Insurers reduce auto premiums during a pandemic because less driving leads to fewer claims


A number of Canadian insurers are reducing or reimbursing auto insurance premiums to compensate customers who drive less because they work at home or self-insulate as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Aviva Canada announced Wednesday that it will provide $ 100 million in driver relief, including options to immediately reduce insurance premiums. Customers who have stopped driving completely can reduce their auto insurance premiums by up to 75%, the Toronto-based company said.

Insurance company Allstate Canada, insurance company Pembridge and insurance company Pafco, meanwhile, said they plan to send one-time payments to eligible customers by May for ” about 25% of their monthly car premium. Cumulative payments are expected to total $ 30 million.

Ryan Michel, CEO of Allstate Canada, said his company expects the driving reduction to continue until April and May, as fewer people will be traveling and many will only go out to essential travel.

“We recognize that with fewer people behind the wheel, there are fewer collisions on our roads,” he said. “As a result, we give back… to our customers. It’s just the right thing to do. “

The Insurance Bureau of Canada said on Wednesday that thousands of Canadians have already had their premiums deferred due to financial difficulties resulting from the widespread closure of all but essential businesses across the country. In addition, a number of office members will offer a premium reduction over the next 90 days to reflect the reduced risk of less driving, IBC suggesting that customers contact their insurance company to see if they are eligible for relief.

“When it comes to savings on auto insurance premiums, the savings vary based on individual driving habits,” the insurance bureau said in a statement.

The IBC estimates that the total amount of aid in progress could reach $ 600 million.

Tuesday, Montreal-based Desjardins announced that it will offer auto insurance premium refunds to individuals and businesses who drive less due to conditions imposed by the pandemic, such as working from home, losing their employment or self-isolation.

The reimbursement “will be calculated over a period of three months and will reflect the annual distance traveled by the client, as stated in his insurance contract,” said Desjardins in a press release.

Savings will vary based on individual driving habits

Insurance Bureau of Canada

TD Insurance said on Wednesday that it would allow residential and auto customers to defer their premiums for up to 90 days and that it would be flexible as to the possibility of “making temporary premium adjustments to reflect changes in usage personal vehicles ”.

The Toronto-Dominion Bank unit, which has responded to more than 245,000 customer calls since March 16, announced that it will also temporarily suspend the cancellation of home and auto policies for non-payment.

P&C insurers in the United States, including American Family Insurance and Allstate, based in Illinois, announced earlier this week that they plan to reduce auto insurance premiums for customers who drive less due to the pandemic.

Industry observers say the discounts will have little impact on insurance companies’ results, because less driving means less payments for driving-related crashes.

“The financial implications would be very minimal because all that is happening is sharing upward the fact that accident volumes are down because of the blockage,” said Meny Grauman, an institutional research analyst on shares at Cormark Securities.


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