Category Archives: Auto Insurance

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/21/2020)

Automobile Insurance
Acting on ‘Thin’ Data, Auto Insurers Retain Flexibility With Premium Credits
Speeders Take Over Empty Roads — With Fatal Consequences
Business Interruption
Triple-I Economists: Enforced COVID-19 Business Interruption Payouts Would Damage Industry
Fight Over Pandemic Insurance Intensifies
Restaurants vs. Insurers Shapes Up as Main Event In D.C. Lobbying Fight
Cyber Risk
Hacking Against Corporations Surges as Workers Take Computers Home
Directors & Officers
D&O Insurance May Help Non-Public Companies With COVID-19 Claims
Financial Impact
Despite Recent Market Rally, Pandemic Will Continue to Hit Insurers’ Investments
COVID-19 to deter M&A activity in 2020: Conning
Kidnap & Ransom
Pandemic Exposes Organizations to Kidnap for Ransom Risk
Litigation
U.S. Businesses Bring Wave of Class Action Lawsuits Against Insurance Companies for Denial of Business Interruption Claims in Wake of COVID-19Pandemic
Hiscox Faces Legal Action From Chef Raymond Blanc: Reports
Ending Virus Shutdowns Too Soon Poses Legal Risk for Businesses
Reinsurance and Insurance-Linked Securities
Lack of Exclusions, Poor Wordings the COVID-19 BI Threats to Reinsurers & ILS
Workers Compensation
Utah Passes Bill to Provide First Responders With Comp for COVID
Comp Premiums Likely to Dip as Employment Declines: NCCI

From The Triple-I Blog:
MIXED REACTIONS TO WORKERS COMP COVID-19 EXPANSIONS

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/17/2020)

Auto Insurance
Stay-at-home Pandemic Orders Reduce Auto Claims Almost by Half
As Coronavirus Empties Streets, Speeders Hit the Gas
Business Interruption
UK Watchdog Orders Insurers to Pay Small Business Claims Quickly
Cannabis Insurance
Pandemic Could Shrink Cannabis Insurers’ Premiums, Market
Cyber Insurance
Preventing Losses Due to Growing Cyber Crime During Coronavirus Crisis
As Attacks Rise, Paladin Offers Cybersecurity Platform Free to Insurance Agencies
Disaster Preparedness
‘Uncharted Territory’ as Wildfire Fighting Adapts to Pandemic
Insurance-Linked Securities
Artemis Live: Interview with Tom Johansmeyer, Head of PCS
Litigation
Nashville Bar Sues Insurer Over COVID-19 Loss Claim. Experts Say It Won’t Be the Last
Businesses Warn Fear of Liability Lawsuits Could Stall Rebooting of Economy
P/C Industry Impact
Suddenly There is Big Demand for Pandemic Cover, Says Underwriter
Chubb CEO: Forcing Insurers to Pay Pandemic Loss Claims is ‘Plainly Unconstitutional’
Allianz CEO: Pandemic Hit “Like a Metororite”
From Hacker Attacks to Shareholder Lawsuits, Insurance Industry Braces for COVID-19 Fallout
Public Health and Safety
What FDA Says About Food Safety Amid COVID-19
Travel Insurance
Travelers Consider Their Risk Tolerance
HOLIDAY HELL How to Get a Refund on Your Holiday if it’s Cancelled and How Long Should it Take to Get Cash Back
Workers Compensation
Workers Compensation in Wake of COVID-19

From the Triple-I Blog:
INSURERS RESPOND TO COVID-19 (4/17/2020)
TRIPLE-I BRIEFING: SURPLUS IS KEY TO INSURERS KEEPING POLICYHOLDER PROMISES
PUTTING CAR INSURANCE PRICES INTO PERSPECTIVE

Insurers Respond to COVID-19 (4/17/2020)

Auto insurance refunds

U.S. auto insurers will return more than $10 billion to their customers nationwide, according to an estimate released on April 11 by the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

We’ve listed many of the companies that are offering refunds in a previous post.  This week, several other auto insurers have announced refunds or credits. This is not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check with your insurer to see if they are offering refunds or credits. All premium and rate adjustments are subject to regulatory approval.

