Giving Customers a “Brake”: Auto Insurance Carriers Respond to Coronavirus

It’s safe to say that every single one of us has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  Some have merely been inconvenienced, others have lost jobs, and others have had to deal with serious health issues. One thing for sure is most people’s driving habits have changed significantly and insurance carriers are responding.

Two important notes: while these are the highlights of what many insurers are doing, each company is responding a little differently, so check with yours before assuming anything. Secondly, most of these changes should happen automatically, with no intervention on your part.

Here’s what to look for:

Rebates: Being confined to our homes means less driving – a lot less driving – and therefore a lower risk of accidents. In response, most major insurers have announced payback programs ranging from 15% to 25% of premiums. In many cases these will come in the form of an account credit, but some customers will receive cash deposits to their accounts.

Payment extensions: Like other financial institutions, many insurers are extending deadlines or otherwise loosening requirements for premium payments. Depending on your insurer, you may need to contact them to make this happen, but almost all are offering premium forgiveness in some form.

Commercial coverage: While many of us are staying home, others have been compelled to use their vehicles for delivery of food, medicine or other necessities. For example, consider all the restaurant owners who suddenly had to begin offering delivery service. Recognizing the situation, some insurers are extending commercial coverage to personal vehicles in these situations. This again is happening at no cost and with no intervention by the insured in most cases.

Identity protection: This might seem a bit of a stretch for your automobile coverage, but carriers have recognized that working from home presents new vulnerabilities to hacking, fraud and other cybercrime. Some are now rolling in a year’s worth of identity theft coverage at no additional cost.

Again, your mileage may vary (pun intended) as each insurer presents its own concessions. Collectively, though, auto insurers have been proactive in doing their part to help us through this crisis.

Questions about your auto coverage and how it’s affected by the pandemic? Contact Consolidated Insurance.