By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — With so many people staying home and off the roads due to the novel coronavirus, auto insurance companies have shifted gears to give money back to their customers.
The needs of drivers have drastically changed due to the pandemic, with more cars staying parked in their driveways or garage leading to less opportunities for an accident.
Now, in a much needed relief effort, car insurance companies are offering money back because we’re driving less
“We contacted about 20 insurers and majority of those are giving some sort of rebate, refund, premium credit to policy holders,” said Keith Barry, an autos editor with Consumer Reports.
Allstate created what its called a “Shelter-in-Place Payback” plan to give their customers 15% money back for April and May premiums, according to a press release from the company.
Similarly, State Farm customers can expect an average 25% credit; Geico will issue a 15% discount for the customers’ next full policy term; Progressive will issue a 20% credit at the end of April or May; and USAA customers can expect a 20% credit on two months worth of premiums.
Those refunds could add up to a significant chunk of change for Americans who are trying to save money during these uncharted times amid COVID-19.
Diana Natal, who along with her family hasn’t used their car in nearly a month, told ABC News she saved $94.50 for April and May, based on the billing estimate with Allstate.
“That is a nice surprise,” Natal said.
Barry explained that the best part is “those rebates are basically done without having to request them. They’re done automatically.”
For other hard-hit Americans in need of further assistance during the pandemic, experts suggest people call their insurance company directly to discuss other options.
“Tell them that you’re not driving as much and you might actually get an additional discount,” Barry said. “You might also be able to call your insurer and defer those bills.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.