Chubb‘s auto insurance clients will receive a credit reflecting a 35% premium reduction for the months of April and May, with additional discounts for subsequent months, as the situation warrants, upon renewal. Across Chubb’s portfolio, the average credit is expected to be $110 per vehicle.

COUNTRY Financial announced that every client with a personal auto insurance policy as of April 1, 2020 will receive a 15% refund for two months of auto premium in anticipation of a decrease in driving activity in April and May.

CSAA Insurance Group is giving a 20 percent refund for two months of auto premiums, March and April 2020.

ERIE has announced that lowering personal and commercial auto rates would be the best option for providing additional relief to customers. The company estimates the total rate reduction impact to be approximately $200 million throughout the 12 states and District of Columbia where ERIE operates.

Ohio Mutual Insurance Group is offering personal auto premium credits on more than 80,000 personal auto policies for an estimated total of $6 million. Ohio Mutual is voluntarily providing a 25% personal auto premium credit that applies to an 11-week period (March 16 – May 31, 2020) for all policies in-force on May 31. Credits will be automatically applied to customers’ first invoice after June 1. Those with a balance less than the credit will receive a refund by check.

The Hanover Insurance Group announced it has created The Hanover CARES Refund, through which the company will return 15% of April and May auto premiums to its eligible personal lines customers, providing financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic.

MAPFRE Insurance announced its Staying Home Refund program, which will return 15 percent of April and May premium to its voluntary personal auto policyholders in Massachusetts, totaling over $30 million. On average, most policyholders will receive a credit of approximately $40.00. A similar credit will be provided to the company’s personal auto policyholders in its other states of operation for the same time period.

Westfield announced a 15 percent policy credit to their eligible personal auto insurance customers for three months.

Supporting communities

Chubb has announced a support program designed to help ease the financial burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on its small business clients in the United States and provide direct support to healthcare workers and other front-line responders.

Chubb’s U.S. small business clients whose policies renew between April 1 and August 1, 2020 will receive an automatic 25% reduction in the sales and payroll exposures used to calculate their premium as well as a 15% reduction in premiums for their commercial auto insurance. In addition, Chubb will purchase $1 million in gift cards from small business clients around the country, which will be donated to healthcare workers and other first responders on the front lines of the pandemic in their communities.

Fundación MAPFRE, a global nonprofit foundation created by MAPFRE, announced it will donate $2.3 million to support urgent medical and community needs across Massachusetts, as the coronavirus continues to spread. The funding is part of a global $38 million aid package by the foundation for medical providers and communities around the world.

Hanover announced customer relief measures and a commitment to contribute $500,000 to nonprofits in local communities to address needs arising from the public health crisis.

State Farm has donated $1 million and partnered with Salesforce to provide one million masks and other protective equipment to healthcare workers in areas of urgent need identified by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Since the start of COVID-19, State Farm has provided about $5 million in neighborhood relief across the country.

Swiss Re Group pledged to donate CHF 5 million to support the needs of people and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Through its non-profit grant foundation, the Swiss Re Foundation, the funds will be distributed to organizations tackling the crisis, particularly in developing countries.

The Westfield Insurance Foundation is helping communities in Northeast Ohio and across the country by donating nearly $1.5 million dollars to nonprofit partners focused on family stability and disaster recovery. These dollars will help stabilize communities and help those who need economic support. 

Putting Car Insurance Prices Into Perspective

As car insurers help their customers cope with the pandemic’s economic impact through premium refunds and other relief measures and some groups complain the efforts are insufficient and ask regulators to make insurers pay more, it’s worth noting that the cost of insuring motor vehicles  has grown more slowly than inflation over the past 12 months and well below prices for hospital services and car repairs – two key drivers of car insurance claims.

As the chart below shows, year-over-year increases in auto insurance prices have trailed growth in the Consumer Price Index, the most widely used measure of inflation. 

