Driving Less? Your Car Insurance Company May Want to Pay You Back
With centro online from Pitney bowes you can quickly and easily print postage stamps and shipping labels even when working remotely experience a savings in your shipping costs with a free trial of central online when you visit. Pba DOT com slash B W daily from wondering. I'm David Brown. And this is business wars daily on this Wednesday April Eighth. Now is this happened to you. Friend of my producers recently left the house to drive somewhere a so-called essential trip to the store but when he tried to start car he discovered. His battery was dead because he hadn't driven in two and a half weeks under stay at home orders. We're all driving far less than we did. In the old days you know less than a month ago and aside from the occasional dead battery driving less has had significant benefits namely far fewer accidents that translates to many fewer auto insurance claims a financial boon to the auto insurers if not to body shops. But that's another story according to allstate. Ceo Tom Wilson. Since mid-march we've been driving thirty five to fifty percent less than normal. The dreaded rush hour is a thing of the past at least temporarily. We're even hitting fewer deer in rural areas according to the Wall Street Journal. Allstate's Wilson says the change has been sudden inconsistent across the country even in states without shelter in place orders state-by-state. He said boom it dropped. The company didn't report. How many accident claims it's received since we've all been staying at home but Wisconsin based American family. Mutual Insurance says since March eleventh. It's received twenty to forty percent fewer claims than it did last year at the same time. As a result on Monday allstate announced that it plans to give its customers refunds worth fifteen percent of their premiums in April and May for a total payout of six hundred million dollars. According to The New York Times it's also expanding its insurance to cover drivers who are now using their personal vehicles to make deliveries of food medicine and other essentials American family also promised refunds of about fifty dollars per vehicle. That's a total of two hundred million to come from American family which operates in nineteen states. The friendly gesture is a public relations boon for both companies according to New York Times reporter Ron Lieber but note as well but it's also one way to head off future bad publicity. If insurers don't refund at least some of these unused premium dollars the windfalls to their bottom lines will look terrible to millions of consumers who are ill unable to work or unemployed. Lieber says the refunds are also not entirely their own ideas on March eighteenth two consumer groups wrote to State Insurance Commissioners demanding that they direct insurance to give money back to their customers the Consumer Federation of America or CFA and the Center for Economic Justice. Together call for commissioners to demand that insurers refund premiums in a letter they noted that for millions of Americans affected by social distancing measures quoting here the annual mileage on which their premium is based has suddenly and dramatically become incorrect. They added. That relief was urgent. Not just to help victims of the corona virus economy but to make sure that insurance companies aren't getting excessive windfalls but so far only two insurance commissioners in Alaska in Pennsylvania have taken any action. Cfa's Robert J hunter used to serve as Texas's Insurance Commissioner. He believes that under Cova conditions. Many if not all of us are overpaying for our car insurance this week he took commissioners across the country to task stating that he was quote shocked at the silence from commissioners from other states with greater drops in driving and higher unemployment regardless of government. Action some other insurance companies are likely to follow their rivals leads. The New York Times asked nine companies about refunds state farm progressive and. Usaa all said that they're exploring refund options and expect to have some plans to announce soon others including liberty mutual nationwide and travelers made no such promises. Geico farmers and Chubb didn't ANSWER The Times questions. The refund plans leave observers not to mention insurance shoppers with few big questions. First of all. Are they enough so far? Allstate an American families say they don't know because they're making decisions using only a week or two's worth of data second will America's collective shelter in place culture be a financial boost for big. Insurers depends in part on what else they ensure for instance allstate's car insurance profits will increase Yahoo Finance says but it's life insurance business could take a hit and auto insurance that also cover. Your home could also be hurt already. Accidents under our own. Roofs are rising predictable. Then there are other variables with less traffic. People are driving faster the New York Times reports that means that while there are fewer car crashes. The ones that do occur could be worse. Finally allstate says that they can't predict what will happen when stay at home orders. End will be continue to work from home at least part of the time. No one's really sure just yet. Which means what for the average driver. If you're not covered by allstate or American family. You could call your State Insurance Commissioner and urged them to take action if you are so inclined. That's what the consumer groups would like to do or you could ask your own insurance company to give you a break which you just may get not that you don't have enough to do what with teaching the kids working from home applying for stimulus under job on him but at least there will be a little reward to make it worth your while for wondering this is business wars daily as we continue to cover the financial effects of this crisis. We want to hear from you when it comes to business. What's bugging you or even making you send us a message be wd at wondering Dot Com. I'm David Brown. We'll see you tomorrow working remotely with San Pro online from Pitney. Bowes you can easily print postage stamps and shipping labels. It couldn't be more convenient especially when you're trying to avoid unnecessary trips to the office for as low as four dollars ninety nine cents. 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