It would probably be safe to say that the pandemic has affected us all in one way or another. Some have been affected through their physical or mental health, while others have been hit hard financially. When it comes to the financial toll that the pandemic has inflicted, sometimes it is obvious like losing your job or home. However, due to these unprecedented times, many are seeing the effects of the pandemic in unexpected ways.
So much focus during this pandemic has been centered on keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe, allowing many seemingly trivial side effects to be overlooked. These trivial items most likely are things that we don't normally think about on a regular basis. They become out of sight and out of mind due to smart financial planning like monthly or yearly automatic payments. However, this may be the one time that proper bill maintenance and planning might actually be doing you more harm than good.
One of these trivial items that are normally just drafted out of most people's accounts and not given a second thought is car insurance. Think about it, most of you just budget accounting for that monthly or yearly payment, but when was the last time that you did even a cursory overview of your car insurance policy. It wouldn't be too farfetched to bet that quite a few changes have occurred in your life, especially in the past year, since you had a good look at your policy.
Take a look at some of the changes affecting many Americans that could have an impact on the cost of your car insurance.
Unfortunately, the fear of unemployment is a side effect of the pandemic that has truly crippled most Americans. Millions have lost their jobs over the past year. Due to the lack of income, many people have either had to cancel their car insurance or face an increase in rates. Why did their rates go up?
Unemployment normally leads to bills becoming unpaid or paid late, due to lack of funds. This means that your credit will get hit, causing damage to your score. Many car insurance companies take your credit into account when determining your rates, as well as whether or not you are employed. However, many states are requiring insurance companies to extend grace periods, usually offering a 30-day period after payment is due. Make sure to inquire about that with your car insurance company if you are having difficulty paying.
For most people, mileage is usually only considered to be a true concern for those who lease their vehicle. The beauty of owning your own car is that you are free to drive it as far and as much as you want. That is, of course, if you are not concerned with keeping it as a resellable option. Unbeknownst to many people, being conscientious of your mileage can actually save you big bucks. Most car insurance companies offer discounts for low mileage. They consider this to be a "leisure car" policy, which means that you only use your car for personal or leisure activities.
Since the pandemic, many Americans are now working from home. So if you are no longer driving your vehicle to and from work, then technically you could claim that your vehicle is now a "leisure car." It is a definite deduction that could apply to millions of Americans today. If your insurance company does not offer that discount then maybe it is time to do some comparison shopping for car insurance companies and see what other offers are out there that might be a better fit for your changing lifestyle. This is definitely important if your car has a lot of technology, as it can be a risk,
Another unfortunate repercussion of the pandemic has been that many Americans have lost their housing. They have either had to move in with friends or relatives or move into lower-income housing. Many may not be aware that the location as to where their car is parked most of the time has a significant impact on the cost of your car insurance. So if you have to move to a more urban area or an area known for criminal activity, you could be looking at a dramatic spike in your car insurance cost.
On the other hand, if you have been able to move to a more rural area then you could see a nice reduction in your rate. Make sure to check with your insurance company, if you have moved, to see how you might be affected.
These are just some examples to help you start thinking about how you and your car insurance may have been affected by the pandemic. So it would be wise to take some time and reevaluate your policy, and possibly do some research to see what discounts are out there. Now is the time when we all deserve a little help. The pandemic has been hard on us all, but there are companies out there who want to help ease the pain. Don't miss out. Take the time to compare.