COVID-19

Some auto insurers offer discounts as COVID-19 curtails driving

Jack Stewart Apr 7, 2020
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Driving is down 35% to 50% across the country, meaning fewer crashes, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson says. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
COVID-19

Some auto insurers offer discounts as COVID-19 curtails driving

Jack Stewart Apr 7, 2020
Driving is down 35% to 50% across the country, meaning fewer crashes, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson says. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

People are driving less these days so some car insurance companies are offering discounts to customers.

Mike Altschwager lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and like a lot of people he’s working from home now.

“Amusingly enough, I actually just purchased a new car about three weeks ago,” Altschwager said.

And now that new car is sitting idle in the driveway. But he’s still paying for insurance, and questioning that.

“Nobody knows what next week looks like financially,” Altschwager said.

His insurance company isn’t offering a discount, yet, but a couple of others are. American Family Insurance says its customers will be getting $50 per vehicle. Allstate says it’ll give a 15% credit for two months.

Driving is down 35% to 50% across the country, meaning fewer crashes, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson said.

“If you have fewer accidents, then our costs go down, and we think it’s fair to give our customers payback at this time when they need the money a lot,” Wilson said.

The insurance market is highly competitive, says Cathy Seifert at CFRA research.

“I think it’s a smart move from a customer retention standpoint, from a loyalty standpoint,” Seifert said. She says this could be a savvy investment in goodwill.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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