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7 Insurance Companies Giving Refunds During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Insurance bills are a considerable expense for many Americans each month, and with widespread disruptions to people’s income due to coronavirus, people need help. Along with major financial institutions offering relief, the nation’s largest insurers are stepping up to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missing an insurance payment could mean losing your coverage, so if you’re having trouble paying your insurance premiums, check to see whether your insurance company is providing assistance.
How are the largest insurers responding to coronavirus?
State Farm announced in May that it would be working towards reducing auto rates across the country –– totaling to about $2.2 billion. Customers would see rate cuts when they renew their policy.
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“Combined with the dividend, this totals approximately $4.2 billion in savings for our auto customers,” State Farm stated in a press release. The company also confirmed it has altered its leave policy to ensure customers and employees are safe while providing financial security to employees affected.
Geico posted an update to its website announcing an automatic Giveback Credit. “GEICO is providing a 15 percent credit to our auto and motorcycle policyholders as your policy comes up for renewal between April 8 and October 7, 2020. The credit will also apply to any new policies purchased during this period.”
Geico has included a Giveback Credit Estimator on its website, but be aware that the full 15% credit for your policy term is applied at the time of renewal.
In Illinois, Geico was sued for a “woefully inadequate” response to coronavirus. Even with the Giveback Credit, the lawsuits cited Geico’s profits in the first quarter of 2020 –– a gain of $984 million or increase of 27.8% compared to 2019. Complaints also point to the fact that COVID-related discounts are only applied when your premium is renewed. It does nothing for customers who had an existing premium when the pandemic started.
If you need to get in contact with Geico, it is recommending you reach out via the Geico app “as call wait times may be longer than usual.”
Allstate responded to coronavirus with an automatic program, its Shelter-In-Place Payback. “On average, personal auto insurance customers will receive 15 percent money back based on their monthly premium in April and May.” This program was extended through June, though recent updates have not been made.
Although Allstate did originally offer relief at the beginning of the pandemic, it is also facing lawsuits that claim its COVID-19 relief was not enough to help customers. The basis of these lawsuits state that the relief offered by Allstate was not fair or reasonable, and did not provide a significant amount of relief to customers.
We’re encouraging customers to use the Allstate mobile app to start a claim, provide proof of insurance or request 24/7 roadside assistance.
For customers who want to reach out to a local agent, office staff is available by phone during normal business hours. Customers can also reach Allstate at any time at 1-800-ALLSTATE.”
Allstate will also be offering free identity protection and automatically covering “customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and other goods for a commercial purpose during the COVID-19 emergency period.”
Progressive previously offered customers an automatic credit of 20% for April and May. It started offering assistance to make sure customers didn’t lose coverage during this crisis in April. During this time Progressive waived fees and held off canceling active policies through May 15.
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Now that the grace period Progressive originally offered is over, the remaining protection is based on state billing guidelines for the pandemic. “We’re abiding by all state-specific requirements, which means we won’t cancel or non-renew any policy due to non-payment during the leniency period.”
USAA announced earlier this year: “Every member with an auto insurance policy in effect as of March 31, 2020, will receive a 20% credit on two months of premiums in the coming weeks.”
Since then, USAA has given auto insurance customers three dividends. The latest of which was in August for an additional $270 billion, bringing the total to $1.06 billion.
USAA’s website confirms its response to COVID-19:
- USAA announced it plans to help mitigate the pandemic’s impacts for military families. “USAA is donating $30 million to two dozen nonprofit organizations to offer relief and support through the Military Family Relief Initiative.”
- Expanded auto insurance coverage for members who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and other goods for commercial purposes.”
Liberty Mutual announced: “From March 23 through June 15, 2020, we automatically waived all late fees and continued insurance coverage for customers with overdue payments.” Depending on the state you live in, these terms may be extended. You can reach out to customer support for assistance if needed.
Liberty Mutual also announced steps to keep claims adjusters, employees, and customers safe during this time, limiting in-person contact to emergency scenarios only.
Farmers gave 25% personal auto premium credits from April 1 until June. It provided “additional time to pay while still maintaining your coverage,” but cautioned that any deferred payments will accumulate if unpaid and become due “when normal billing operations resume.”
There have not been any recent updates to its COVID-19 protections, though Farmers has implemented customer assistance for California wildfires, tropical storms and Hurricane Sally.
Farmers is urging customers to file claims and manage policies digitally, either online or on the Farmers Mobile App. “If you are unable to make your payment on time as a result of COVID-19, please call 1-888-327-6335 to discuss your options.”
How can you find help with your insurance bills if you’re impacted by COVID-19?
If you don’t see your insurer on this list, we recommend visiting your insurance company’s website to see if they have a COVID-19 update. This may be posted as a banner on the homepage of the site, or you may be able to find it by googling the insurance company’s name along with “COVID-19.”
You can also reach out to your insurer directly by phone, but we have seen that many insurance companies are receiving a higher call volume than normal so be prepared for what may be longer than normal wait times.