Coronavirus Auto Insurance: How to Get a Refund or Save

You may have heard about car insurance discounts, rebates, or refunds due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some car insurance companies are providing savings because fewer people are driving because of stay-at-home or social distancing guidelines.

As many of us cancel our vacations, take fewer trips around town, or work from home, we put together a guide to the refunds and other savings available for car insurance.

How to save on car insurance during coronavirus with discounts and refunds

In addition to factors like what kind of car you drive or your driving and insurance history, many insurance companies consider how much you drive when they set your rate. For example, if you drive 10,000 or fewer miles a year (this is most Americans!), you could save on car insurance.

Some car insurance companies have also started to provide partial premium refunds and other savings in response to how many drivers have reduced or stopped their driving. Some notable savings and discounts include:

Can I get a discount because I’m not driving to work anymore?

You could save some money if you’re no longer commuting back and forth to work. Similarly, your savings could add up if you’re also taking fewer trips to restaurants, shops, or vacations.

Metromile provides pay per mile car insurance, so one of the biggest factors behind how much you pay for car insurance is how much you drive. If you drive less, you can pay a lower rate to keep your car covered. 

During some states’ shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines, Metromile customers saved approximately 30% on average on car insurance, beginning in April. They didn’t need to call to ask for a discount or let their insurance company know they started working from home or were driving less—their bills were lowered automatically when they drove less and stayed home because they pay per mile.

Why canceling your auto insurance is a bad idea

Each state has minimum requirements for car insurance coverage, so you shouldn’t cancel your policy. Often, you’re required to have car insurance, even if you’re not driving your car. For example, comprehensive coverage will be useful if something falls on your car while it’s parked. Also, if you finance your car, your lender or leasing company may have also required you to keep a certain amount of coverage.

How to lower your auto insurance rate during the coronavirus pandemic

Metromile and some other insurance companies let you personalize your policy, including your coverage limits and totals. You might have optional car insurance coverage unique to your state and situation that you could temporarily reduce to help you lower your rate. If you do make any changes, remember to review your policy again later, especially if you start driving again or your habits change. 

Options if you can’t pay your car insurance bill during the coronavirus pandemic

Many insurance companies are providing assistance with your coverage and policy. If you need some extra support, think about contacting your insurance company to learn what may be available.

Metromile is making payment relief options available, so you won’t lose your coverage if you can’t pay now. Metromile customers can also make partial payments if they can’t pay their complete balance for no fees, including late fees.

Has car insurance changed because of the coronavirus pandemic?

Your car insurance should be the same unless your car insurance company lets you know your policy has changed. Drivers should still be able to file a car insurance claim during the coronavirus pandemic. Insurance companies have not stopped processing claims, and in many cases, you can file a claim online. Metromile customers can file a claim 24/7 from the Metromile app or their online dashboard on the Metromile website.

Your insurance company may ask you to share photos or videos of your damage to help understand your damage. It’s a good idea to check your policy or contact your company, so you can follow their latest requirements.

Don’t worry about getting your car repaired. Many auto repair shops are open, even during shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, because they are generally considered essential businesses.

Bottom line

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused stress and uncertainty, but car insurance doesn’t have to be one of them. Car insurance companies are providing extra support for your policy, including savings as you drive less, payment relief options, and help to keep your car covered.