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CovidFAQ

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Oval

Portage Mutual Insurance appreciates the challenges our customers and their families are facing during these unprecedented times. We are working diligently to understand and respond to the change in circumstances that has occurred from the effects of COVID-19. As always we are committed to assisting our policyholders in any way we can, which is something we have prided ourselves in doing since 1884. To this end, we have put together a FAQ to help keep you informed as the situation evolves.

Portage Mutual is continually re-assessing our procedures to follow the most recent recommendations made by government authorities. We are proud to work side by side with our broker partners to continually deliver the quality service Canadians deserve during these challenging times.

Always contact your insurance broker to obtain their professional advice and guidance on all insurance matters.

What is Portage Mutual doing to provide support to broker partners and customers regarding potential payment issues?

We understand that the situation is evolving rapidly and that customers may need clarification about their account. We want to be as flexible as possible to help alleviate worries during such a precarious time. To that end, we have agreed to support our broker partners and customers by implementing the following directives:

  1. Temporarily suspending NSF fees
  2. Working with customers to defer payments who are currently facing policy termination in order to retain their insurance coverage, as appropriate
  3. Encouraging customers that have these issues to contact their broker or us by email at accounts.mb@portagemutual.com

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I am no longer commuting to work. Can I apply for a vehicle use change?

Yes. If your vehicle use has changed, please consult with your insurance broker on how the change may affect your automobile insurance premiums.

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What if I have been laid off from my current work position and decide to start providing deliveries for my workplace or decide to volunteer to make deliveries for restaurants or volunteer to provide other basic necessities for those self-isolating?

If you are an existing Portage Mutual policyholder who’s means of making a living have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to provide coverage for a change in your driving use while delivering on behalf of your existing employer or for making deliveries on a volunteer basis even if receiving compensation for mileage.

Should a customer start to make deliveries for restaurants for compensation other than just mileage, no coverage would be provided as this is a restricted class for Portage Mutual Insurance.

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I am no longer taking transit to work and now using my car to transport myself to work. Do I need to inform my broker to amend my coverage?

Please inform your broker of any change in driving status. We recognize the need to provide essential services so we are pleased to extend coverage to your personal vehicle for commuting purposes without changing your premium. Once social distancing guidelines have changed, please inform your broker of your driving status.

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I am a business owner who was forced to close down as a result of the COVID-19 government mandated response which began on March 16, 2020. Will my policy still provide coverage even though we will be vacant, unoccupied, or shut down?

Yes. Many businesses have been closed as a result of government mandated closures which began on March 16, 2020. Until further notice, we will not consider those businesses that have been mandated to shut down because of COVID-19 to be vacant or unoccupied. It is our expectation that while a business is closed, that the insured or another competent individual will attend the premises at least twice a week to confirm that there has not been any damage.

Other loss prevention measures that should be considered would be:

  • Locking all doors and windows to secure the premises
  • Activate burglar and fire alarms
  • Consider turning off the water main and draining pipes, unless the building is protected by a sprinkler system
  • Maintain heating
  • Removing cash and other valuables from the premises
  • Storing high target stock in a separate locked area or moving it away from windows to make them less visible from the outside
  • Maintain exterior perimeter lighting
  • Maintaining security cameras and video records

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Since my business has been shut down due to the March 16, 2020 government mandate, my sales have decreased. Is this loss of business covered under my policy?

Our business interruption wordings like most other insurers do not cover losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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We were in the middle of working through a claim with our vehicle and there is now a delay in getting the needed repairs completed. Now that my rental car expense is almost used up due to the delay, do I have to return our rental vehicle prior to my claim being completed?

Where necessary, with claims already underway and for policyholders that are unable to have their car or home repaired due to vendor closures or parts and materials unavailability, please contact your adjuster to discuss different options.

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I have now transitioned to work from home to comply with the recommendations made by government authorities on social distancing etc. Does my house insurance cover my business contents while working from home?

If a policyholder is working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a defined amount of coverage on certain types of policies for books, tools, and instruments pertaining to a business, profession, or occupation. Please contact your insurance broker to verify the type of policy you have and to explain the limits of insurance.

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