You seemingly owe a "stimulus verify" to auto insurance, lawsuit and critics say – Information Nation USA

You probably owed a “stimulus check” to the car insurance company, according to the lawsuit and critics

While the White House has apparently stopped entertaining the idea of ​​a fourth stimulus check, you may be able to convince your auto insurance company to hand over some COVID-19 cash on your own.

Some providers, who saw their profits soar during the Great Driving Slowdown of 2020, were already offering discounts and rebates to policyholders. However, government officials, advocacy groups, and a class action lawsuit argue that this wasn't nearly enough.

A new analysis shows that insurers only paid back a third of the extra money they made. Critics are therefore pushing for further relief in the billions, even if the insurers raise the premiums again.

So if you pay full price again while your car is still in the driveway for most of the days, this is where you can get another discount from your insurer – plus a few other strategies to cut your monthly bill.

Traffic and premiums are increasing

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During the worst part of the pandemic, restrictions on doing business and other aspects of normal life resulted in overall driving falling well below pre-COVID-19 levels, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That meant fewer accidents and high profits for auto insurers. Progressive posted an 82% increase in net income, while Geico's pre-tax profit tripled in the second and third quarters of 2020.

In recognition of this, insurance providers volunteered more than $ 14 billion in refunds and loans last year, says the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).

Today the Great Slowdown seems to have stopped. Government data shows that traffic returned to normal in the spring of 2021 – and in June, road activity was 10-20% higher than before the pandemic began.

Insurance premiums have also continued to rise. The consumer price index rose for six months in a row and finally ended in July.

State Farm, for example, has received approval to increase premiums in Louisiana by about 4%, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Elevations have also been requested in Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The story goes on

Under siege insurer

Car with a smashed windshield

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Even when the road conditions have normalized again, the battle to relieve the burden on car insurance is raging.

Earlier this month, the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Economic Justice stated that insurers took in $ 42 billion in premiums last year, while offering just $ 13 billion in rebates and rebates.

"As we emphasized in one letter after another to the insurance regulators in 2020, it was crystal clear that the premium relief provided by insurers was completely inadequate," said J. Robert Hunter, insurance director of CFA, in a press release.

Only in California have the regulators actually intervened. The state's insurance commissioner ordered vendors to offer more discounts in March, saying companies had "continued to overcharge drivers".

That doesn't mean that other states have remained silent. Washington and New Mexico are taking the first steps, and in Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey has sent several pointed letters to the state insurance regulator.

The conflict even ended up in court. A series of class action lawsuits were filed in Nevada in February, with plaintiffs alleging that 10 leading auto insurers were holding premiums inappropriately high. A similar class action lawsuit against Geico was allowed in Illinois.

For its part, APCIA – the premier auto insurer trade association – says the industry is "working to rebuild communities" and condemned the Nevada class action as "litigation profiteers."

So can I get money from my insurance for free?

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

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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, according to the advocacy groups, insurers underestimated their policyholders by $ 125 per vehicle.

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

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 ever.

Make a note of how your habits have changed; For example, the distance you don't travel while working from home.

Other ways to lower your premiums starting today

Young couple sitting on the sofa using digital tablet

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If your insurance company doesn't give you a pandemic rebate, there are still a number of ways you can reduce your insurance bill.

Drop optional cover

Some auto insurances include extras that you may be able to do without for a while. For example, can you skip the option of paying 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, maybe you can find a new one to do it.

Even if you can't switch to a company with pandemic discounts, shopping for the best price can still help you lower your bill.

If you haven't made comparison purchases in the past six months, you could be overpaying by more than $ 1,000 a year.

A free quote comparison service can help you find the best price in minutes.

Suspend your auto insurance

In some cases, it may be possible to put your insurance on hold if you completely stopped driving during the pandemic.

This path can be tricky – it can result in fines or suspended registration with the DMV, and may not be possible at all if you are making car payments to the bank.

You will also need to park your vehicle in a safe place as you will not have protection from non-driving damage such as theft.

What if I need even more savings?

Sleeping man with money hugs cash in bed

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

  • Cut your other insurance bills. By simply comparing with online tools, you can save hundreds on your home insurance and get an instant quote on life insurance.

  • Invest your change. With a popular investment app, you can automatically invest the "change" left over with every purchase with your debit card. The money flows into a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and other reliable investments. You won't even notice the deposits, but you will notice the returns.

  • 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.

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

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