PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This is probably one of the last things on your mind – but have you heard of the impact of COVID-19 on your insurance policies?
With supply chain issues and the rush of the housing market, not to mention chip issues with cars, the replacement value of just about everything is increasing.
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But is your insurance able to cover you in the event of a claim?
“We do what’s called an insurance value calculator,” says Jennifer Johnsen-Nazareth of State Farm Insurance.
Which has become even more important as the current housing market has been unleashed.
“We have been affected, of course, by the increase in construction costs with the replacement value increasing, that’s right, so the costs of labor, the cost of goods have gone up,” he said. she explained.
So if the unthinkable happens it is going to cost more to replace what you have.
Johnsen-Nazareth says that many insurance policies have an “automatic inflation adjuster,” but not all policies.
“So it’s really essential that people meet with their agent and check their policies,” says Johnsen-Nazareth.
She also points out that you should perform a value check if you spent on the upgrade during the pandemic.
“They bought new equipment and a lot of people renovated houses,” she says. “So when they finished the renovation, maybe they added square footage to their house or they put granite countertops where they had laminate, so now to rebuild their house it would cost more. expensive than what they originally assured it for. “
The good news is that some of these upgrades may also qualify you for discounts.
Johnsen-Nazareth says you should also check with your auto insurance agent.
“The cost of repairs both for parts and the cost of labor has increased the wait time for repairs has also become longer,” she explains. “So you have to make sure that your policy is still the right formula for you. ”
She says an old car that you’ve never had a full replacement on might be worth reconsidering.
Car or house, she said, take precautions not to lose money.
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“You don’t want to have a loss that’s going to create money out of your own pocket,” she cautions.
WATCH: Make sure your pets are insured
While we are on the subject of insurance, what about your pet?
“It can make a huge difference,” says Johnsen-Nazareth. “It really is a life and death situation in many cases, and who wants to make a decision on the life or death of their animal.”
But the decision of life or death based on the cost of care is happening, says Dr Mike Hutchinson, DVM of Animal General in Cranberry.
“The decision to deposit them for lack of funds, I hope it becomes more and more rare,” he said.
Johnsen-Nazareth adds that there is a new wave of pet owners.
“You know there are pets that were purchased during COVID,” she says. “Wait times at local emergency bed hospitals are eight to 12 hours, veterinary hospitals are overwhelmed, and the cost of pet care has increased.”
A search of Pet Insurance will find almost as many options as there are people, and the corresponding costs. As a result, in recent years more and more veterinarians are offering an alternative to pet insurance called “wellness plans”.
“The welfare plans are for the health of the animal out there at a reduced rate over regular prices over the course of a year divided into 12 months,” says Dr. Hutchinson.
Monthly payments cover necessary exams, routine treatments, and injections, and split the amount you would normally pay over a year in that year into monthly payments.
Dr Hutchinson says that if you are considering purchasing pet insurance, only think of catastrophic coverage.
“That means if they get hit by a car, God forbid, they have cancer or, you know, if they have a foreign body, then this catastrophic coverage would cover the majority of that bill, you still have your money. deductible, you will always have your monthly premium, ”he explains.
“It’s still very affordable, and something that’s a lot more affordable than seeing a two thousand dollar bill and a decision between the life of your pet,” adds Johnsen-Nazareth.
Dr Hutchinson says vets are finding wellness plans encourage clients to be more consistent in their pet’s care and prevent more serious illnesses with early diagnosis.
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But the cost of plans is ubiquitous depending on coverage and races, so be sure to check the fine print and know what coverage you are purchasing.