Insurance companies are working to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis by supporting their employees and distribution partners, donating money to global relief efforts and easing the financial burden on their customers.
Triple-I has published a fact sheet, Insurers Offer Forward-Looking Solutions for COVID-19 Recovery, which outlines how the industry is easing its customers’ financial burdens, working with government to create a COVID-19 Recovery Fund, and making sure it has the resources to pay future claims from events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.
Here are a few examples of what individual companies are doing:
Allstate will automatically cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and other goods for a commercial purpose. Standard personal auto policies typically exclude such coverage. This change will allow customers to serve those who depend on their services and support.
Allstate also announced a special payment plan to provide customers financial relief. The plan gives auto and homeowners policyholders the choice to delay two consecutive premium payments with no penalty. In addition, Allstate is pausing policy cancellations due to nonpayment during the declared COVID-19 state of emergency. This includes Allstate Business Insurance policies.
Ninety percent of Allstate’s global workforce is working remotely. Allstate will continue to pay employees (full or part time) who can’t work remotely and have shelter-in-place orders during their normal work hours. Well-being services like telemedicine, prescription home delivery, and emotional and financial support lines are available to Allstate’s U.S. employees.
American Family Insurance along with the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, announced more than $4 million in support for COVID-19 pandemic relief and other non-profit efforts. Additional support from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation is expected to push the total support to more than $6.8 million.
“The pandemic has left many struggling to meet basic needs while at the same time adapting to a new and unsettling normal,” said Maggie Pascaly, American Family community investment manager. “We want to help meet short-term needs of individuals, families and communities, while also addressing longer-term effects.”
The company’s employees and agency owners can support local organizations of their choice by using a 2:1 foundation match offered during a six-week time period beginning March 31. The foundation will match donations totaling up to $250,000, for a maximum additional investment of $500,000. Organizations that provide pandemic relief will be suggested for consideration.
Chubb announced that it is committing $10 million to pandemic relief efforts globally. The support will go to people and programs providing emergency frontline services and for assistance to the most financially vulnerable members of the community who have been impacted the hardest by the pandemic.
The company also announced that it will not conduct any layoffs of its employees while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis, and has added employee benefits such as additional sick days.
“We are committed to supporting people, business and communities most impacted by this global crisis,” said Evan G. Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our $10 million commitment will add to the urgent efforts required to meet the immediate health and nutrition needs of those most affected. Concerning our no-layoff pledge, we want our 33,000 employees around the globe to be assured that their jobs are secure at this difficult time.”
Travelers has initiated a distribution support plan to accelerate more than $100 million in commission payments to eligible distribution partners.
“As so many are facing a significant financial burden due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to show our agent and broker partners, many of whom are small business owners, our support at this challenging time,” said Alan Schnitzer, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers. “Independent agents and brokers not only provide invaluable counsel and care to our customers but also play a critical role in the U.S. economy, and we are committed to standing by them.”
Bob Rusbuldt, president and chief executive officer of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, said: “Travelers has always been the premier supporter of independent agents and brokers, and the Travelers Distribution Support Plan takes that support to a whole new level. We want to thank Travelers for their continued industry leadership.”
The commissions being accelerated were accrued in the ordinary course of business during the quarter ended March 31, 2020, and accordingly, this program will not have a significant impact on the company’s results.
MAPFRE, an insurance company based in Spain, is allocating 54 million euros to support customers and suppliers. This is in addition to 5 million euros recently donated to accelerate COVID-19 research in Spain.
More than 90 percent of MAPFRE’s 34,000 employees worldwide are working remotely to reduce the risk of contagion and to guarantee service to customers, who in Spain are being offered a free advisory service to learn how they can take advantage of the support that is on offer.
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