Auto insurers refunding millions due to stay-at-home policies

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Allstate and American Family Insurance have begun discounting car insurance premiums since many drivers aren’t using their cars as much due to stay-at-home policies aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Allstate said most customers can expect a 15 percent refund in April and May, along with holders of Esurance and Encompass policies, while American Family Insurance is returning $50 per vehicle.

“It is real dollars we expected to pay out this year and no longer have to pay out, American Family COO Telisa Yancy told the Wall Street Journal. “We are sharing it back right now when our customers probably most need it.”

According to the journal, American Family customers drove 40 percent fewer miles in the last three weeks of March, resulting in fewer claims.

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Allstate estimated the program at $600 million, while American Family said it will return approximately $200 million to its customer base.

The two insurers were the first major companies to institute a blanket refund program, while others, including GEICO and State Farm, are encouraging customers to contact them to discuss their policies based on their new driving patterns.

Many insurers have also extended their grace periods for late payments before canceling coverage, and with company policies changing day-to-day in response to the crisis.

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