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National car insurance agencies crediting customers for using vehicles less

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Across the nation, major car insurance agencies are refunding policy holders a percentage of their premiums as significantly less people are traveling due to stay-at-home orders enacted amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liberty Mutual and Allstate: Both agencies are refunding policy holders, on average, 15% of two monthly premiums. Liberty Mutual will determine the refund amount based on customers’ premium amount as of April 7. Allstate customers will receive their refund based on their monthly premiums in April and May.

Allstate will also automatically cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and other goods commercially during the pandemic for as long as each state’s emergency order is in place.

Geico: Geico will be crediting customers 15% of their next full policy term, which comprises six months. For example, if one’s policy premium for six months is $1,000, the credit would be $150 at time of renewal.

Progressive: Progressive customers can expect a 20% premium credit as long as they have an active personal auto policy at the end of April or May. Progressive states on its website that customers should expect the credit in their account a few weeks after the end of the month. The credit can be applied to outstanding balances or the next bill. If paid in full, the credit can be deposited into the customer’s banking account or sent via check.

Additionally, Progressive notes it is assisting first responders, health care workers and delivery drivers at this time by providing roadside expedited roadside assistance, expanding coverage for personal auto customers who are temporarily delivering food or medicine, offering meal delivery for Progressive’s for-hire truck drivers and providing full-service claims experience for first responders and health care workers who experience an accident. Those involved in an accident can receive transportation to work and have expedited tow and vehicle repairs.

State Farm: State Farm is offering the biggest credit to customers be refunding them 25% of their premium cost within the period of March 20 until May 31. Customers can expect to receive the credits applied against bills beginning as early as June.

The percentage varies by state, however, and Rowan County commissioner chairman and local State Farm agent Greg Edds said North Carolinians who use State Farm auto insurance should expect a 22.5% premium credit.

Edds said it’s the largest total dollar dividend and largest percentage return by any auto insurance company. The dividend serves as a financial relief to customers who aren’t driving as often during this time.

“It’s the right thing to do in a time that’s seen this unparalleled event happen,” Edds said, adding that insurance premiums are based on customers’ driving experience and frequency.

He said State Farm expects to take a look after May 31 to evaluate trends and the auto loss experience.

Additionally, the insurance agencies have stopped charging late fees and paused cancellations due to non-payment until mid-May or later, depending on each state’s stay-at-home order and each agency. Geico states on its website that it has paused cancellations until April 30 in North Carolina. Progressive states its cancellations forgiveness lasts until May 15, while State Farm’s lasts until May 31.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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