Some auto insurance companies have given refunds and credits to commuters who have been stuck at home at least part of the time during the coronavirus outbreak, since far fewer miles have been driven and insurers have been at less risk.
Personal vehicle travel in the U.S. was down nearly 50 percent compared with typical traffic volume in April, according to Inrix, a provider of traffic data. And as Americans drive less, some insurers are offering automatic rebates or payment deferrals; others require you to ask for help.
According to MarketWatch, State Farm, the country’s largest auto insurer, said it would give policyholders credits of up to 25 percent on premiums paid between March 20 and May 31; the credit would amount to almost $2 billion returned to policies on 40 million vehicles.
Consumer Reports reached out to many of its top-rated insurance providers and got this information:
• Allstate promises that most customers will see a 15 percent rebate on premiums for April and May.
• Amica, says its customers will see a 20 percent credit on their auto premiums for April and May
• USAA, says its policyholders will receive a 20 percent credit on two months of premiums in the coming weeks.
• American Family Insurance is providing a onetime, $50 payment for each vehicle insured under a personal auto insurance policy.
• Liberty Mutual and Safeco are providing a 15 percent refund for two months of policyholders’ personal auto premiums.
• GEICO is offering a 15 percent credit to auto and motorcycle policyholders as their policies comes up for renewal.
• Nationwide says it is offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy.
• Auto–Owners Insurance told CR that it plans to announce a premium refund program in the near future.
• Farmer’s and 21st Century policyholders will receive a 25 percent reduction in their April premium.
• Chubb, a CR recommended insurer, says that when its policyholders renew their policies, they will receive a credit reflecting a 35 percent premium reduction for the months of April and May, with additional discounts for subsequent months, as the situation warrants.
• Mercury says it plans to return 15 percent of monthly auto insurance premiums to customers in April and May
The biggest piece of advice from Consumer Reports: If you haven’t heard from your provider, or you’re having trouble right now paying your premium, make a phone call and see what its plans are, and take the opportunity look at or adjust your coverage and deductible.