COVID-19: How to prepare for the coronavirus (tips, shopping list, & insurance)


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UPDATED: 2020-04-10T13:17:41.394Z
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) under a microscope.

COVID-19, a strand of the coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

How can you prepare for restrictions, social distancing, and a potential strain on your finances?

Although we are living in a world of chaos and fear, there are still ways to (safely) prepare yourself and family members from contracting the virus, and if you do contract it, there are ways to prevent the spread throughout your community.

It is important during a time like this to remain calm yet alert of your surroundings and environment. Although panic and worry are normal feelings to have, it is vital to be prepared, not only for your own well-being but also for everyone else around you.

Consider staying home and only going out if you need to

Yes, it really is that simple. To stop the spread of COVID-19, President Donald Trump urges avoiding crowds of more than 10 people, even if you aren’t showing symptoms. It’s vitally important to practice social distancing. Many restaurants, stores, and fitness centers are closing to help the fight against the virus.

But if you aren’t feeling well, even if you are feeling slightly under the weather, it’s even more important to stay home for the sake of yourself, your family, and your community. Furthermore, if you are experiencing symptoms, call your Primary Care Physician first for advice on what to do.

Many businesses across the nation are allowing employees to work from home to help combat the spread of COVID-19. This will prevent more contamination spreading throughout a workplace and beyond, which is a key way in ending this virus.

Coronavirus shopping list: What essentials do you need?

It’s important to stock up on non-perishables and essentials, like toilet paper and soap, especially if you do contract the virus and are required to be quarantined for up to two weeks. With that being said, yes, make sure you have enough products in your house, but don’t binge-buy more than you will need.

It’s important to keep in mind to not over-buy as there are people who are running low on essential items and are unable to find stores to purchase them. The fact that convenience and grocery stores are running out of essentials is shocking yet the reality right now. Be smart and prepared with what you need to stay healthy without over-buying.

Essential items can vary person to person, but there are standard items to have that will keep a family and household afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. The following are essentials that you should have:

  • Prescriptions (See if your doctor will give you a three-month supply of your medication.)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Canned goods
  • Frozen foods (including frozen vegetables)
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Household cleaners
  • Toilet paper and paper towels (without over-buying)
  • If you buy perishable goods like produce, meats, and fish, consider freezing what you can so that it doesn’t go bad.

If you or your family have the financial means to stock up on products, try to remember that there are many individuals who are not able to stock up on items or buy in bulk.

Regarding food insecure homes, if you have children enrolled in the local public school near you, check with the school, as many will have meal kits available for the students. If you are unsure if your school district is providing meals for students, reach out to any school officials for more information.

Grocery store coronavirus limits

Grocery stores across the United States are now putting a limit of the amount of people in a store. The range has often been between 70-100 people, but every store and state has their own limits and it depends on the store’s size and capacity. Having a limited amount of people in a store is helping prevent the spread of the virus while allowing people to leave their house and purchase their groceries.

While shopping and waiting in line, you’re also requested to remain at least 6 feet away from other shoppers. Additionally, if you are used to bringing your reusable bags, it’s important to note that many stores have banned the use of reusable bags and are supplying an alternative when you shop.

Tips to remember when grocery shopping

Here are a few helpful tips when grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Senior hours: If you are a senior citizen, grocery stores or big-box retailers, such as Costco, are offering senior hours. Since people who are over the age of 60, have a pre-existing condition, or have a compromised immune system are the most at risk for COVID-19 complications, many grocery stores have set times dedicated to only allow senior and high-risk shoppers in the store to get their essential needs with a much smaller crowd. Check with your local store to find out what the hours are, but they are typically in the morning before the store opens to the general public.
  • Less trafficked times: Even though there is already a limit on the number of people allowed in the store at once, some grocery workers say that they have seen a decline in traffic in grocery stores between the hours of 1 and 3 pm. This time may not be the same for all stores nationwide, but it's worth giving it a try! It could help you avoid waiting in line outside to get into the store.

What if I get laid off or put on furlough?

Many Americans have been laid off or put on furlough, meaning that they are let go from the company temporarily, however, these employees are unpaid. Millions of people have lost their jobs during this pandemic, and the question often looming over their head is “Now what?”

Although many of these individuals can apply for unemployment, and the majority already have, this may not cover everything that a person or family needs to cover their personal expenses e.g. food, rent, and bills. If you have not been laid off, be aware that it could still happen to you and be sure to prepare your finances for the possibility.

Be sure to check with your state officials to see if any assistance is available during these tough times. Your state may have a list of resources available.

You can read our blog: 7 Tips to protect your finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

How to prepare for COVID-19 with your insurance

COVID-19 has majorly impacted all sorts of insurance, specifically health and travel insurance. People have been contacting their travel agents and health care providers frequently as we are in a time of panic and crisis. With that being said, if you are working remotely or are quarantined, now is a great time to shop for insurance deals to help you save money. To prepare for COVID-19, your insurance can help you get through this time.

Your health insurance will cover you or your immediate family member(s) if they get diagnosed with the coronavirus. If you are unsure if your insurance will cover the medical needs and attention you might require, contact your health insurance company for specific details.

Life insurance

Life insurance protects your family if you die. While all life insurance companies are different, life insurance may cover the event of death caused by COVID-19. For more information on this, you can read our blog about the coronavirus and life insurance.

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How to save money on car, homeowners, and renters insurance

As COVID-19 takes a toll on our daily life, you may be looking for ways to save money on your everyday expenses. Insurance may be one of the biggest monthly expenses and you could save money by shopping around. You might decide to switch companies if you find a better value with a different one.

To shop for car, homeowners, or renters insurance, consider getting quotes from at least three companies. The more insurance quotes that you get, the likelihood of saving money is greater. You can compare the cost and policy options from each company to help you find the best policy.

To start your search, you can utilize Clearsurance’s “Best of 2020” top-consumer rated insurance rankings pages, where you will see a ranking of the highest rated companies in your zip-code according to consumers. You can click on any of the companies in the ranking to see how the company is rated by consumers and to read consumer reviews. You can find the pages at the following links:

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Although there is consistent talk about the coronavirus, which can often spark fear in people, it’s important to continue living your life while doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.

There are many ways to prepare yourself for the coronavirus, whether that be through insurance or by adjusting your shopping list for the grocery store. All in all, we will get through this pandemic and be able to get back to our normal lives if we remain responsible citizens and take care of one another.

Don’t forget to practice the basic guidelines recommended by the CDC and other organizations including, staying home if you feel sick, practicing social distancing, washing your hands frequently and effectively, and avoiding touching your face. For the most trusted and up-to-date information, visit the CDC’s coronavirus website.


The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.

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