“Auto premiums are kept relatively low by competition among insurers,” explained Triple-I chief economist Steve Weisbart. “This has been happening even as two major contributors to claims have grown much faster. In the case of hospital services, prices have not just been rising – growth has been accelerating since last July.”

You read that right. Even as two of the biggest contributors to claims – the money insurers pay policyholders after accidents – have grown faster than inflation, the prices policyholders pay for coverage have grown more slowly than consumer prices generally.

Many factors come into play when an insurer determines an individual’s premium payment – age, driving record, where and how far one generally drives, and much more; and, let’s face it, no one likes to pay for insurance or to see their payments go up. 

But think about it: even though you might roll the dice if your state didn’t require you to have insurance, would that really be a wise move? Would you really want to be on the hook for the full cost of damage to your car or that of another driver? Or for the liability associated with someone’s injury or death?

That premium payment provides an awful lot of value in terms of peace of mind – IF you think about it.  And, if you think further about it, you have more control over how much you pay for car insurance than you do over other products and services.  You can shop around. You can change how much or what type of coverage you buy. You can bundle auto with other coverages. You can get fewer tickets and improve how you handle your credit.

And as usage-based insurance, powered by telematics, gains traction, your options will only increase.

Compare this with, say, cable and satellite TV. Your ability to shop around is quite limited (though improving with each new streaming opportunity that comes online). The products you really want come bundled with others you would never pay for if you had a choice.

And the prices of these services, as the chart below shows, continue to grow at rates well above both CPI and car insurance.

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/16/2020)

Legislation and regulation
Democrats Plan Legislation to Force Insurance Companies to Pay Out for Pandemic Losses
Thompson Introduces the Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Act
Lawmakers Advocate Stimulus Aid to Insurers on Business Interruption
SC Proposes Bill Over Coronavirus-related Business Interruption Claims
NJ offers grace period for insurance premium expenses
Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review
Litigation
COVID-19, business interruption and bad faith litigation
P/C Industry Impact
No Evidence COVID-19 Industry Loss Will Match Large Catastrophe Years: Flandro
How Insurance Claims Pros Are Adjusting to Pandemic Complications
COVID-19 Response ‘Could Bankrupt the Insurance Industry’: Insurance Defense Lawyer
Coronavirus response: Short- and long-term actions for P&C insurers
Auto Insurance
Analysts: Auto Insurance Coronavirus Rebates a Solid Move in Short Term
Will Fewer Drivers on the Road Mean Lower Auto Losses? It Depends
Auto Insurers Offer Rebates as Traffic Abates During Pandemic
Business Interruption
Neglecting Idle Facilities Amid COVID-19 Will Cost Companies, Warns FM Global
Cyber
Working From Home? Don’t Let Cyber Criminals Break In
Hospital Hackers Seize Upon Coronavirus Pandemic
Workers Compensation
COVID-19 Comp Expansions Could Have Significant Impact on Industry

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/15/2020)

Litigation
Legal Experts Prepare for Battles Over Business Interruption Cover
Travelers Sued Over Coronavirus Coverage
Meal Delivery Services Sued Over Restaurant Prices Amid Pandemic
Pandemic Relief
Swiss Re Donates CHF 5 Million to Support COVID-19 Relief Efforts
Axis Capital, Swiss Re Pledge Donations to Pandemic Relief
Australia’s QBE to Raise $825 Million to Counter Coronavirus Crisis
CA Workers Comp Fund Creates Virus Relief Programs for Policyholders
Coronavirus Litigation Against Nursing Homes Takes Off in Tennessee
Regulation and Legislation
AL Regulator Eases Process for Auto Insurers to Reduce Policyholder Premiums
CA Insurers Ordered to Give Refunds
Politicians Push Insurers to Resolve Mounting Disputes Over COVID-19 Losses

Related:
Risk Manager is Suddenly a Hot Job
How Homeowners Insurance Claims Have Changed During the Pandemic

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/14/2020)

