California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has ordered car insurance companies to refund families a portion of their premiums, due the COVOD-19 crisis.
READ THE ORDER: INSURANCE COMMISSIONER'S OFFICE
“With Californians driving fewer miles and many businesses closed due to the COVID-19 emergency, consumers need relief from premiums that no longer reflect their present-day risk of accident or loss,” Lara said in a statement.
Google data backs this up. It can see where many people’s smartphones are going ... or not going. Google found that trips to work have plunged 42% in California since late February.
DATA: SEE GOOGLE'S REPORTS
That does not mean a 42% refund on your car insurance, though. The insurance commissioner has given companies latitude to calculate your rebate. The amount varies by company.
Some companies offered the discount ahead of the commissioner’s order.
State Farm voluntarily took action last week and said, “on average most customers will see a 25% policy credit.” USAA and AA said they are offering drivers 20 percent. Nationwide said it’s giving drivers a flat $50 (the company that’s about a 15% cut).
The insurance companies that NBC Bay Area contacted say the refunds are automatic.
“Eligible customers don’t need to do anything,” said Nationwide Property & Casualty President, Mark Berven, in a statement. “Refunds will automatically be credited to the customers’ most recent method of payment within the next 30 days.”
But maybe you should make contact. If you feel you are due a deeper discount, we found an opportunity to negotiate. Inside the commissioner's order, it says insurance companies “shall further offer each insured the opportunity to provide their individual actual or estimated experience. For automobile policies, this includes an invitation to provide updated mileage estimates.”
So, show them how much you’re parked – your real mileage and how dramatically it’s fallen.
The commissioner says insurance companies can also temporarily “reclassify a personal automobile exposure from ‘commute use’ to “pleasure use.’” That might save you more than 15%, 20%, or 25%. Pick up the phone and ask.
Here’s a list of how much some insurers are offering in rebates: