Auto Insurance Companies to Credit Millions To Customers

Auto insurance companies across the country are returning millions of dollars to customers who are not driving or driving less due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (stevanovicigor/Envato Elements)

Many drivers will soon see money come their way from auto insurers.

Several auto insurance companies, including Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Geico, announced they will return millions of dollars to customers as the coronavirus crisis empties roads across America.

Allstate announced April 6 it would refund policyholders about 15 percent for payments made in April and May. That’s about $600 million that will be credited to the bank accounts of the Allstate’s 18 million customers.

Allstate is also offering free identity protection to all U.S. residents, whether they are one of its policyholders or not. The company said it is offering the protection to address the sudden rise in virtual meetings and classes.

Allstate CEO Tom Wilson said in a statement that driving mileage is down 35 to 50 percent since the crisis began.

“This is about fairness,” Wilson said.

The crisis has emptied highways and roads across the nation. A quick google search reveals photos of deserted highways in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C.

And fewer drivers on the road means fewer claims.

On April 8, the day after Allstate made its announcement, Geico said it would also refund its customers about $2.5 billion in credit, citing that shelter-in-place orders have “reduced driving significantly.”

The company said it would also suspend the cancellation of coverage because of non-payments.

“This ongoing crisis has widespread effects that will linger,” said Geico President and CEO Todd Combs in a statement. “That is why we wanted to give this credit for at least six months.”

Liberty Mutual is giving back 15 percent to policyholders on two months of premiums. The company estimated it will refund about $250 million to customers. Like other insurers, it is pausing cancellations for missed payments and late payments.

“Today, more than ever, we recognize the uncertainty and financial challenges our customers are facing,” Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long said in a statement. “We remain dedicated to serving our customers during this unprecedented pandemic.”

USAA joined in on crediting its customers April 8, saying members will receive a 20 percent credit for two months of premiums for a total of $520 million. USAA is halting fees associated with late payments and allowing members to stop non-payment cancellations.

Progressive said its policyholders will be credited 20 percent of their premiums in April and May, for an estimated $1 billion in total. The company is also expanding coverage for drivers who are temporarily delivering food or medicine, in addition to cancellations and renewals for commercial and personal policyholders for non-payments through May 18.

“We’re grateful to be in a position to give back,” said Progressive President and CEO Tricia Griffith. “We will continue to do what we can to help based on the current data available to us and will continue to monitor how this unprecedented situation plays out.”

Other auto insurers are expected to follow suit by the end of the week.

A representative from State Farm’s office in Old Town told the Roundup the insurance company will make an announcement regarding possibly reimbursing policyholders within the next week.

Ron Camacho was born and raised in Clovis. He attended Clovis High School and graduated from CSU Fresno in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and Journalism. Before joining the Roundup, Ron wrote for Pollstar Magazine and the Sanger Herald. He has a deep appreciation for the arts and is a lover of music, cinema and storytelling. When he’s not busy looking for his next story, Ron enjoys taking weekend expeditions to the beach or mountains to practice landscape photography.