KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: COVID-19 Impacts On Auto, Home, Life & Health Insurance

Jul 21, 2020, 6:40 PM | Updated: 8:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As COVID-19 changes a lot of our patterns, insurance companies are adapting along with us.

Remember a couple of months ago when car insurance companies just started giving back money to people, surprising drivers everywhere?

Fewer cars on roads meant fewer wrecks and many insurance giants began refunding premiums to their customers.

Les Masterson, managing editor for insurance.com, said COVID-19 has made it a fascinating time to follow insurance companies. He expected more surprising moves in the months and years to come.

For example, with millions of people now working from home, he expects some insurance companies to offer discounts on homeowners’ policies. Some of the most expensive disasters occur when they go unchecked for hours, like a pipe that springs a leak or a small chunk of wiring in the wall that slowly starts to smolder.

“The whole point with home insurance is they like when people are home,” he said. “If you’re [at an office] and a fire starts at 10 a.m., the house can be gone. If you’re working from home and the fire, you know, you start smelling smoke at 10 a.m., you can get that taken care of.”

Remember when auto-insurers started writing checks back to their customers a few weeks ago? Coming up tonight on KSL 5…

Posted by Matt Gephardt KSL on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

One predictable outcome of millions of Americans suddenly thinking about their mortality is that there has been a surge in people seeking out life insurance policies, Masterson said.

At its core, COVID-19 is a health issue. What it will mean for health insurance is harder to predict, Masterson said.

On one hand, COVID-19 patients cost a lot of money. On the other, hospitals and patients are putting off elective surgeries, so insurance companies are saving money, there, for now.

Insurance companies are bracing for a surge in elective medical treatments once the pandemic is over, and Masterson said your premiums could reflect that.

“On the health side, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with this,” he said. “I think [premiums] might increase a little bit, but I don’t expect major situations at this point. But who knows?”

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Gephardt: COVID-19 Impacts On Auto, Home, Life & Health Insurance