COVID-19 has impacted every type of business and service around the globe, including the insurance industry. As the insurance community navigates these unprecedented times, many companies are stepping forward, on their own, to provide much needed relief to their policyholders who may be facing difficult circumstances and an uncertain future.
According to the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI), several insurance carriers who operate in Missouri have made the decision to return a portion of their premiums to assist their customers. To date, Allstate, American Family, Geico, Shelter, State Farm and USAA have all chosen to offer some form of premium relief to their policyholders, and others are poised to do so as well.
DCI has taken steps to provide expeditious reviews of all filings related to COVID-19 premium relief strategies that are submitted by insurance companies. The Director of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, Chlora Lindley-Myers, expresses her strong appreciation and gratitude to those companies who have taken the lead in granting a measure of relief to those consumers whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to personally thank those insurance companies who are stepping forward to do everything they can to provide assistance and relief to Missouri consumers during this critical time for our state and our country,” said DCI Director Lindley-Myers. “These companies are offering premium relief strategies on their own and their leadership, community service and assistance is to be commended. They are providing direct and immediate financial relief to those who need it.”
Jay MacLellan, Director of Public Relations for Shelter Insurance, a company domiciled in Missouri, said many of their customers are under unprecedented stay-at-home orders and social distancing mandates, so they are driving fewer miles and experiencing fewer accidents. On April 8th, the Shelter Insurance Group of Companies announced the decision to issue a payment to their policyholders representing approximately 30% of their personal auto monthly premium for the months of April and May.
“This has been a difficult and challenging time for so many. As we started to see we were experiencing fewer personal auto claims due to fewer drivers on the road, it became clear to us that this was the right thing to do for our policyholders,” said MacLellan. “This is a small way for us to be a part of the bigger solution.”
Companies are rolling out their premium relief strategies according to their best estimates of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their customers and are continuing to evaluate the situation as it evolves.