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Auto insurers giving premium credits because of outbreak

By JACK WEATHERLY

Auto insurers will give Mississippians a break on their insurance premiums to reflect the fact that during the corona virus pandemic they have traveled far less than usual, especially since Tate Reeves and other governors issued stay-at-home orders.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said in an interview on Tuesday that he expects all auto insurers to issue premium credits.

One of the companies offering coverage in the state, Geico, said in a release on Monday that it will give customers a 15 percent credit to its auto and motorcycle customers when their policies come up for renewal between April 8 and Oct. 7.

Geico said that the average auto policy has a semiannual premium of about $1,000 and generally covers more than one vehicle.

Geico expects credits to average about $150 per auto policy and $30 for motorcycle coverage. The average auto policy has a semi-annual premium of about $1,000 and generally covers more than one vehicle The company estimates the benefit to its 18 million auto and one million motorcycle customers will be approximately $2.5 billion.

Allstate said most of its customers would receive 15 percent of their monthly car premium in April and May, according to The Wall Street Journal. American Family is returning $50 per insured vehicle. That adds up to what American Family’s actuaries say represents what the carrier already has saved—and expects to save through mid-June—as a result of the reduced claim volume.he Madison, Wis., insurer estimates that policyholders drove 40 percent fewer miles in the last three weeks of March. The company operates in 19 states, including Mississippi.

“It is real dollars we expected to pay out this year and no longer have to pay out,” said Telisa Yancy, American Family’s chief operating officer. “We are sharing it back right now when our customers probably most need it.”

Compared with last year, claims were down 20 percent to 40 percent weekly from March 11—when the World Health Organization declared the pandemic —through April 3, Yancy said.

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About Jack Weatherly