The Co-operators, RSA Canada, and Wawanesa Insurance COVID-19 Relief Updates for Policyholders

By Lesley Green
A young mom working on the couch while her children run around her.

A round-up of the latest on COVID-19 relief measures by insurers in Canada.

The wave of COVID-19 relief measures offered by insurers continues to roll in and the latest includes announcements or updates from the Co-operators, RSA Canada, and Wawanesa Insurance. From reduced rates to flexible payment options, if you have an auto insurance or home insurance policy read on to find out what your insurer is offering (or what others are) so you know what’s available to you.

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The Co-operators to Offer a Refund on Auto Insurance Premiums

The specifics are still forthcoming but the Co-operators says they’ve finalized the details for their auto refund plan for clients who are driving less. The particulars will be announced in the coming week or so. What is known, however, is the following:

  • Reduced auto insurance premiums may be available to customers who are no longer commuting, who are working from home, or are self-isolating
  • Once implemented, the reduced premiums will be provided for the duration of the pandemic through to June
  • Clients should contact the company if they’re in need of flexible options to ease financial pressure, including deferring a payment, extending payment grace periods, and waiving non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees
  • Clients should also contact the company if they’d like to discuss the suspension of select coverage if they’ve stopped using their vehicle entirely for the foreseeable future

RSA Canada to Reduce Car Insurance Premiums until June 30, 2020

RSA Canada has released its package of measures to help its customers affected by the pandemic’s lockdown which includes financial relief.

"In the last month, Canadians have changed where they work, how much they drive and what they need to protect themselves, their families and their businesses," said Martin Thompson, president and CEO of RSA Canada in a press release. "As a national insurer, our promise is to be there for our customers when they need us most, so we are implementing new measures to provide meaningful assistance during these uncertain times."

The measures include:

  • Reduced premiums for customers who are driving or commuting considerably less than before or who are no longer using their vehicles due to the pandemic
  • Flexible payment options, payment deferrals, and support for customers who are facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic
  • Coverage for customers who are temporarily using their vehicle for delivery services. This is available for all personal auto insurance policies and will not change the customer's premium
  • NSF fees for personal policies (like home and auto insurance) charged by RSA Canada occurring after April 1, 2020 will be waived

For each of these measures, RSA Canada encourages customers to proactively contact their broker or insurance representative to discuss the options available to them.

Wawanesa Insurance Shrugs Off Previously Approved Rate Increases

Wawanesa Insurance has published an update to its website saying that “in most provinces with private automobile insurance we have told our Provincial regulators that we will not charge our policyholders the rate increases they previously approved.”

These are rate increases the company would have previously requested pre-COVID lockdown that the regulators felt were reasonable at the time and approved.

Wawanesa Insurance expects this will save policyholders $4.5 million per month through the crisis, in addition to the $40 million that has already been saved with its various financial relief measures. Measures like:

  • Changing your policy to better reflect how your vehicle is being used. Whether your car is permanently parked because you’re no longer driving or you’re still using your car but just for essential trips, the company encourages you to contact your broker to discuss options on how your premium can be lowered. They also ask you to call your broker to ensure you’re covered if you’re using your car to earn money on the side by making deliveries.
  • Offering premium relief to customers in need. Wawanesa will waive their NSF fees until at least May 25, 2020, for policyholders who are unable to cover their premium payment. Before it gets to this point, however, Wawanesa asks its customers to call their insurance broker if they need more flexible payment terms or are unable to pay an upcoming insurance premium as there are other options, like deferral of premiums, that may be available.