What Auto Insurance Companies Are Doing to Financially Support Their Customers During the COVID-19 Lockdown
From payment deferrals to a break on premium prices, a list of what auto insurance companies are doing to help their clients in need.
Thanks to COVID-19, we are all living in unprecedented times. As more people find themselves without employment and struggling to make ends meet, insurers are announcing relief measures to assist Canadians who may be finding it difficult to cover their auto insurance or home insurance costs.
“This is an incredibly challenging and uncertain time for many Canadians, and insurers want to help alleviate some of the financial burden for the most vulnerable,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada in a press release recently.
This help, being announced almost daily, generally involves one or more of the following approaches: giving refunds on premiums already paid, lowering future premiums, and encouraging clients to make policy changes that will better reflect their current reality and reduce costs. And while some initiatives are being undertaken automatically (see Allstate Canada and CAA, for examples), most require the policyholder to contact their provider to initiate. When in doubt, call.
Check back often because we’ll keep adding to this page regularly. And if your provider isn't listed, don't assume they're not ready to help. Visit their website or call them to find out what premium and payment relief measures they're offering. In the meantime, here’s where we’re at so far on April 22, 2020.
Allstate is giving its auto insurance policyholders a one-time payment of what should amount to about 25% of their monthly auto premium. This “Stay at Home” payment is available to drivers who, as of April 8, 2020, had a policy with the company. Allstate is also offering its customers flexibility in payments through a deferral process which gives customers the option to pause their insurance payments for up to 90 days (for this you'll need to reach out to your agent). Click to learn more about what Allstate Canada is offering its customers.
Aviva Canada says policyholders who have stopped driving because of the pandemic could save up to 75% with their #StayAtHome endorsement while customers who still drive, but considerably less than before, could save up to 15%. It’s also putting on hold any rate increases on renewals mailed out April 17 and after, until further notice. Click to learn more about what Aviva Canada plans to do.
belairdirect (along with Intact Insurance as Intact Financial owns both) are helping policyholders with flexible payment options and waiving missed payment fees.
belairdirect is also adjusting premiums for people who are using their vehicles less as a result of COVID-19. There are two options available. For drivers who still need a vehicle, but drive it considerably less, they can apply for a premium reduction of 15%, on average, for three months. For drivers who plan to park their car and store it, they can talk to their broker about a possible 75% premium reduction per month. Click to learn more about what Intact Financial is offering as options for its policyholders.
CAA Insurance is lowering their Ontario auto insurance and home insurance premiums by 10% for all renewing and new clients. The company is working with regulators in other provinces with the hopes to deliver auto insurance savings in all provinces where it operates. Click to learn more about what CAA Insurance is offering.
The Co-operators is offering both payment and premium relief to its policyholders. On the payment side, they want their clients to call to discuss flexible options that may be available to ease financial pressure, including deferring a payment, extending payment grace periods, and waiving NSF fees. On the premium relief side, details are forthcoming but we do know the following:
- Reduced auto insurance premiums may be available to customers who are no longer commuting, who are working from home, or are self-isolating
- Once implemented, the reduced premiums will be provided for the duration of the pandemic through to June
Clients should also contact the company if they’d like to discuss the suspension of select coverage if they’ve stopped using their vehicle entirely for the foreseeable future. Click to learn more about what the Co-operators is working on for their clients.
Desjardins Insurance is giving its customers a refund on their premium with the caveat that they are only driving their vehicle for essential travel for the three months of COVID-19 containment measures. To get the refund, drivers must apply online for it by May 31, 2020. Click to learn more about the Desjardins Insurance refund and other initiatives.
Echelon is adjusting auto premiums by up to 15% for customers who are driving less and suspending coverage on vehicles that are not in use except comprehensive coverage (protects your vehicle from things like fire, theft, vandalism) for a premium reduction of up to an 80%. The company is also postponing its planned auto rate increases for the next three to six months, and providing automatic coverage for customers who volunteer to deliver food or supplies (excluding coverage for paid deliveries such as UberEats).
Echelon customers should contact their brokers to request these measures. The company says they will be applied to active auto policies retroactively for March 15, 2020, or the date of the most recent policy change.
Economical is helping its policyholders navigate payment uncertainties that may help during this time of self-isolation. Payment deferrals and waived NSF fees are on the table, as are adjustments to current payment plan methods or frequency of payments. Also, drivers are encouraged to talk to their broker to see if premiums can be lowered by limiting coverage or by updating the annual kilometres driven since the car is parked in the driveway more than usual. Click to learn more about how Economical is supporting its customers.
