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Can I Get a Rebate on My Car Insurance Because We’ve Been Ordered to Stay Home in the COVID-19 Pandemic?

April 20, 2020

If you’re being a smart and responsible Michigander and are complying with Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe Order,” you’re not using your car very much. Shouldn’t you get a break on your car insurance?

Thankfully, most major auto insurers are saying “yes.”

That’s because we are staying indoors and staying off the roads: Farmers Insurance reported a 58% decrease in miles driven in the week of March 29th to April 4th from the previous week.

Some states have already issued leniency guidelines, and auto carriers have indicated that they’ll adjust their timelines to either meet or exceed state-specific requirements. Many big car insurance companies are helping Michigan residents during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing some percentage discounts on car insurance premiums.

Michigan Issues Leniency Orders

In addition to driving less, many Michigan residents staying at home may be working less or have been laid off. Many are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic and may have difficulty paying their insurance premiums or filing claims on time. To help ease the burden, several big auto insurers have announced they will provide discounts to their customers for April and May. Only one major auto insurance company is providing a one-time check in a set dollar amount (American Family Insurance Company).

Also, in Michigan, the State Department of Insurance and Financial Services “strongly encourages insurers to provide their insureds with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums so that insurance policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium.” This recommendation from the State asks that “regardless of the line of coverage,” insurers “consider flexibility” to help Michigan’s insureds avoid financial issues if they are unable to pay insurance premiums or file claims on time. The Director requests insurance companies make adjustments to claim filing deadlines for those who may have difficulty in providing timely notice of their claim. So, there’s some good news for paying your car insurance.

The state’s Bulletin 2020-16-INS concerning Insurer Flexibility Due to COVID-19 is found here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/difs/Bulletin_2020-16-INS_686902_7.pdf

Major Auto Insurance Company Policy Reductions

Most major auto insurance companies (and perhaps some of the minor ones) are recognizing that Michigan residents are staying inside and not driving. Because of that, and to reduce some of the financial hit in the pandemic, many are automatically providing a rebate on your car insurance. Here’s a list of major insurance carriers and a link to their coronavirus policies:

  • Allstate: 15% rebate on April and May premiums. No action is required, but a quicker response is provided by using their mobile app. Auto, home and powersport insurance customers with financial difficulties can request a special payment plan that delays payments for 60 days with no penalty. https://www.allstate.com/covid.aspx
  • American Family Insurance: $50 relief-check per vehicle and 60-day payment deferral. Must have had a private passenger automobile policy in force as of March 11th. No action is required. https://www.amfam.com/about/coronavirus/relief-payment
  • einsurance: 15% rebate on auto insurance premiums during April and May. Must have an active policy as of the last day of the previous month. No action is required. https://www.esurance.com/info/covid19
  • Farmers: 25% policy credit in March and April. No action is required. https://www.farmers.com/covid-19-notice/
  • GEICO: 15% rebate on next full policy term. No action is required. They have also paused cancellation of coverage due to non-payment and policy expiration through at least April 30th or later as directed by the state. https://www.geico.com/about/coronavirus/
  • The Hartford: 15% rebate on April and May auto insurance premiums. Auto policy must be active as of April 1, 2020. No action is required. If policy is currently paid in full, credit is based on your last payment method. If there is a balance due, account credited to reduce next premium payment. Auto and home policy late-payment fees are waived and cancellations for non-payment are delayed until May 31st if individuals are experiencing financial difficulties. https://www.thehartford.com/coronavirus/individuals
  • Liberty Mutual: Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% refund on two months of their auto premium based on premium amount as of April 7th. No action is required. https://www.libertymutual.com/covid-19
  • Progressive: 20% premium credit. Personal auto policy must be active at the end of April and May. No action is required. The insurer will also waive late fees, pause collections, and delay canceling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15, 2020. https://www.progressive.com/support/covid19/
  • State Farm: 25% policy credit (average) from March 20th through May 31st. No action is required. https://newsroom.statefarm.com/good-neighbor-relief-2-billion-dividend/
  • USAA: 20% credit on two months of premiums. No action is required. https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/coronavirus-info-usaa-members?akredirect=true
  • Travelers: 15% rebate on April and May premiums. Travelers is suspending cancellation and nonrenewal of coverage due to nonpayment through May 15, 2020 (no interest, late fees or penalties will be charged). https://www.travelers.com/about-travelers/covid-19-coronavirus-update

Takeaway

Check the website for your car insurance company and review any specific requirements or limitations.

As a reminder, don’t think about canceling your auto insurance altogether. That could be an expensive mistake that could result in serious financial and legal consequences. We have enough to worry about right now, so just enjoy the rebate and Stay Home, Stay Safe, so we can get back on the roads when it’s okay to do so.