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Home Insurance: Avoiding Scams and Misinformation during COVID-19



Home Insurance: Avoiding Scams and Misinformation during COVID-19

Whether you live in a house, a condo unit, or an apartment, home insurance provides you adequate cover that you require to protect your home and belongings from unforeseen risks.

Buying home insurance is fairly simple, quick, and can also be done online. However, the COVD-19 pandemic has caused stress and anxiety among people. There have been instances of fake coronavirus health coverage and bogus insurance schemes floated by fraudsters who seek to exploit Canadians in the name of COVD-19 for personal gains.


Examples of scams and misinformation related to home insurance

Typical examples are robocalls, text messages, and email phishing attacks that deliver false and misleading insurance deals to innocent consumers. In some cases, these deals require consumers to pay insurance premiums, and in return, do not deliver the coverage – thus committing fraud.

  • Some fraudsters con people by stealing their personal information through wrongful means and then create a clone of their medical and financial identities.
  • Fraudsters bring out fake, low-cost coronavirus or COVD-19 insurance that offers a bogus promise of full coverage at affordable prices.
  • Similarly, seniors are targeted through “senior care” packages. Callers call up and ask seniors in an aggressive tone to share their social security details. These details are then used to make fraudulent claims against the Medicare accounts of seniors.
  • Bogus agents send spam emails claiming to be insurance agents and try and sell fake insurance policies.
  • Fraudsters call up consumers to tell them that their insurance got cancelled, but can be renewed by paying a small amount. In their anxiety to ensure that their cover is still there, consumers end up making these small payments.
  • Some fraudsters charge money from consumers and sell fake insurance that provides cover on corona virus-related trip cancellations. The truth is that standard travel insurance does not offer cover against pandemics such as COVID-19.


Other examples of scams and misinformation related to COVID19

  • Fraudsters sell fake herbal medicines or vaccines offering a miracle cure to COVID-19.
  • Fraudsters wear the garb of charities and pressurize people to make donations.
  • Some people con others by re-selling necessities such as toilet paper, canned foods at low prices, but these products usually turn out to be expired and unusable.
  • Fraudsters load malware into computers. They call up consumers, pretending to be from an insurance company, share links via email, and ask consumers to click them.
  • Fraudsters provide free vaccines, special virus tests or kits, claiming that they are covered by health insurance, and offer to deliver them to consumers who are asked to share their details.

Action items when you come across instances of insurance fraud or false identity

In case you are a victim of insurance fraud or come across one, you must act quickly and observe the following guidelines:

  • Stay calm, and don’t be anxious.
  • Check the date of the email.
  • Read the full email and not just the subject line.
  • If there are spelling or grammar mistakes, the chances are that it is a fraud.
  • If you are unsure, check whether your findings are genuine or fraud. Rumors spread faster.
  • If you are convinced about the matter, then:
  • Report the matter to your insurance broker and the anti-fraud centre.
  • Report to the Social insurance office about your personal details getting lost.


Buying home insurance in COVID19

Unfortunately, over the last few months, many Canadians have fallen prey to above scams and misinformation and lost their money.

Statistics reveal that insurance-related scams are just beginning to rise. An alert attitude and guarded approach are critical to staying safe. If left unchecked, insurance fraud scams could spread quickly as fraudsters are always looking for new tricks to con people and take advantage of their anxiety to be health prepared and safe during the COVID19 pandemic.

As  home is your biggest investment, you need to protect it too during COVID-19. You must weigh all your options and buy home insurance from a reputed home insurance broker.

You can buy an all-risk home insurance policy that will protect your home and your belongings from events like fire, theft, and vandalism. It will also cover your liability and provide you with cover if you unintentionally injure someone or happen to damage their property accidentally.

Associate Editor