A new round of insurers has implemented auto insurance rebates, premium reductions, donations and other measures to help customers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Their actions follow earlier, similar measures by Chubb, Allstate, Travelers, American Family, Next Insurance and others.
Highlights of insurers and actions taken are listed below.
GEICO said it will give back approximately $2.5 billion by way of a 15 percent credit to its auto and motorcycle customers as their policy comes up for renewal between April 8 and Oct. 7.
The credit will also apply to any new policies purchased during this period.
GEICO’s average auto policy has a semi-annual premium of about $1,000 and generally covers more than one vehicle. This means GEICO expects credits to average about $150 per auto policy and $30 per motorcycle policy.
Overall, 18 million auto insurance customers and one million motorcycle customers should benefit, the company said.
As well, GEICO is pausing cancellations of coverage due to non-payment and policy expiration at least through April 30, 2020. The company has also committed to offering maximum flexibility to policyholders who need special payment options and also transitioning nearly all of its associates to work from home in order to continue its 24/7 service.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company said it will give up to a $2 billion dividend to its auto insurance customers in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The idea is that driving has decreased now that schools and businesses are closed and many are sheltering in place.
State Farm said that auto customers will get a credit, on average of about 25 percent of premium from March 20 through May 31, with exact percentages varying by state. Customers will start receiving credits applied against their bills starting as early as June.
As well, the insurer is providing $5 million in donations nationally to communities in an effort to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
Liberty Mutual Insurance said it will give its personal auto insurance customers a 15 percent refund on two months of their annual premium.
In all, this will return about $250 million to Liberty Mutual and Safeco personal auto insurance customers. This is in addition to other customer support programs designed to provide coronavirus relief, such as flexible payment options and delivery coverage expansion for auto policies.
Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15 percent refund on two months of their annual auto premium as of April 7, 2020, pending regulatory approval. Refunds will begin in April and will be issued by check or however the customer made his or her most recent payments. Payments will be automatic.
Additionally, Liberty Mutual has halted late fee charges and cancellations due to non-payment for personal auto and home customers from March 23 through at least May 22, 2020. Liberty Mutual also expanded all personal auto policies to cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food and medicine. Standard Safeco personal auto policies typically exclude such coverage. The added protection covers all personal auto policies in all states for losses occurring from March 16 through May 22, and reported by July 1, 2020.
The Hartford has launched its COVID-19 Personal Auto Payback plan, which gives customers a 15 percent refund on their April and May personal auto premiums. Overall, this will translate into a return of about $50 million to the insurer’s customers.
Refunds will be issued over the next two months to personal auto insurance policies in force as of April 1, 2020. They’ll be made by check or direct deposit into the accounts that customers use to pay their bill.
As well, The Hartford said it has waived late payment and cancellation for non-payment to its personal auto and home customers until May 31, 2020. Additionally, The Hartford committed $1 million in corporate and employee donations to “urgent human needs, the healthcare crisis and the city of Hartford” by way of various humanitarian organizations helping during the pandemic.
Erie Insurance said it will support and provide financial relief to customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic through a rate reduction for personal and commercial auto insurance customers in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
Erie said that the rate reductions, rather than short-term auto insurance rebates, are “designed to offer more impactful relief to customers — now and in the future.”
Pending regulatory approvals, Erie said the financial relief will be worth about $200 million.
In addition, Erie said it is assisting thousands of customers with individualized payment flexibility, updating of auto insurance coverages for policyholders to reflect current vehicle usage and paramedical exam waivers for life insurance applications. Also, the company is adding gift card reimbursement coverage to ErieSecure Home policies and offering philanthropic support to cover COVID-19 relief efforts in the companies it serves.
Farmers Insurance said it will give business customers in the restaurant, office, retail and service sectors a 20 percent monthly credit on their Business Owners Policy for the next two month on the upcoming bills. The goal: relief from effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The relief is for more than 115,000 Farmers’ business insurance customers under its Farmers Cares Initiatives.
The action builds on other measures Farmers has already taken to help its business customers, such as temporarily pausing policy cancellations due to non-payment through May 1, 2020. Also, Farmers has made adjustments for all of its business insurance customers to give them extra time to pay for their policies.
Farmers aid it will take care of these adjustments for its customers and update its policies “as conditions continue to evolve.”
Kemper Corp. said it will provide a 15 percent credit to personal auto policyholders toward their April and May premiums, for customers with a policy in force as of April 30. The credits will appear for each month on subsequent bills, and the two-month credits will total $100 million, the company said.
Kemper noted the credits are subject to regulatory approval and will be applied directly to a policyholder’s policy. If affected policyholders have paid in full, they’ll get a refund of the credited amounts.
As well, Kemper is giving $1 million to organizations focused on critical issues during the pandemic including food insecurity and groups supporting front-line medical personnel.
The Hanover Insurance Group is addressing the coronavirus pandemic through the creation of it’s the Hanover CARES Refund. This program enables the return of 15 percent of April and May auto insurance premiums to eligible personal lines customers.
Refunds will total about $30 million of premium, something The Hanover said it will recognize in the 2020 second quarter. Pending regulatory approvals, the insurer will credit April in-force policies in May, and May in-force policies in June. Policyholders who have pre-paid premiums will receive new credits in each of the same months.
As well, The Hanover will pursue additional “customer relief measures” and contribute $500,000 to non-profits in local communities to address public health-related COVID-19 needs.
Like the other insurers, The Hanover said the customer relief measures stem, in part, from governmental stay-at-home and shelter-in-place measures, which have reduced the number of vehicles on the roads and claims filed.
Sources: State Farm, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, GEICO, Erie Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Kemper Corp., The Hanover.
*Material from an Insurance Journal story was used in this roundup.