Automobile Insurance
Auto Insurers Issuing $10.5 billion in Coronavirus Refunds
CA Orders Insurers to Pay Back Premiums Due to Virus
Business Interruption
FL Restaurant Files Class Action Seeking Virus Cover
Trump Suggests Insurers Should Pay Virus Business Interruption Claims
Trump Pressures Insurers Over Coronavirus Business Coverage Gray Area
GOP Senators Urge Trump to Protect Insurers From State Legislation
Pandemic Insurance/Catastrophe Bonds
Pandemic Insurance Has Yet to Pay Out to Poor Countries
World Bank Pandemic Cat Bonds and Swaps Not Triggered for Payout Yet
Workers Compensation
OSHA backtracks on recordability of COVID-19
KY Extends COVID-19 Workers Comp to Grocery Workers
IL expands COVID-19 Comp Protections to Most Frontline Workers
New Workers’ Comp Rule Slammed by Business Groups
Have You Considered COVID-19’s Workers’ Comp Implications for Frontline Workers?
MN Legislature Passes COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Bill for First Responders
CA Boosts Worker’s Comp, Insurance Benefits for COVID-19 Diagnosis
Health Strategy Associates Surveys Workers’ Comp Payers on COVID-19
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Rapid National Response Urged to Head Off Coming Wave of COVID-19 Insurance Scams

CORONAVIRUS WRAP-UP: PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (4/13/2020)

Auto Insurance
Car Insurance Refunds Become Standard Issue
State Farm Rolls Out $2 Billion Consumer Financial Relief Program
The Landscape Has Changed Dramatically’: Donelon Calls for Lower Car Insurance Rates
Business Interruption Insurance
COVID-19, Business Interruption Coverage, and the ‘Physical Loss or Damage’ Requirement
S.C. Bill Would up Pressure on Insurers to Cover Business Interruption
Insurers Can’t Cover Everything
With Hollywood on Hiatus, Studios Bracing for Fights With Insurers Over Coronavirus Losses
Proposed Backstop Would Cover Pandemic Business Interruption
Claims
Best’s Insurance Law Podcast Discusses Impact of COVID-19 on Claims
Coronavirus comp claims present challenges: Experts
Cyber
State-Backed Hackers Taking Advantage of Outbreak: Officials
The Line Between Biological and Cyber Threats Has Never Been So Thin
Hackathons Target Coronavirus
Impacts by Industry
Shifts in Manufacturing Create New Exposures: Experts
6 Critical COVID-19 Risks Facing the Health Care Industry
Tracking U.S. Small and Medium Business Sentiment During COVID-19
Pharmacy Workers Are Coming Down With COVID-19. But They Can’t Afford to Stop Working
6 Critical COVID-19 Risks for the Construction Industry

Triple-I: U.S. Auto Insurers to Return $10.5 Billion to Customers

U.S. auto insurers will return more than $10 billion to their customers nationwide, according to an estimate released on April 11 by the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

“Insurers are again fulfilling their role as economic first responders by providing financial relief to customers when they need it most,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “If the rest of the nation’s private-passenger auto insurers are as generous as the companies the Triple-I knows about, we project insurers will be giving customer refunds, discounts, dividends, and credits totaling $10.5 billion.”

The Triple-I’s $10.5 billion estimate is based on its analysis of 14 U.S. auto insurers who announced this week premium refunds, discounts, dividends, and credits totaling $8.1 billion.  These insurers cited reduced policyholder mileage and the receipt of fewer claims amid the COVID-19 crisis as the reasons they were able to make these decisions.

Given there are hundreds of companies that sell private-passenger auto insurance in the U.S., the Triple-I looked at the industry’s cumulative market share and estimated an additional $2.4 billion in refunds, discounts, dividends and credits were forthcoming. The Triple-I has updated its Fact Sheet, Insurers Offer Forward-Looking Solutions For COVID-19 Recovery, to reflect the latest steps taken by the nation’s auto insurers.

“These are challenging financial times for millions of Americans, and the country’s auto insurers are making it easier for their customers to get through this extraordinary time in U.S. history,” Kevelighan stated.

