As many states are still encouraging residents to shelter in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), fewer people are commuting to work or using their cars. Across the country, the number of auto collisions is falling. In the wake of massive layoffs caused by the pandemic, many people are concerned about their economic future, looking to save costs wherever they can. Drivers who are not using their vehicles right now are curious about whether they should suspend or cancel their auto insurance during this time. Some auto insurance companies are even providing rebates to customers. Let’s look at how the COVID-19 outbreak may affect your auto insurance right now.
Steps Auto Insurance Companies are Taking
In late March, the Consumer Federation of California Education Foundation filed a petition with the California Insurance Commissioner, asking that auto insurance companies take steps to refund or credit premiums to California drivers. As the number of car accidents declines due to shelter-in-place measures, car insurance companies stand to make more profits during the pandemic. By early April, Allstate, American Family, Geico, and Liberty Mutual have all announced plans to return money to their customers. While most of these companies are providing roughly 15 percent in the form of a rebate, American Family is refunding $50 per vehicle.
More Calls for Compensation
While these announcements have been encouraging, the California Department of Insurance is pressing all insurance companies to offer some form of relief to their policyholders. Commissioner Ricardo Lara recently stated, “Consumers and businesses need rate relief now and we need insurers to move with all possible speed to reassess their risk profiles in light of California’s protective shelter in place efforts.”
Lara also indicated that there may be upcoming efforts to compel insurers to provide rebates. “If the companies will not do it voluntarily, my Department will exercise its authority under California law so that drivers are not overpaying for insurance during this emergency,” he stated.
Ready to Help
The skilled and experienced auto accident attorneys at Hales & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation understand the challenges that California residents are facing. To learn more about how to pursue an auto accident claim during these particularly difficult times, call (951) 489-3320 to schedule a consultation today.