coronavirus roads

A motorist guides his Porsche convertible along a nearly empty South University Boulevard as a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus on April 5, in Cherry Hills Village. The Associated Press

Stuck at home? Here’s one silver lining: Most major auto insurers in Colorado are cutting premiums because customers are driving less as a result of stay-at-home orders and other measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Colorado’s eight largest auto insurers, who in 2018 (the latest data available) covered more than 70% of the state’s drivers, announced this week they will cut premiums or offer refunds or credits of between 15% and 30% for April and May in most cases. Most of the top insurers are offering policyholders flexible payment arrangements, suspending cancellations and late fees for missing payments, and adding coverage for those delivering food, medicine and other goods with their vehicles.

“This crisis is pervasive. Given an unprecedented decline in driving, customers will receive” a 15% refund of monthly premiums for April and May, Allstate said Monday. In a news release, it also said it will allow customers to delay two consecutive premium payments and add free delivery and identify theft coverage. “This is fair,” the release said, “because less driving means fewer accidents.”

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Details of top insurers’ plans include:

State Farm — The nation’s and state’s largest auto insurer will credit customers about 25% (percentages vary by state), or about $20 a month per vehicle, for March 20-May 31 to be applied against bills starting in June. Flexible payment options are available through agents.

Progressive — Customers as of April 30 will receive 20% off April premiums as a credit on May bills and a similar credit for May in June. Customers who have paid for those months will get a refund. The company also is suspending cancellations through May 15, extending payment leniency, waiving late fees and delaying collections and deferring deductibles for car repairs.

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USAA — The company, which serves current and former military personnel and their families, will credit 20% of auto premiums for two months to policyholders as of March 31. Special payments options are available and late fees are waived through June 17.

GEICO — Will credit auto and motorcycle policies 15% for policies renewing or started between April 8 and Oct. 7. The company estimates the credits will average $150 per auto policy and $30 per motorcycle policy.

American Family — Will refund 30% of customers’ monthly premiums for two months, averaging about $100 per household, for policyholders as of March 11. The company also is offering payment plans, deferral, removal of late fees and suspending cancellations.

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Farmers — Reduced April premiums 25%, added delivery coverage and flexible payment plans and suspended cancellations until May 1.

Safeco — Will refund 15% of auto premiums, based on the amount as of April 7 and added delivery coverage and suspended late fees and cancellations from March 23 through May 22.

Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234



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