COVID-19 Personal Auto Premium Relief & Temporary Policy Changes

COVID-19 Personal Auto Premium Relief & Temporary Policy Changes

Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, many states have enforced temporary regulations affecting insurance coverage and payments, and many of our Personal Auto insurance carriers announced that they will be offering an automatic refund premium credit of up to 20% to their policyholders. A few carriers are even offering additional coverage benefits, too! Different credit amounts, benefits, and restrictions apply with each of the different carriers offering it. The premium refund credit is a result of the pandemic causing financial hardships for many families in our community and across the globe, while also following a decline in driving, and accidents and claims for that matter, as most individuals are self-isolating and staying home to help flatten the curve of the novel COVID-19 virus.

Each of our carriers are closely monitoring the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations and state regulations – they will comply with any additional state regulations and make any changes when necessary. Here are what our carriers have announced so far for the steps they are taking to support their policyholders and what they are offering as of Sunday, April 12, 2020:

PROGRESSIVE’S APRON RELIEF PROGRAM

On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Progressive announced that they will be providing premium credits of approximately $1 billion to their auto customers. “Subject to approval by state regulators, Progressive personal auto customers who have a policy in force as of April 30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May and personal auto customers with a policy in force as of May 31 will be credited 20% of their May premiums in June.” (Progressive, 2019).

To receive the premium credits, you do not have to do anything – Progressive will calculate the credit amount for each policy in force at the end of the month and automatically apply it directly to your policy within a couple of weeks. The form of the credit will vary depending on whether your premium is paid in full or if a balance remains on your policy.

Additionally, Progressive announced that as of April 1, 2020, they will be waiving all late fees, holding off their collections temporarily, and will not be cancelling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020.

Please be advised, if you have an active Progressive policy that is set on automatic payments, the payments will continue to be automatically withdrawn, unless you choose to stop them. Any remaining balance left on the policy after May 15th will become due.

If you are a first responder, health care worker, or delivery personnel, Progressive issued additional relief benefits, including:

  • Expedited Roadside Assistance
  • Expanded coverage for personal auto customers temporarily delivering food or medicine
  • Meal deliveries for for-hire truckers insured by Progressive
  • Full-service claims experience for first-responded and health care workers involved in a car accident:
    • Transportation to work
    • Expedited tow and vehicle repairs
    • If needed, deferred deductibles and a rental vehicle

The benefits don’t stop there! The Progressive Foundation donated $8 million to Feeding America, the American Red Cross, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and other charities that aim to provide food and health services, and aid with homelessness.

Progressive is working with customers individually to offer tailored solutions. Only if you are able to, you are encouraged to continue to make your payments, but if you find yourself in a tight situation and need some extra time to make your next payment, please call Progressive and they will be ready to help work something out. The carrier also stated they will be “deferring deductibles for those who need a personal vehicle repaired and can’t pack out-of-pocket” (Progressive, 2020).

To learn more about Progressive’s Apron Relief Program and the initiatives they are taking to help others, please visit: https://www.progressive.com/support/covid19/

MERCURY’S GIVEBACK PROGRAM

Mercury announced on Thursday, April 9, 2020 that they will be giving back Mercury auto insurance customers a 15% credit for April and May’s premium, and crediting each account automatically, subject to state approval.

The carrier is working with each of their customers individually to offer customized solutions. If you may not be able to make your next auto insurance payment and you’re tight on finances, please call Mercury and the reps will be ready to provide their assistance and work on a solution with you.

To ensure the health and safety of not only their policyholders and employees, but our local communities as well, Mercury has deployed a few different ways to help assist with their adjusting and processing of their auto, home, and business claims, including:

  • Real-time Chat & Virtual Inspections
  • Capability to upload photos and videos of damages online
  • Inspection completed by a Mercury-approved emergency service vendor
  • Only if necessary, an in-person inspection completed by a Mercury rep

To read about Mercury’s Giveback Program, please review the following link: https://www.mercuryinsurance.com/assets/docs/alerts/Mercury-Insurance-Coronavirus-COVID-19-Readiness.pdf

KEMPER (INFINITY)

In an email to agents on Friday, April 10, 2020, Kemper announced they have allocated about $100 million of premium relief for their personal auto policyholders. Subject to state approval, if you have a Kemper/Infinity auto policy in force as of April 30, you will receive a 15% credit on your April premium in May, and if you have a policy in force with them as of May 31, you will receive a 15% credit on your May premium in June. The credits will be applied automatically to your policy – you do not have to do anything to receive them. If you already paid your policy in full for the term, you will receive a refund of the credited amounts.

To support the communities they serve, Kemper pledged $1 million to organizations to organizations aiming to provide food assistance and support to front-line medical personnel. The $ 1 million pledge includes:

  • A $200,000 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund
  • A $200,000 donation to Direct Relief’s effort to provide protective equipment and essential medical items to health care workers on the front lines
  • Dollar-for-dollar match for every employee donation to Feeding America or Direct Relief’s programs established to provide support for the COVID-19 outbreak, up to a $50,000 max donation for each of the two organizations
  • Remaining $1 million balance will be distributed to other organizations throughout 2020 that are providing COVID-19 relief

Infinity did not publish a digital blog or article about the support they are providing, the carrier emailed all their agents a newsletter on Friday. If you would like to review their website, however, you can do so by visiting: https://www.infinityauto.com/

TRAVELERS’ STAY-AT-HOME AUTO CREDIT PREMIUM PROGRAM

Travelers announced on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, that they will reimburse 15% of April and May’s premium to all their personal auto policyholders, subject to state approval. Policyholders do not have to do anything to receive the credit, the carrier will automatically apply the reimbursements to each policy.

