outlooks and getting the year started off on the right foot. As insurance experts, we’ve gathered some of the most top of mind insurance Q&A’s – covering topics from home to small business and more, to help you be prepared for anything 2021 may have to offer. So, let’s get started!
1. Are ICBC rates going down?
2021 has already given us something exciting to look forward to – ICBC insurance ratesare dropping by a whopping 20% on May 1st! Drivers who renew their annual insurance premiums before May 1, 2021 (when ICBC switches to no-fault insurance) will get refunds for the months after that date for which they have already paid the old, higher rate. Refunds will be issued by July 31, 2021. To put this in perspective, the average insurance premium for drivers in 2020 was $1900, in 2021, the basic and optional coverage average will be $1500.
Just like how your premiums are determined today, different factors will impact how much you save on your annual premiums for Enhanced Care coverage, such as:
- whether you purchase full basic and optional, or basic insurance only
- your years of driving experience, and that of your listed drivers
- your crash history
- where you live
- the type of vehicle you drive
This is the largest reform to auto insurance B.C. has seen in over four decades – providing Canadians with some financial relief during this difficult time.
2. I work from home now, how does this affect my insurance?
As the pandemic continues into 2021, many Canadians are continuing to work from home for several more months – or possibly forever. Companies such as Montreal-based Shopify, for example, made the decision to keep staff working remotely on a permanent basis.
It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your home insurance company and be transparent about your current working arrangements/environment to find out what kind of coverage would be best for your unique situation. Home insurance policies have limits on business property (like computers for example) if there’s a claim made for lost or stolen items. You may also qualify for a rebate on car insurance, if you are working from home and no longer driving the car to the office.
3. Can my landlord kick me out if I can’t pay my rent?
The ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent in B.C., unfortunately, ended on August 18, 2020. This means that tenants must pay rent in full on the day it is due or they can be evicted.
4. Should I reevaluate my small business insurance?
Did your business change during the pandemic? Working from home may give rise to liability that isn’t included or fully covered by your current home insurance policy. If you’re a small business owner and have had to store inventory or use manufacturing equipment at home, you may need to purchase more coverage. Or, if you started a business from where you are making food for the public and using your oven more, this will be an example consideration.
There can also be more liability concerns if clients are now entering your home. For example, if a client falls down your stairs and seriously injures themself, who is held responsible? All businesses should have a comprehensive liability policy to protect them from potential losses associated with liability lawsuits. Commercial general liability is especially important to have as your business re-opens and you start getting more foot traffic. Speak with a qualified business insurance advisor to determine the best coverage for your organization.
5. If the “Big One” comes, am I covered with my home insurance?
Although we all have our fingers crossed for 2021 to be natural disaster-free and a peaceful, more positive year – the threat of “the big one” has been looming for decades. If the long-awaited & disastrous earthquake predicted for the West Coast does hit — are you prepared? Whether you are in a house or condo or townhome, at Johnston Meier Insurance, we offer comprehensive earthquake insurance options. The Homeowners Earthquake Deductible Buy-down Policy provides you with an affordable deductible for a reasonable premium, removing financial stress and providing you peace of mind.
6. What can I do to lower my insurance premiums if I am struggling?
The pandemic has been incredibly difficult on everyone, but at Johnston Meier Insurance, we believe there are always options. If you are struggling to keep up with your payments, speak with an insurance advisor to see if there may be ways to restructure your current policies. There are also various Provincial and Federal support benefits available providing relief for individuals and businesses. Find out more about if you qualify for any of these options.
7. How can I maintain my insurance remotely?
For your convenience, at Johnston Meier Insurance, we are available to assist with your insurance needs over the phone or by email. If you are unable to wear a mask please call one of our locations and we will arrange to assist you with one of these alternate options. Talk to one of our qualified advisors today about all of the coverage options available!