Gore Mutual is sending their personal auto insurance customers a one-time payment that should be the equivalent to 20% of three months’ premium. All of Gore’s customers as of Thursday, April 9, 2020, will automatically receive the payment that will be in the form of a cheque delivered by the postal office. In addition to the one-off payment, Gore customers can also request payment relief including payment deferral without penalty. Click to learn more about what Gore Mutual is doing for its policyholders.
Intact Insurance and belairdirect are both owned by Intact Financial. Both insurance providers are helping policyholders with flexible payment options and waiving missed payment fees.
Intact, along with belairdirect, is also adjusting premiums for people who are using their vehicles less as a result of COVID-19. There are two options available. For drivers who still need a vehicle, but drive it considerably less, they can apply for a premium reduction of 15%, on average, for three months. For drivers who plan to park their car and store it, they can talk to their broker about a possible 75% monthly premium reduction. Click to learn more about what Intact Financial is offering as options for its policyholders.
Northbridge Insurance is offering its eligible policyholders a three-month rate rebate that could save them as much as 15% off their monthly auto insurance premium. The rebate is for the months of April, May, and June. To qualify for the Northbridge Insurance rate rebate, a policyholder must have an in-force policy that includes third-party liability personal vehicle coverage as of May 31, 2020. Read more about what Northbridge Insurance is offering as options to its customers.
One month off. That's what Onlia is giving its home and auto insurance policyholders to relieve the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All active policyholders as of March 31st who have made at least one full monthly premium payment will automatically receive the month of May off. Click to learn more about the Onlia premium holiday.
Owing to its relationship with Allstate Canada, Pafco is also giving its policyholders a one-time payment of what should be about 25% of their monthly auto premium. Its “Stay at Home” payment is available to drivers who, as of April 8, 2020, had a policy with the company. Pafco is also offering its customers flexibility in payments through a deferral process must be initiated by the client. Click to learn more about the Pafco offering.
Due to its association with Allstate Canada, Pembridge is going to be sending its policyholders a one-time payment of what should be about 25% of their monthly auto premium. The Pembridge “Stay at Home” payment is available to drivers who, as of April 8, 2020, had a policy with the company. The payment should arrive sometime in May 2020. Additionally, Pembridge is offering its customers flexibility in payments through a deferral process that must be initiated by the client. Click to learn more about the Pembridge initiatives.
RSA Canada has released its package of measures to help its customers affected by the pandemic’s lockdown which includes financial relief. The measures include:
- Reduced premiums for customers who are driving or commuting considerably less than before
- Flexible payment options, payment deferrals, and support for customers facing financial hardship
- Coverage for customers who are temporarily using their vehicle for delivery services. This is available for all personal auto insurance policies and will not change the customer's premium
- NSF fees for personal policies (like home and auto insurance) charged by RSA Canada occurring after April 1, 2020, will be waived
For each of these measures, RSA Canada encourages customers to proactively contact their broker or insurance representative to discuss the options available to them.
SSQ Insurance is offering their policyholders a rebate on their insurance which will amount to about 20% of their monthly premium. The rebate will be available for the period of the confinement and will apply as of April 1, 2020. The first rebate will be received in May, and its payment method will mirror how you paid your premium. Click to learn more about the SSQ Insurance rebate and payment relief options.
Travelers Canada launched its “Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program”, which will provide a 25% credit on one month’s premium to its auto insurance customers. It is also suspending auto policy cancellations and non-renewal of coverage until May 15, and waiving NSF fees during this time. Customers are encouraged to contact their broker or the insurer directly to discuss their unique circumstances.
TD Insurance is giving its policyholders some breathing room with premium deferrals for home and auto insurance for eligible customers for up to three months. They’re also eliminating the NSF penalties they charge (but not your bank’s fees) should you not have the funds to cover your insurance payments. It will be in place until July 8, 2020. TD is also temporarily suspending policy cancellations that are due to non-payment of premiums. Click to learn more about what TD Insurance is recommending to its clients.
Wawanesa Insurance is seeking to provide flexible payment options that take into account the special circumstances that come with the COVID-19 reality. Cancellations for non-payment will be avoided, and NSF fees will be waived until May 25, 2020. Wawanesa asks policyholders to contact their broker if they’re unable to pay their premium, need payment options, or receive a cancellation notice. Click to learn more about what Wawanesa Insurance proposing.