Fewer drivers on the road. Mass labor forces working from home. Unemployment skyrocketing. Even with shelter-in-place orders beginning to lift, life is still a far cry from normal. The message continues to be “Stay Home- Save Lives.” Great message, and who doesn’t want to save lives? But while you’re at it, why not save a little money as well? During this time of social spacing and face coverings, you can save more than just at the gas pump.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, companies that sell 82 percent of auto insurance in America will be refunding more than $6.5 million over the next few months. In a report published back in March, the Society of Actuaries said, “Increased social distancing and remote work may lead to less auto coverage exposures and potentially to less auto insurance claims.” So far, these predictions are coming true. Traffic is reported to have dropped 40-50% and even more relevant, the number of collisions reported has dropped significantly, as well. The New York City Open Data project shows that collisions in March were down by more than 35% from last year at the same time. The bottom line is, with fewer cars on the road, there are fewer accidents. And with fewer accidents, the cost to the insurance companies drops.
According to USA Today, these car insurance companies are offering some sort of relief:
- AAA: 20% refund for policyholders with insurance in effect from March 16 to May 15
- Allstate: 15% discount on premiums in April and May
- American Family Insurance: $50 one-time payment for each car insured
- Amica: 20% credit on April and May premiums
- Auto-Owners Insurance: 15% refund on April and May premiums
- Chubb: 35% discount on April and May premiums
- Cincinnati Insurance and Casualty: 15% credit on April and May premiums
- CSAA: 20% refund on two months’ premium
- Encova: 15% discount on April and May premiums
- GEICO: 15% percent credit for auto and motorcycle customers whose policies renew between April 8 and Oct. 7 and new policy purchases between that time frame.
- Hanover Insurance Group: 15% discount on April and May premiums
- The Hartford: 15% refund on April and May premiums, only for policies in effect as of April 1
- Liberty Mutual: 15% refund on two months of premiums, refunds begin starting April 7
- Kemper: 15% credit on April and May premiums
- MetLife: 15% credit on April and May premiums
- Mercury Insurance: 15% credit on April and May premiums
- Nationwide: $50 one-time refund per policy as of March 31; refunds will be credited automatically within 30 days to the current payment method on file
- Next Insurance: 25% discount on April premiums
- Progressive Insurance: 20% credit for April premiums for each car insured as of April 30; 20% reduction on May premiums for cars insured as of May 31; credits will be applied automatically in May and June
- Safeco: 15% refund on April and May premiums starting April 7
- State Farm: Most customers will receive, on average, a 25% credit between March 20 through May 31; exact percentages vary by state; credits will be applied automatically as early as June
- Travelers: 15% credit for April and May premiums
- USAA: 20% credit on two months' premiums; credits will be applied automatically
So now what?
First, beware of scams! Don’t give information to callers asking for details in order to issue you a refund. Nothing should be required.
Second, many insurers are offering these discounts and refunds automatically.
Third, if your insurer isn’t offering a refund or credit, now is a good time to pick up the phone and ask. Many insurers will extend grace periods and arrange extended payment options as well.
Lastly, take the time to shop around. According to NerdWallet, the average driver in 2020 will spend $1427 on car insurance. That one phone call could very well save you $100 or more.