When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the U.S. economy in the spring, auto insurance companies raced to bring relief to policyholders.
They issued refunds, discounted premiums and allowed people to miss payments without lapsing their policies.
It’s worth considering if auto insurance companies are going to take similar actions now that fear of another coronavirus wave is again shaking the U.S. economy. Also, as some insurers face backlash for "inadequate" coronavirus-related auto policy refunds, will they change their relief strategies?
Here is how the 10 biggest auto insurance companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute, brought premium relief to their policyholders this past spring:
- State Farm (April 9): Up to 25% discount on premiums March 20 to May 31, 2020.
- GEICO (April 8): A 15% auto credit called the GEICO Giveback.
- Progressive (April 8): A 20% credit on April and May 2020 bills called the Apron Relief Program.
- Allstate (April 6): A 15% premium credit in April and May 2020 through the Shelter-In-Place program, which was then extended through June.
- USAA (April 6): The company is issuing multiple waves of premium credits, each totaling several hundred million dollars, the latest one coming in July.
- Liberty Mutual (April 7): A 15% refund through the Personal Auto Customer Relief Refund for April and May.
- Farmers Insurance (April 8): Premium credit of 25% for April and 15% for May.
- Nationwide (April 9): A $50 one-time premium refund in April 2020.
- American Family (April 6): A $50 one-time premium refund in April and 10% premium credit between July and December 2020.
Why would any company voluntarily give money back to customers?