Consumers want to support local businesses by buying these certificates but are afraid the businesses won’t reopen.
Erie Insurance has announced that its homeowners policyholders will receive gift card insurance coverage at no additional cost.
These certificates allow consumers to pay now for purchases they will make at a later date.
This additional protection has arrived at a time in which people are looking to buy the certificates from their favorite restaurants and businesses that have had to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, consumers are hesitant to invest too much because they’re afraid that the businesses they’re supporting won’t even open their doors, meaning the certificates can’t ever be used.
Therefore, the insurer has announced that it will provide gift card insurance at no additional cost to its homeowners policyholders. That way, consumers can purchase the certificates and support local businesses without worrying that they’ll lose their money in doing so. The goal is to help temporarily closed businesses to weather the storm and be able to afford to open up again once the outbreak has eased.
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The new gift card insurance will be added at no extra cost to the insurer’s 2.2 million homeowners policies.
Erie Insurance says that the coverage will send a reimbursement to consumers who purchase gift certificates for businesses that don’t end up re-opening once the stay-at-home orders have lifted. The insurer said that it will reimburse homeowners insurance policyholders for the remaining balances on those cards for independently owned local businesses.
The gift certificates that apply are those that have a remaining balance, that are independently owned and local (within 100 miles of the consumer’s home), and that employ fewer than 100 full time workers. The coverage will repay up to $250 per certificate, up to a total $500 per policy period.
The certificate must have been purchased within a year of the business’s permanent closure. Therefore, even if the business does re-open after the stay-at-home order has lifted, if it must permanently close before the shopper has used the entire gift card, provided this occurs within one year of the purchase and it is for an eligible business, the gift card insurance will cover it.