All 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories had reported cases of COVID-19 by mid-March. Not long after, from late March through the first week of April, 43 states plus the District of Columbia had issued stay-at-home directives for non-essential activities. While the remaining seven states didn’t issue stay-at-home directives, they did limit the size of gatherings, closed schools and some nonessential businesses, and prohibited on-site dining at restaurants.
As a result, many personal automobiles remained parked in the garage, in the driveway or on the street. According to INRIX, a location-based data and analytics firm, from late March to early April, personal travel traffic in the US dropped 47% compared to traffic in late February.
While stay-at-home directives for non-essential activities have eased, personal automobile usage remains below pre COVID-19 usage levels as many people continue to work from home. Reduced personal travel, canceled entertainment events, increased unemployment and countless behavioral changes also continue to decrease automobile usage below historic levels.
Many auto insurance companies have been proactive by issuing refunds and credits to individuals who are off the road and at home.
State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer, issued an approximate 25% credit on premiums paid between March 20 and May 31. This credit returned $2 billion to policyholders on 40 million vehicles in the form of credits applied against bills beginning as early as June
Other leading auto insurance companies offered the following refund amounts. Check to see if your automobile provider is included on the list. You may not even realize you received a refund since most are being issued automatically.
- Allstate – 15% refund on premiums for April and May. Allstate extended the credit through June 30. Refunds have been issued as policy credits.
- American Family Insurance – $50 refund per covered vehicle was issued in April. Eligible customers will also receive a 10% credit on personal auto premiums for personal auto policies in force between July and December 2020.
- Chubb Auto Insurance – 35% premium reduction for April and May applied to annual renewal premiums.
- Farmers Insurance – 25% reduction in April premiums. 15% reduction in May premiums. New York customers received a single credit equal to 40% of one month’s premium, based on their full-term premium as of May 7, 2020.
- GEICO – 15% credit applied to the average auto policyholder’s entire 6-month policy premium of about $1,000, as policies come up for renewal between April 8 and October 7.
- Liberty Mutual – 15% refund on two months of premiums. Refunds were issued either by check or in the manner the customer made their most recent payment.
- MetLife – 15% credit for April and May premiums. A future credit will be applied to the customer’s account.
- Progressive Insurance – 20% credit on April and May premiums. The credit amount is being returned directly into payment accounts or via a check.
- 21st Century Insurance – 25% reduction in March, April and May premiums. Policyholders who qualify for the premium reduction will receive a refund check in the mail.
- USAA – 20% credit on three months of premiums. Members will automatically receive a credit applied to their bill.
Of course, check with your trusted broker for details on your auto insurance provider’s refund policy. Since COVID-19 remains an active issue, these policies may be updated going forward.
If your auto insurance provider isn’t listed above, give them a call or check their website regarding their auto premium refund policy. If your provider isn’t offering a refund, ask for it. By referencing the list of providers offering a refund, you can help to strengthen your case.
Tom Kueny is a Partner in the Warrington, PA office of KMRD Partners, Inc., a risk and human capital management consulting and insurance brokerage firm serving clients worldwide. KMRD works to protect clients’ assets by reducing their cost of risk. Tom can be reached at email@example.com