Coronavirus and Car Insurance: What to Know

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Your guide to car insurance and the coronavirus, including what you need to know about auto insurance refunds.

This page will be updated as new developments occur.

Car insurance companies have made changes to their customers’ insurance premiums and payment deadlines in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This guide is designed to answer all your questions about car insurance and COVID-19.

I am driving less. Is my car insurance company willing to give me a discount?

Many car insurance companies offered customers a partial refund of their premiums for April and May. Some insurers extended these rebates. You don’t have to do anything if your insurer offers one. We’ve put together a list of insurers offering coronavirus car insurance refunds, including how much you should expect to receive.

How can I save money on my car insurance?

One option is to drop all coverage except for the state-required minimums. This is something you should think about before doing. Removing comprehensive and collision coverage will leave your car (and your wallet) exposed if you damage your car in an accident or your car gets stolen or vandalized.

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If you aren’t driving your car at all, and don’t have a loan or lease on it, you can suspend coverage or drop to comprehensive-only insurance if your car is in storage. Some states require that you file an “affidavit de non-use” with the state department of motor vehicles.

Make sure that you have an alternate mode of transportation before you make any changes to your policy. Can you use public transit during a pandemic? Are you going to need your car for an emergency? If you answered yes, your insurance policy will not be suspended or changed to comprehensive-only.

Other ways to save money include asking about discounts, comparing car insurance quotes with multiple insurers and increasing the deductible, which is your share of repair costs before your insurer pays the rest of a claim.

I don’t drive as often. Do I need to cancel my car insurance

Dropping coverage is not a wise idea. Nearly all states require that you have auto insurance in order to legally drive. A lapse in coverage can lead to higher future car insurance rates.

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I can’t pay my car insurance premium. What should I do?

If you can’t pay for your insurance, be proactive and contact your insurer. Insurance companies are required to offer grace periods. These grace periods typically last for 30 days after payment is due. Many companies offer flexible payment plans, eliminating cancellation fees due to late payments and eliminating cancellation fees. Be aware that not all relief options are available beyond May. For the latest information, check with your insurance.

Do I need to consider paying-per-mile auto insurance?

Another possible way to save money is by switching to pay-per-mile insurance. This is a good option for drivers who will not be driving long-term. Metromile and Nationwide are two examples of companies that specialize in this type insurance.

This policy is different from traditional insurance because premiums are based on how much you drive each month. The base rate is the same every month. Then there’s the per-mile rate. This usually has a limit of 250 miles per day. Companies can track how far you drive by using a plug-in device, or an app on your smartphone. Other driving habits such as speeding or hard braking can be tracked by some programs.

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I would like to be a delivery driver and make some money. What type of car insurance do you need?

Usually, a delivery driver using a personal vehicle would need to buy a commercial auto insurance policy or rideshare insurance.

Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Alabama, encourage insurance companies to extend coverage to drivers who deliver food or medicines during delivery hours. Some insurers have automatically expanded coverage to include the customer’s vehicle while they deliver these essentials.

The state’s coverage period will vary. Some insurers offer this extension only if an emergency is declared. Contact your insurer for more details.

How do I file a claim for car insurance during the outbreak?

Many companies offer the ability to submit claims via a mobile app and website. Many apps allow you to upload photos and videos of any damage to the vehicle without having to visit a claims adjuster.

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