In addition to the premium credit, the carrier announced that they will waive all late fees, interest, and penalties, and will suspend policy cancellations and nonrenewals due to nonpayment until at least May 15, 2020. Travelers understands the tough situation everyone is in right now and they are ready to offer a solution, uniquely designed for each policyholder based on their individual circumstances. If you may need additional assistance, please contact the carrier directly and they will do their best to work something out with you.

On top of the benefits for policyholders, Travelers pledged an additional $5 million to COVID-19 relief efforts to assist not only families across the nation, but also for families in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The pledge includes:

  • $3.5 million for essential service charities: assistance for hourly workers, food and shelter for those in need, educational resources, and small business support
  • $1 million for wages and health benefits of eligible third-party contract employees that services Travelers’ offices – those employees would remain unemployed without this support
  • $500,000 for contribution-matching programs: Travelers will match their employees’ donations for COVID-19 relief on a 2-for-1 basis to designated organizations.

The carrier is also utilizing all of their Hartford kitchen facilities as meal preparation and delivery aid for nonprofit organizations, and created a relief program to gather donations to cover the costs of meals for health care workers working in hospitals in Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, and New York. As a result of the meals ordered and delivered for the hospital workers, an additional benefit is now extended to the local restaurants providing their orders.

To ensure the health and safety of their staff, policyholders, and the communities they serve, Travelers has began to temporarily utilize state-of-the-art technology to conduct virtual claim inspections and premium audits, including real time video chat and apps. The carrier also announced telemedicine options and a temporary telerehabilitation program for injured employees through workers comp who may not be able to attend, or are concerned about, in-person physical therapy visits.

To review more information about Travelers’ Stay-At-Home Premium Credit program, and the steps they are taking to assist their clients and local communities, please visit: https://www.travelers.com/about-travelers/covid-19-coronavirus-update

DAIRYLAND

Dairyland released a statement on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, about their support for their policyholders during this outbreak, and offered to work with each policyholder individually to work on a solution to continue coverage while finances are tight. A couple of weeks later, on Monday, April 6, 2020, the carrier rolled out additional benefits, including suspension of their food delivery exclusions on Dairyland’s personal auto policies, effective April 6 through Mary 15, 2020; all other types of deliveries and ridesharing services are still excluded, however. The carrier is also offering a grace period for payments up until May 15, 2020 – you MUST REQUEST for this leniency, the carrier will not automatically enforce it on all of their Florida personal auto policies.

If you request a grace period, coverage will remain uninterrupted as long as you make a payment before May 15, 2020; otherwise, you will have a lapse in coverage after that date. Payments not received by the end of the grace or cancellation suspension periods will result with your policy being cancelled effective for the date of any cancellation you received.

To read more about what Dairyland is doing to assist their policyholders, please visit the following page: https://www.dairylandinsurance.com/covid-19

NATIONAL GENERAL

If you were directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and are unable to make your next payment, National General is offering individualized solutions and flexibility on payments to help their policyholders maintain coverage. For any benefit to apply, you MUST CALL the carrier directly and they will work on providing you with a custom solution. The carrier will continue to maintain normal operations, but they are enforcing additional temporary practices to ensure the health and safety of their staff and policyholders.

For more information on the measures National General is taking to help their policyholders, please visit: https://nationalgeneral.com/covid-19/

BRISTOL WEST

Bristol West is working with each policyholder individually to create a solution that works for them. If you may not be able to make your next payment, please call Bristol West directly and their reps will be ready to assist you.

If you’d like to view what Bristol West stated about their support for policyholders, please visit: https://www.bristolwest.com/

GAINSCO

Gainsco understands the financial impact the COVID-19 outbreak is having for many and are working with customers individually to offer their support. If you can, Gainsco still encourages you to continue making your payments; however, if you need any assistance, please call the carrier and they will work something out with you.

To see what steps Gainsco is taking to provide support for their policyholders, please visit: https://www.gainsco.com/

MENDOTA

Mendota has not issued any public statement yet regarding the COVID-19 outbreak or any statement for that matter on their site or online public forums. If you are a Mendota policyholder and may have trouble making your next payment, please call the carrier directly and ask to speak with their billing department. Although the carrier has not released any public statement, they have always, and continue, to work with their policyholders on an individual basis. If you would like to view their site, please visit: https://www.mendota-insurance.com/

CARRIER CONTACT & POLICYHOLDER PORTAL INFO

Each of our carriers offer a Policyholder Portal feature where customers can make payments and check the status of their policy, access policy documents, file a claim, request changes, or review the carrier, or our office’s, contact information online – some even offer an app for smart devices! The following links will take you to each of the carriers’ Policyholder Portal pages where you can login or create an account if you don’t have one already; we’ve also included each of the auto carriers’ direct office and claims numbers.

Be sure to have your policy number handy!

Additional Resources:

References: