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Brett MolinaUSA TODAY
Auto insurance companies Allstate, American Family Insurance and Liberty Mutual said they will give policyholders millions of dollars back because Americans are driving less during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released Monday, Allstate announced it would return $600 million in premiums to customers. The company said most policyholders will get back 15% of their premium in April and May.
The credit will arrive either to their bank, credit card or Allstate account.
“This is fair because less driving means fewer accidents,” said Tom Wilson, Allstate chairman, president and CEO, in a statement.
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The company said it will also offer payment relief to eligible customers and will expand coverage for drivers who use their vehicles to make deliveries. Allstate also will offer free identity protection for the rest of the year to all U.S. residents.
Liberty Mutual and Safeco auto insurance customers will receive 15% refunds on two months of their premiums, Liberty Mutual said in a press release Tuesday, noting it will return $250 million to consumers. The company will also pause cancellations for not paying, and late fees.
“Today, more than ever, we recognize the uncertainty and financial challenges our customers are facing,” said Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long in a statement. “We remain dedicated to serving our customers during this unprecedented pandemic.”
Meanwhile, American Family Insurance said it will return about $200 million to its policyholders because “they’re driving less and experiencing fewer claims,” said chief operating officer Telisa Yancy in a statement.
The company said they will make a payment of $50 per vehicle covered by one of their policies. The average relief check will be $100, said American Family.
Other auto insurers may follow suit. In a statement obtained by USA TODAY, State Farm said it is expected to make a decision on premiums by the end of the week. “We are closely monitoring our automobile insurance loss trends and are considering how best to take this into account and return value to our auto insurance policyholders,” said State Farm.
Progressive said it is exploring “how to best return some premium to customers to reflect the decreased exposure that comes with less frequent driving during the pandemic.” The company said it expects to have plans in place soon.
In a statement, USAA said it is “exploring options to continue serving our members well during this difficult time.” The company says it allows members to stop non-payment cancellations, temporarily stopping fees for late and returned payments, and offering an easier process for setting up payment arrangements.
The coronavirus pandemic has left many Americans stuck at home and driving a lot less. The sharp drop in driving has led to a plunge in gas prices over the past month. As of Tuesday, the national average gas price is $1.92, according to AAA. One month ago, the average was $2.40 per gallon.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.