Insurance Industry Providing Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, changing the way society operates from day to day. Since the pandemic began in March, much of the workforce was forced to stay home. People began working from home, were put on a furloughed leave fromwork, or lost their jobs all together. With the financial impact of the virus, the many companies that make up the insurance industry have stepped up, taking part in many initiatives in efforts to provide relief to all customers who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Due to stay at home orders issued in their states, many people became confined to their homes. During this time there were substantial reductions in auto claims and losses due to less people driving to work or other businesses that were shut down due to the order. Personal auto insurers saw the changes and many began offering relief to customers by issuing partial premium refunds to policyholders.
Farmers Insurance, is one company that rose to the occasion providing relief by reducing their personal auto insurance premiums. The premium reductions that they are providing were based on and account for experience in March, April and May, and measured as 25% of the premium that would be due in April and 15% of the premium that would be due in May. This initiative rightfully put money back in the pockets of policyholders.
Due to jobs being put on hold and unemployment rising, many individuals and families began facing difficult financial times. With an increased number of the population unsure how they would make their next insurance payment, the industry came up with solutions for this challenge. Typically missing a payment for automobile or property insurance will result in coverage lapsing or terminating. Many companies have modified their standard policies for late payments.
Erie Insurance updated their policy to offer customers options such as delayed payment dates, adjusting installments, changing pay plans and waiving penalties and fees. Offering flexibility for policy holders is very important during this unprecedented time.
Philanthropic Efforts for COVID-19 Relief
The industry has also responded by taking part in raising funds for direct relief of those suffering most from the pandemic. The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IIFC) has raised funds in response to the pandemic through the IICF Children’s Relief Fund. This fund was created to help support children at risk of food insecurity, educational disruption, family homelessness and other circumstances exacerbated by the pandemic. They also have been awarding grants to nonprofit organizations that provide vital services to children at risk during this pandemic.
The industry-wide philanthropic contributions during the COVID-19 crisis have raised an estimated total of $220 million dollars, with $100 million or more being contributed to relief internationally. The generosity of all the companies who contributed has made a lasting impact during this time.
As we all continue to navigate this pandemic, the insurance industry will continue to be here for its policyholders. As stated by the Insurance Information Institute, contributing to community development has always been a cornerstone of insurance, and this time of need is no exception.