SCC: Important to protect yourself financially during this year’s holiday season

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With the holiday season quickly approaching, there is no time like the present to review your insurance coverage.

Dry pine needles, icy streets and sidewalks, busy kitchens, and overworked outlets are just a few of the seasonal hazards that can impact your financial well-being without adequate insurance coverage. In order to keep spirits bright, the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginians to check with their insurance agent or company to ensure they have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage in the event of an illness, theft, or mishap.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes it more critical than ever to plan ahead this year,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “Make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date so you can minimize any financial damage.”

Take a close look at each of your insurance policies to ensure you know exactly what is – and is not – covered. What about stolen gifts, decorations, or other items from your home or vehicle? A guest suffering an injury at your residence? A fire on the premises? Understand any deductibles or coverage limits that may apply.

What’s more, COVID-19 creates several additional considerations for policyholders:

  • Complying with local, state, and/or national restrictions regarding the number of people who may gather at one time;
  • Minimizing the risk of transmission by wearing masks, using hand soap and hand sanitizer frequently, and encouraging the sick to stay home;
  • Understanding how COVID-19, specifically, is addressed by your homeowner’s, renter’s, health, and life insurance policies.

In addition to reviewing your policies, you can also be proactive by keeping your auto insurance company’s contact information and a copy of your insurance card with you when you drive, staying alert of local weather forecasts, and bringing health insurance information – like identification cards and contact details for family members – with you while traveling. Also check that your coverage extends to seasonal activities like skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

Last, make an early New Year’s resolution to update your home inventory. This will help you ensure your homeowners or renter’s policy provides enough coverage for your belongings. It can facilitate the recovery process if you experience loss or damage and have to file an insurance claim. Separate coverage may be needed for high-cost items such as jewelry, art or electronics. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free smartphone app — myHome Scr.APP.book — makes creating a home inventory quick and easy. This app is available through the App Store and Google Play.

For information about a variety of insurance-related topics specifically for consumers, contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at (804) 371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance. Additional information also may be found on the InsureU portion of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website at www.insureuonline.org.


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