Frequently Asked Questions
Will my Health Insurance charge me for COVID-19 testing?
While every health insurance policy is different, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, the state’s largest health insurance provider, announced as of April 2, 2020, they will waive all copays and coinsurance related to necessary treatment for COVID-19.
What are my Health Insurance options if I’ve lost my job?
If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), individual health insurance is a great option, protecting you from loss of finances and injuries incurred by accident or illness and the cost of prescription medications. Short term medical insurance is another option that can bridge a gap in coverage but does not cover pre-existing conditions.
Do I have to wait for Open Enrollment to choose a plan?
If you’ve lost your job (and your health insurance) and find yourself in need of coverage outside of Open Enrollment, you should qualify for a SEP, as loss of employment is a qualifying life event.* As for dental insurance affordable coverage can be purchased throughout the year.
*You might need to submit a letter from your former employer to confirm the loss of coverage.
What’re the benefits of working with an independent insurance agent?
At Latorre Insurance, we provide our customers with the ability to choose plans from top insurance companies, making it possible to personalize your coverage for your specific needs.
I’m not driving as much due to COVID-19, am I eligible for a discount on my Auto Insurance?
Several insurance carriers are offering partial discounts or credits to automotive insurance policyholders, as fewer people are driving. Please contact us; we’re happy to review your policy and confirm available credits.
Yes. Food and package delivery are considered business use of the vehicle, not personal use. Because of the switch, some insurance carriers are temporarily extending coverage to drivers using their car for delivers. Please contact us to review any changes made to your policy.
Is there a coverage gap between my Personal Auto Insurance and my employer’s?
There might be a gap in coverage between your car insurance and your employer’s, meaning you might have coverage while delivering the order, but not while driving to pick it up. A coverage gap puts you at risk of costly bills should an accident occur. The best strategy: call us before using your car for work.
As a business owner, do I need Non-Owned Auto Insurance?
If you own a small business and rely on employees to deliver purchases in a personal vehicle, you could benefit from non-owned car coverage liability protection should one of the drivers cause an accident. This type of commercial coverage is not for drivers using their cars regularly.
What type of insurance do I need for company-owned vehicles?
Registered company vehicles must have a commercial auto policy, not a private passenger policy, especially if the vehicle becomes involved in an accident because the insurance company may deny the claim for not being insured properly. Make sure your insurance agent is not cutting corners to get you an artificially lower premium by leaving you exposed to being inadequately or incorrectly insured – this is a common problem and can cost you a great deal of money.
Do I need Business Insurance while working remotely?
If you are a self-employed, home-based professional, the short answer is yes; home headquarters can benefit from business insurance by protecting assets homeowners insurance may not. Homeowners insurance insures your home, but it does not include business property, liability protection, or lost data and income.
If you are temporarily working remotely due to COVID-19, chances are you won’t need business insurance; however, check with your employer to make sure you’re protected!
Will my Business Insurance policy reimburse me for losses due to COVID-19?
No. Business insurance does not include COVID-19 as a covered peril. Covered perils include fire, wind, and theft. However, the Small Business Administration is making loans available to assist businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
If I get hurt while working remotely, am I covered under my employer’s Workers Compensation policy?
Remote workers can file a worker’s compensation claim if they become injured but will have to prove the injury took place while on the job or as a result of job duties – this is harder to prove when working from home.
Is my work equipment covered under my employer’s insurance policy?
Yes. Your employer’s commercial general liability policy will protect damaged or stolen work equipment, provided that your employer has “inland marine coverage.”
What happens if I contract COVID-19 upon returning to work?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation policy typically covers work-related illnesses or injuries, as well as medical costs and a portion of your income for a specific period. You must prove you contracted COVID-19 while on the job, and your job put you at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus, i.e., hospital staff, cruise ship employees, and essential workers.
As an employer, what is my responsibility regarding COVID-19?
Employers have the responsibility to maintain a safe and secure work environment for both employees and customers. And as is relates to COVID-19, employers should help minimize the impact of the virus by having specific rules, procedures, and guidelines in place. Failing to do so could result in the employer being held liable for negligence. If found in this position, workers’ compensation insurance and commercial general liability insurance can protect against claims. Note: Claims must prove the employer was, in fact, responsible for employees/customers contracting the virus.
Are certain types of restaurants or businesses more likely to be covered than others?
Restaurants and businesses will be treated equally, as insurance companies assess claims based on damages/losses incurred, or the coverage afforded by the insured policy, not the type of business that maintains coverage.
Will Business Interruption Coverage help recover losses due to COVID-19 closures?
Current business interruption policies do not provide coverage for pandemic-related losses; however, this is under review by several state legislatures and insurance commissions, including NC. We’re watching whether insurance contracts will change to include COVID-19 as a covered peril or not.
Would Civil Authority Coverage apply to COVID-19?
This is a tricky one but at the moment, no. This coverage applies when a civil authority (e.g., state or local government) prohibits access to an insured premise due to physical damage to a nearby property, such as fire or collapsed structure. Though state and local mandates restricted access to businesses and restaurants during COVID-19, no direct physical loss took place.
What is Contractors Insurance?
Contractors insurance usually covers business liabilities, such as injuries or damage to property for which your business is responsible, but with coverages that include specific types of work performed in the construction industry. General liability insurance is an essential part of a contractors insurance policy that comes into play when defective materials or work cause property damage or bodily injury to others, not for the contractor’s work or product. Workers’ Compensation is another important part of a contractors insurance, covering on the job injuries to a covered employee.
All employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation. Any company, whether they are a general contractor or an artisan contractor (sub-contractor) should carry business insurance to protect against everyday risks that come with normal business activities. However, it is typical for a contractor to provide proof of insurance before starting work on a construction project, regardless of the number of employees the contractor may have. General Contractors will need to cover their sub-contractors if the sub-contractors do not carry insurance.
Are tools and equipment protected against theft?
Yes. Contractors and subcontractors should carry inland marine insurance, which covers products, tools, and equipment in transit or stored off-site. Commercial property insurance only covers losses at the location listed on the policy.
How can I best prepare for workplace accidents?
If an employee or worker becomes injured while on the job, worker’s compensation insurance helps cover medical expenses and a portion of the worker’s wages if the worker cannot return to work right away. Any company with at least three employees must have worker’s compensation insurance. If a worker causes property damage at the worksite, general liability insurance includes the cost of damage and legal fees should legal action be taken against the employer.