The Triple-I estimates the typical U.S. auto insurance customer spent $1,113 in 2019 to cover a single private-passenger vehicle. 

Insurers Respond to COVID-19 Wrap-Up (4/10/2020)

Auto insurance refunds

Auto insurers are giving refunds to their customers as people are driving less due to coronavirus shut-downs. No action is required by customers to receive credit in most cases, but Sean Kevelighan, Triple-I CEO, urged customer to reach out to their insurers. “We always recommend the customer contact the insurer and explain their individual situations. Insurers are always happy to look at individual situations and work with the customer,” he said in a Weather Channel interview.

Here are the refunds some of the major auto insurers are offering:

Allstate customers will get “Shelter-In Place Paybacks,” adding up to $600 million over the next two months. “This is fair because less driving means fewer accidents,” Tom Wilson, the company’s chair, president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

American Family will return approximately $200 million to its auto insurance customers.

Farmers auto customers will receive a 25 percent reduction in their April premiums. “We are committed to helping customers during this unprecedented time,” said Jeff Dailey, the company’s CEO. “As we continue receiving updated information in the coming weeks, we’ll assess additional ways to take care of our customers.”

The Hanover Insurance Group will return 15% of April and May auto premiums to its eligible personal lines customers. The company also announced additional customer relief measures and a commitment to contribute $500,000 to nonprofits in local communities to address needs arising from the public health crisis.

The Hartford announced its COVID-19 Personal Auto Payback Plan, which will provide customers with a 15 percent refund on their April and May personal auto insurance premiums. Over the next two months, the company will distribute approximately $50 million to its customers.

Liberty Mutual will return approximately $250 million to customers. Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15 percent refund on two months of their auto premium.

MetLife Auto & Home customers will receive a 15% credit for April and May based on their monthly premiums. The company is also extending coverage under all personal auto insurance programs at no additional charge while customers are making deliveries in response to the crisis, effective March 20, 2020, through May 1, 2020. Additionally, MetLife Auto & Home is offering identity protection coverage to its customers.

Nationwide is giving a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020.

State Farm announced an up to a $2 billion dividend that will go to its auto insurance customers. Customers do not need to take any action to receive this dividend, which will appear as a credit on their auto policy. On average, State Farm Mutual auto customers can expect to receive a credit of about 25 percent of premium for the time period March 20 through May 31; exact percentages will vary by state.

The Travelers Companies is giving U.S. personal auto insurance customers a 15 percent credit on their April and May premiums. Travelers will continue to assess the program as more information comes to light about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the driving environment and auto claims.

USAA is set to return $520 million to its members for driving less during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. The company said in a statement that the payment is a result of data showing members driving less during the “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders across the country.

IICF’s Children’s Relief Fund

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) has launched a national industry-wide fundraising campaign to benefit vulnerable children. Funds raised through the COVID-19 Crisis: IICF Children’s Relief Fund will help support children at risk of food insecurity, educational disruption, family homelessness and other circumstances exacerbated by the crisis. To make a donation and support children in need, please contribute here.

The Allstate Foundation

The Allstate Foundation together with Allstate employees and agency force members, will donate resources across the nation to support communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Foundation is contributing $5 million to accelerate relief and recovery for domestic violence victims, youth in need, first responders and communities at large.

“It’s incredibly inspiring to see people finding ways to take care of each other,” said Elizabeth Brady, Allstate chief marketing, customer and communications officer and trustee of The Allstate Foundation. “For 68 years, The Allstate Foundation has delivered on Allstate’s promise to serve as the Good Hands – especially in a moment of need.”

The Nationwide Foundation

The Nationwide Foundation is making $5 million in contributions to local and national charities to support medical and economic response efforts.

“As communities experience impacts related to the pandemic, many non-profit organizations stand on the front lines, providing basic necessities, wellness services and support to those in need,” said Nationwide CEO and Nationwide Foundation Chairman Kirt Walker.  “Finances, staffs, programs and resources are being stretched as these non-profits not only serve their communities but feel the impact themselves. During these challenging times, we each have a responsibility, when we can, to lift those around us.”