By Randy Mac, KNBC TV-4 Los Angeles, CA
April 7, 2020
On Monday Allstate insurance announced it’s issuing partial refunds to its car insurance customers due to “stay at home” orders. But consumer advocates say the entire industry needs to step up.
The once clogged freeways in the LA region are mostly empty.
Statewide “stay at home” orders have brought traffic to a halt, but not car insurance bills.
“We should be paying less for auto insurance if we’re not on the road, if we’re not causing accidents, if we’re not putting ourselves at risk,” Consumer Watchdog’s Carmen Balber.
It’s outrageous. Insurance companies, specifically auto insurance companies in California, are experiencing windfall profits, because they’re not paying out claims when nobody’s on the road.
In fact, a recent survey by UC Davis shows collisions on many California freeways have plummeted roughly 50% during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allstate responded. It’s issuing 15% refunds to customers. Consumer advocate Consumer Watchdog says that’s a step in the right direction and all insurance companies need to follow.
“It’s outrageous. Insurance companies, specifically auto insurance companies in California, are experiencing windfall profits, because they’re not paying out claims when nobody’s on the road,” Balber said.
Some Californians trying to renew driver licenses and car registrations online are sharing frustrations. Joel Grover reported on NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7 2020.
The NBCLA I-Team reached out to several car insurance companies.
Mercury said it’s “evaluating returning premiums.”
State Farm said it’s “monitoring loss trends” and will make a decision by the end of the week.
Consumer watchdog says California insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara needs to step in and make things happen sooner. But until he does drivers should be proactive.
“If they used to commute 15,000 miles a year, and now they’re stuck at home and only driving once a week to the grocery store, they can call their insurance company and ask for a premium reduction,” Balber said.