Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, many Albertans have returned to the office. This means using their personal vehicle for commuting, driving more, travelling for work and finally getting to vacation outside of the province.
The Impact of Returning to the Office on Your Car Insurance
During the pandemic, you may have done the following to your car insurance:
- You were no longer commuting or had a reduced number of kilometers for commuting.
- You had a reduced number of kilometers driven per year.
- Your vehicle was parked (not being driven at all).
- Increased your deductible.
All these things reflect a decrease in usage of your vehicle and likely saved you money on your car insurance premiums. However, if you’re returning to work in the office, it’s important to inform your insurer if:
- You are now commuting when you were not during the pandemic.
- You’re commuting more kilometers (due to a job change or increase in number of days you’re in the office).
- If you’re driving more kilometers now that the pandemic has receded.
- If you’re using a vehicle that was considered parked.
You should also decide if your deductible is at the right amount.
Don’t forget to inform your broker if you have purchased a new vehicle or made any major changes to the vehicle or your driving habits.
Your premiums may go up, but it’s important to communicate these changes to ensure you’re covered if there’s an accident.
The Impact of Returning to the Office on Your Home Insurance
Many Albertans completed home improvement projects during the past two years of the pandemic. While you should inform your insurance broker and company before you start these renovations, it’s better late than never to let them know. Home renovations can impact the replacement value of your home and your insurance needs to reflect this.
You should also let your home insurer know of any major purchases like high-value bicycles or jewelry or something like a hot tub or trampoline. If you’ve installed any mitigation devices like sump pumps, sewer backup valves, water alarms or security features, these can also be eligible for discounts.
In any case, it’s important to review your home insurance at least once a year to ensure you have adequate coverage for your needs.
Another impact of returning to the office is that you may be travelling for work or going on vacation. Make sure you have someone checking on your home while you’re away – at least every 48 hours. This will ensure your home insurance coverage is valid and help catch any potential damage quickly. Turning off your water is also a good idea, especially in the colder months.