While North Texans wait out shelter in place orders -- or wait to hear if they have jobs to return to -- those once frustrating North Texas traffic jams are a thing of the past.
With fewer people driving, insurance companies are stepping up to help customers through this tough time.
"Certainly, with the number of miles dropping in terms of how many people are driving and probably, I would expect, a significant reduction in collisions and claims, it's really the right thing to do to," said SMU economist David Lei.
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Below is a roundup of the top auto insurers that have announced cash or credit refund plans and about how much consumers can expect to get back if you’re a policyholder.
Allstate announced its 'Shelter-in-Place Payback' which the company says will give its auto insurance customers more than $600 million in April and May. The company says on average, its personal auto insurance customers will get 15 percent money back based on their monthly premium during those two months. Allstate plans to automatically deposit money back through the customer's payment method or through their mobile app, based on the customer's preference.
Esurance is giving consumers a 15 percent cash refund for April and May coverage through the original method of payment or will issue a paper check.
Farmers Insurance is offering to reduce its customers' April auto insurance premiums by 25%. The reduction will be applied automatically as a credit on your next billing statement. If you recently paid your account in full, they will issue you a refund for the amount of the reduction.
Geico is giving a 15 percent credit to its auto and motorcycle policyholders for policies set to come up for renewal between April 8 and Oct. 7, 2020. The company says the credit will also apply to new policies which are purchased during that period. For example, if your policy is $1,000 for 6 months, your credit will be $150 at your renewal.
Liberty Mutual announced its Personal Auto Customer Relief Refund, saying it will give back around $250 million to its customers. The company says personal auto insurance customers will get a 15% refund on two months of their auto premium, based on the premium amount as of April 7, 2020. The refund will happen automatically and will be issued via the customers' recent payment option or by check, the company adds.
Mercury Insurance announced a Giveback Program giving 15% of monthly auto insurance premiums to customers in April and May. In all the company will be returning more than $65 million to customers. The program applies to personal auto policyholders in the 11 states in which the company operates.
Nationwide is offering employees and everyone who has a policy with them a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company says the refunds will be automatically credited to the customer's most recent payment method within the next 30 days.
Progressive says active personal auto policies at the end of April will receive a credit for 20% of their April premium due to the number of customers staying home during the pandemic. The company says it will offer the same credit to active personal auto customers for the end of May, adding that they might extend the same credit in upcoming months.
On Thursday, State Farm announced that the company will be refunding up to a $2 billion dividend to its auto insurance customers. The dividend is part of the Good Neighbor Relief Program that also includes customer payment options and neighborhood philanthropic relief. This is the single largest dividend paid to customers in our company’s history. On average, most customers will see a 25% policy credit.
Last week, USAA made announced that it will be returning $520 million to members. Every member with an auto insurance policy in effect as of March 31, 2020, will receive a 20% credit on two months of premiums in the coming weeks, the company says.
NBC 5 will update this list as other insurance companies add relief.