LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — If you take a drive around Southern California, the roads look a little different amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With the “Safer-At-Home” order, most people are working from home, or not working at all.
The change has prompted auto insurer Allstate to return more than $600 million in premium payments to its customers.
Karl Susman, the owner of Susman Insurance Agency, said he thinks other auto insurance companies will follow Allstate’s lead.
“What they are realizing, like all carriers are, there are less people on the road, less people driving, less driving means less accidents and less accidents means less claims,” Susman said.
According to Allstate’s CEO, a data analysis found that mileage is down between 35 and 50 percent in most states.
“Anytime one carrier does something, other carriers move with the market forces,” said Susman.
Allstate plans to send rebates to 18 million customers nationwide.
The insurer said most drivers will receive about a 15 percent refund, but it’s unclear if drivers in California will benefit.
“Because we are very highly regulated and protected by the California Department of Insurance, anytime there is a rate change the Department of Insurance has to approve it, so hard to know what it is that will trickle down to us.”
Susman said that regardless of who a driver is insured by — if they are driving less or have lost any income — they are likely to be able to get a premium reduction or deferment if they call their insurer.
“I even have clients who have called and they said, ‘Can I just remove my car from my insurance policy because I’m literally not driving it?’ and one of the things we are recommending is that we can suspend coverage on vehicles and only leave fire and theft coverage.”
The Department of Insurance said it will review any sort of rebate or rate change during the pandemic to make sure that it is fairly distributed.
The department also said it is looking at all forms of insurance, from auto to health, to make sure no California resident is overpaying during the crisis.