Buying put options is commonly understood to provide a measure of insurance against price declines. As such, the cost of options is strongly correlated to the amount of fear in the market. It might be prudent in these cases to make the opposite trade -- selling put options. The seller (or writer) collects the premium, which during times of fear is very large. The risk is a significant decline in prices. See the article here, Forbes.
Dolvin, Steven D., "Selling Fear = Making Money" (2012). All Chapters. 26.