AUTO INSURANCE CORONAVIRUS DISCOUNTS

Chances are you are not driving as much as you used to since the beginning of quarantine and you have probably seen the commercials several auto insurance companies have made stating that due to the Coronavirus they are giving their customers a discount, since we’ve been driving a lot less. “Personal vehicle travel in the U.S. is down nearly 50 percent compared with typical traffic volume, according to Inrix, a provider of traffic data. That means decreased risk for insurance companies—which should translate to lower premiums for consumers.” https://www.consumerreports.org/car-insurance/car-insurance-rebates-payment-deferrals-during-coronavirus-pandemic/

The best way to find out if you qualify for a discount or rebate is to contact your auto insurance carrier directly.  If they are not offering a discount, you can ask them to re-rate your policy based on the lower miles the vehicle is being driven (usage based policy) or see if you qualify for any discounts they offer. You can also consider modifying your coverage, such as dropping your coverage to your state’s minimum limits if your vehicle is parked in the garage and not driven at all or increasing your deductibles in order to lower your premium.  This might also be a good time to shop around for coverage. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/04/16/coronavirus-relief-how-get-your-car-insurance-refunds/2990448001/

If the vehicle is parked and you are not driving you might be tempted to just let your coverage go.  However, that is not a good idea as it could cost you more when you get coverage again.  You could be charged a penalty fees for letting the coverage lapse, either by your state or the insurance company could charge you a higher rate due to the lapse.  A good resource as to the rules and regulations in Ohio is at the Ohio Department of Insurance:  https://insurance.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odi/about-us/divisions/consumer-services/automobile

The best thing to do is make a list of your questions and concerns, then call your agent/company and discuss your options, especially if you are unable to pay for your insurance due to the pandemic as most are offering assistance to their policyholders.  Also if you lower your coverage because the vehicle is not being driven, if and when you start driving it again, be sure to reinstate your regular coverage.

For further reading, please visit https://bench.co/blog/operations/car-insurance-covid19/


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