Refunds, credits coming to NJ drivers from their auto insurers
Heard any good news yet from your auto insurer?
Chances are you've been offered some type of perk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — a break from late fees, for example. But more and more companies, taking a page from the big players in the industry, are attempting to put money back in the pockets of their policyholders, to help cushion the blow of the public health emergency.
A "shelter-in-place payback" from Allstate is awarding customers, on average, 15% money back on their monthly premium in April and May. Progressive plans to credit customers 20% for the same months.
Personal auto customers of GEICO, the most widely used auto insurer in New Jersey as of 2018, are receiving a 15% credit as their policies come up for renewal between April 8 and October 7. The credit will also apply to any new policies purchased between these dates.
That's just a sample of the relief programs announced by auto insurers — customers don't need to take any actions to receive the benefits. New Jerseyans can choose from dozens of insurers when searching for protection.
"We anticipate that a number of companies are going to continue to follow suit," said Christine O'Brien, president of the Insurance Council of New Jersey. "The majority of the companies are just acting in good faith to provide this relief because we're all supposed to be sheltering in place ... and therefore are driving less."
New Jersey Manufacturers, in an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5, said it's currently finalizing a plan to respond to the emergency. For now, NJM is offering extended payment deadlines and special payment plan options, and won't suspend cancellation of coverage for non-payment and policy expiration through April 30.
"NJM has and will continue to make every effort to assist policyholders grappling with financial challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, and to ensure that the premiums we charge recognize the changes our policyholders have had to make in their daily lives," a spokesperson said.
According to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, the state was home to more than 5.7 million insured vehicles at the end of 2018.