COVID-19 has changed all of our lives in countless ways. It’s amazing what one contagious disease has done to alter the lifestyle of the entire world.
We are all trying to stay home as much as possible. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Others are telecommuting. Schools have closed. Restaurants and entertainment businesses are closed or operating on strict regulations and social distancing requirements.
Traffic volume has dropped dramatically as people are not leaving home. And those who do leave home, essential workers, only drive to work and back, for the most part. So almost everyone’s trip miles have dramatically decreased during this period.
Auto insurance companies are seeking to help their customers and the economy in this unprecedented time of need and crisis.
Here are some of the ways a few of the biggest insurance companies are providing relief for their customers.
Auto insurance companies offer COVID-19 refunds or COVID-19 discounts
Many auto insurance companies are passing out millions of dollars in refunds to customers because people are not on the roads and accidents are down. They are lowering premiums and offering discounts because people are not driving as much.
Insurance holders can expect 15 percent credit or 20 percent credit or more on their premiums during the stay-at-home orders after March 20th.
The top five auto insurance companies’ COVID-19 refund plans
Let’s look at what the top five auto insurance companies are doing to give back to their customers.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the nation’s largest auto insurer. They are taking steps to help their customers put more money in their pockets because the insurance giant is expecting fewer auto claims during this time in a program called the “Good Neighbor Relief Program.”
State Farm customers will likely see a 25 percent credit on their policies for the period between March 20 through May 31, according to State Farm’s website’s article, “State Farm Mutual Returning $2 Billion Dividend to Auto Insurance Customers. Every customer will receive credits as early as June.
In addition to providing for discounts on premiums, “the Good Neighbor Relief Program… also includes customer payment options and neighborhood philanthropic relief.” They are providing $5 million in donations across the country for COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
State Farm encourages policyholders to contact their agent for flexible payment plans or special payment plans.
Geico announced they will provide an automatic 15% credit, called “The GEICO Giveback” for the next full 6-month policy term to their customers. This credit applies to auto, motorcycle, and RV policyholders. They estimate that the benefits to policyholders will be approximately $2.5 billion in total.
They are also providing this credit to any new policies purchased between April 8 and October 7, 2020.
Geico also paused policy cancellation for non-payment through at least April 30, 2020, or later as directed by each state.
Geico encourages policyholders to contact their agent for flexible payment plans or special payment plans.
Progressive is returning $1 billion in premiums to their customers. They call their support program, “The Apron Relief Program.”
All personal auto customers who have a policy in effect as of April 30, 2020, will receive an automatic 20% credit of their April premiums in May. And those who have a policy as of May 31 will receive an automatic 20% credit of their May premiums in June.
Starting April 1, 2020, Progressive will “waive late fees, pause collections, and hold off on canceling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020. Some states have already issued leniency guidelines, so we will adjust this timeline to either meet or exceed any state-specific requirements.”
Progressive is also providing flexibility with payment for those in need.
SUPPORT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, AND DELIVERY PERSONNEL
Progressive is providing additional support for those on the front lines of this crisis by:
- Providing expedited roadside assistance
- Expanding coverage for customers who are temporarily delivering food or medicine
- Offering meal delivery for their for-hire truckers
- Providing a full-service claims experience for first responders and health care workers who have a car accident.
- Transportation to work
- Expediting tow and vehicle repairs
- Deferring deductibles if needed
- Providing a rental vehicle if needed
Allstate has announced a “Shelter-in-Place Payback” program that will give customers, on average, an automatic 15 percent credit on premiums in April and May of 2020.
Allstate is also offering free identity protection, payment relief, and extended coverage for those who are delivering food, medicine, and other goods for a commercial purpose during the COVID-19 emergency period.
USAA plans to return $520 million to its members. All auto-insurance policyholders (who had coverage as of March 31, 2020) will receive an automatic 20 percent credit on two months of premiums.
They are also offering financial assistance to those who are struggling financially due to COVID-19.
How to get your insurance COVID- 19 refund
Many customers will automatically receive a car insurance credit for their premiums. Some insurance companies will require policy owners to contact them for their refunds. Please check with your agent about what your particular insurance company is doing and whether they are offering refunds to customers during this time.
How to get a discount or lower premiums
There are other ways to save money on your auto insurance premiums, as well.
- Change status from commuter to non-commuter. If you were commuting to work but now you work from home or you are out of work and not driving to work anymore, check with your agent to let them know the change in your status. You may qualify for a substantial discount.
- Change mileage per month. Even if you are still working, you are probably driving a lot less now. If your average mileage per month has decreased significantly, you can let your agent know about this change, as well. It is possible you may be eligible for lower premiums.
- Compare deals. Lots of car insurance companies are offering spectacular deals right now. Do some research and see if it could benefit you to change insurance companies during this time.
Have You Been Seriously Injured in a Car Wreck?
If you have been significantly hurt because of a car crash in South Carolina, and you think you may have a personal injury case, please contact a personal injury attorney near you who can help you navigate the insurance and legal system who will protect your rights.
You may deserve compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, medical bills, or other damages you have suffered.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Law Firm Near Columbia, SC?
If you have been in an accident involving another motor vehicle, you can still get legal help for your personal injury claim even during this time of social distancing.
At Burriss and Ridgeway, we can provide the experience, knowledge, and compassion you need even during the shelter-in-place order and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please contact us today for a free consultation.
We have 3 convenient office locations to serve you right here in the Midlands in Lexington, Orangeburg, and Columbia, SC. Or we can set up a free video or phone consultation in many cases.
NPR’s summary of the CARE Act (the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid package) with information on payments for
- Individuals – This section provides help for individuals, families, unemployment, student loans, tax returns, insurance coverage
- Small Businesses
- Big Businesses
- Public Health
- Safety Net for providing for those in need.
- State and Local Governments
Arrive at the Best Car Insurance Quotes – by Nerdwalleg