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$ 400 Reimbursed by Hundreds of thousands of Drivers – Tips on how to Get a Stimulus Examine for Auto Insurance – Yahoo Finance

$ 400 reimbursed to millions of drivers – how to get a "stimulus check" for auto insurance

While you may never see a Washington economic check again, motorists across the country are still getting cash from their insurers in the mail.

Auto insurances have been pushed for more money since last year when they made huge profits and only offered modest discounts and rebates in return.

Now a new wave of $ 400 refunds is coming to some drivers after a group of insurers were accused of hoarding billions in excess cash.

If you feel like you've paid too much for your insurance coverage, get your own check here – or at least get a break from your insurer.

Insurers explode for billions in the bank

Cars on the highway in a traffic jam

ddisq / Shutterstock

The final round of refunds goes to Michigan drivers who receive $ 400 back for every vehicle they own.

"Billions in surplus funds should not be held by insurers to invest for their own profits or made conditional on policy renewals," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wrote in a letter last month.

Whitmer had accused the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association – which charges drivers an annual fee to cover the cost of personal injury – of holding on to $ 5 billion more than necessary.

The insurance companies that make up the association quickly agreed to part with roughly $ 3 billion of the surplus. The money will be released in early March and distributed to policyholders within 60 days.

While the refund is a welcome relief, it's only a one-time deal – meaning drivers in Michigan and across the country will have to look elsewhere for significant, permanent savings.

The siege continues across the country

Car with a smashed windshield

Pascal Vosicki / Shutterstock

While this isn't the case in Michigan, most complaints in other states relate to overcharging during the pandemic.

When the streets were empty and there were few accidents, Progressive reported an 82% increase in net income. Geico's pre-tax profit tripled in the second and third quarters of 2020.

Insurance companies volunteered more than $ 14 billion in reimbursements last year, according to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, but many critics are unsatisfied.

The story goes on

"On behalf of consumers, I have no patience," wrote California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in October, giving three of the stingy companies 30 days to "tell us once and for all how to get it right".

A government analysis found that insurers reimbursed an average of 9% of car premiums from March to September 2020, but the insurance department estimates they should have reimbursed almost double that amount.

Washington and New Mexico are also scrutinizing drivers getting enough money back, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sent several targeted letters to the state's insurance regulator. The conflict even landed on trial, with class actions filed in Nevada and Illinois earlier this year.

So can I get money from my insurance for free?

Man's hands hold piles of cash in American five and twenty dollar bills

Amy K. Mitchell / Shutterstock

Unless more regulators step in or the class actions are successful, insurers will not be legally forced to pay out more money than they already have.

Most of the discounts granted last year were minimal; it was rare to get more than half a month's premium back. On average, insurers have withdrawn $ 125 per vehicle from their policyholders, stakeholders say.

But some companies didn't issue refunds at all or cut prices unless customers called and asked.

If you haven't contacted your insurer yet, free cash may be waiting for you. And as the pressure builds, your provider may be ready to review your premium, especially if you are still driving less than before.

However, if your insurance company refuses to give you a pandemic discount, there are other ways you can try to lower your insurance bill:

Cancel optional coverage

Some auto insurances include extras that you may be able to do without for a while. For example, can you skip the option to pay for a rental car while your car is in the garage?

Removing these extras can save you a few bucks. Just make sure that you still meet your state's minimum liability insurance and are covered in the event of an accident during those grocery trips.

Change insurance provider

If your insurer doesn't give you a break, you might find a new one to do it.

Drivers who haven't made comparison purchases in the last six months may be overpaying more than $ 1,000 per year.

A free quote comparison service can help you find a better price in minutes.

What if I need even more savings?

Sleeping man with money hugs cash in bed

Prostock Studio / Shutterstock

If saving on auto insurance isn't enough, here are a few more ways to boost your bank account until the economy picks up again.

  • Stop paying too much online. It is impossible to find the best price by yourself when there are thousands of stores on the internet. Try a free browser extension that will automatically apply coupon codes when shopping online and track down lower prices.

  • Reduce the cost of your debt. If you depended on credit cards during the pandemic, you will catch the expensive interest. A low-interest debt consolidation loan can convert your balance into a single, lower-interest payment – and help you get rid of your debt faster.

  • Invest your change. With a popular investment app, you can automatically invest the "change" that is left over from everyday purchases. You won't even notice the deposits as you create or round off your investment plan.

This article is for information only and is not intended as advice. It is provided without any guarantee.

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