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Can I get car insurance premium forgiveness during the coronavirus outbreak?

Extending your due date or lowering your premium may help during financial hardship.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Car insurance companies are opening the door for customers who need financial help, including extending due dates and working out special payment plans. Companies also offer a grace period to notify you before canceling your policy, and that period was extended in many states due to the coronavirus. If you think you’re going to miss a payment, call your insurer to see if you can work out a plan.

Will my car insurance company let me skip a payment?

It depends. Most car insurance companies are still taking customer’s requests for financial hardship on a case-by-case basis. In many instances, companies will let you extend your payment due date or waive late fees. However, end dates for widespread measures have ended with some companies. If you’re still experiencing financial hardship or can’t pay your overdue amount, you’ll need to contact your insurance company about your options.

State orders: California was one of the first states to order a 60-day grace period on payments for many types of insurance, including car policies. More states followed due to wide financial strain on customers from COVID-19 lay-offs or furloughs.

Learn how your insurance company is responding, including how to get in contact with a rep. We checked this information last on June 24, 2020.

CompanyCoronavirus responseContact information
AllstateAllstate is leading with multiple measures to help customers with their finances. The major insurer is:

  • Working with customers on a manageable payment plan
  • Allowing customers with financial problems to skip payments without fees
  • Automatically extending personal auto coverage to people who use their cars for delivery services. This comes free of charge and customers don’t need to take any action. Coverage applies while a state emergency order is in place.
MyAccount login or mobile app

Your local agent

Call 877-810-2920

American FamilyThe company is dedicated to protecting what you’ve worked hard for by:

  • Discussing payment options through its customer service
  • Offering a 10% monthly premium credit for July through December 2020
Log into your online account or app.

Contact your local agent.

For payment assistance, call 1-800-692-6326.

AmicaPending regulatory approval Amica is participating in a COVID-19 auto refund program, which offers:

  • A 10% refund of customers’ monthly auto premiums over a period of four months
  • A 10% refund for new customers that purchase Amica auto policies before the end of 2020
Call 800-242-6422
Auto-OwnersFor those experiencing financial difficulty, customers can:

  • Get payment extensions
  • Change their payment due dates
  • Change your payment plan
  • Defer the minimum amount due
Call 800-288-8740
ErieErie understands the financial situation the COVID-19 pandemic has left customers in. On a case-by-case basis, the company may:

  • Help you update your coverage
  • Delay payment dates
  • Adjust your payment plan
  • Waive late fees
For questions or financial options: Call customer service at 800-458-0811.
FarmersThis well-known auto insurer is taking multiple steps to help customers by:

  • Offering to extend customers’ payment due dates
  • Policyholders who need more time to make their payment can call a hotline to discuss their options.
Call 1 (888) 327-6335 to request your extension.
Geico
  • Offering customers with financial hardship flexible or special payment plans
  • Customers can call for policy review
    Geico app or geico.com account

    Call 800-207-7847

    Liberty Mutual
    • The insurance giant is working with customers on a case-by-case basis.
    • You can change your billing schedule to ease financial strain.
    • Call to review your policy coverage, deductibles and mileage.
    • Overdue balances as of June 15, 2020 will get spread across the remaining payments in your policy period.
    • If you have one payment left, the overdue balance will get spread across your next policy period.
    Liberty Mutual app or online account

    Call 800-290-7933

    Tweet @AskLiberty

    MercuryThis reputable provider wants to help customers burdened by their finances at this time.

    • It’s encouraging customers to call with questions or to discuss payment options.
    Call 800-503-3724.

    Email customerservice@mercuryinsurance.com

    NationwideNationwide is taking steps to lessen the financial burden on its customers. On a case-by-case basis, it may:

    • Suspend policy cancellations
    • Defer payment due dates
    • Waive late fees
    Your nationwide.com account

    PLService@nationwide.com

    Call 1-877-669-6877.

    ProgressiveThis major company is committed to lessening the disruption from the COVID-19 virus to its customers’ lives. It’s:

    • Encouraging customers to walk through payment and coverage options with a representative. You may still receive a monthly bill
    • Expanding coverage from personal policies to customers delivering food and other items
    • May defer deductibles after an accident
    Chat through the Progressive app or online account

    Call 888-671-4405.

    RootRoot understands customers’ financial hardship and is working on flexible payments based on each state’s coronavirus guidelines. Depending on your state, customers might be able to:

    • Reinstate canceled coverage or postpone cancellations
    • Extend payment due dates or grace periods
    • Review coverage in the app or contact with questions
    Root app

    For payment extensions, email covidhelp@joinroot.com with these details:

    • Your name and date of birth
    • Account number
    • Employer
    • Your last day worked
    • Type of unemployment: furlough, layoff or self-employed
    • Other details of your COVID-related hardship
    State FarmState Farm says it’s committed to helping customers during the coronavirus.

    • Customers should contact their local agent for payment advice if facing financial hardship.
    • Is working to reduce auto insurance premiums in every state by an average of 11%
    Your local agent
    TravelersTravelers is committed to keeping top-quality, uninterrupted service. It is:

    • Working with customers on payment options based on their situation
    • Offering premium audits to help customers save more
    Call 800-842-5075
    USAAUSAA says its mission is to care for members, especially during difficult times.

    • The company is automatically waiving late fees and postponing policy cancellations until June 17, 2020 — no action needed on the customer’s part.
    • It’s also offering special payment arrangements for customers facing financial challenges.
    Mobile app or usaa.com account

    Call 800-531-8722

    Which car insurers are giving premium refunds?

    How do I delay my car insurance premium?

    To delay your car insurance payment, you can:

    • Contact your insurance company. If your company has local agents, consider reaching out to the one closest to you. Companies may see more calls due to the coronavirus, so local agents may serve you more efficiently.
    • Tell your insurer about your situation. Offer relevant details about how long you expect to have unpaid leave or whether you lost your job due to the coronavirus. Consider offering a plan that fits your situation, like a suggested extension date or lowered payment.
    • Mark down your extension. Once you and your insurer come to an agreement, put the new premium due date on your calendar.

    Cancel your insurance the easy way

    Let a new agent help you cancel your old policy online in minutes.

    Your information is secure.

    What should I do if I can’t get a premium extension?

    Even if your insurance company won’t work with your financial hardship situation, you can take a different route to lower your bill.

    • Ask for a low-mileage discount. If you’re driving much less than usual, you could see if your insurance company will lower your premium with a low mileage discount.
    • Shop for a lower premium. Shopping around for a cheaper car insurance policy can net you savings, especially when you’re looking to save money during a crisis. Take into account any life changes that might lead to a lower premium, such as a move or a change in occupation. Because you can expect long wait times if you’re switching by phone, shop for new quotes online until the pandemic lifts. Most major insurers offer an online or app-based quote and application process.
    • Switch to pay-as-you-go insurance. Pay-as-you-go insurance companies offer steep discounts if you’re not driving much and you use safe driving habits. You’ll need to use an app or black box to track your driving behavior and mileage.
    • Consider less coverage. If you think the risk of an accident is low enough, you could lower limits on your coverage or nix some coverage not required by your state. Liability coverage is an exception — consider keeping as much coverage as possible to pay for damage you cause to other people.
    • Switch to a layup policy. Also known as a storage policy or comprehensive-only policy, some insurers let you buy minimal coverage if you plan to keep your car in storage and not drive at all for the next few months. Your insurer may require you to keep the car in storage at least 30 days. However, you can’t legally drive your car with a layup policy because it doesn’t hold liability insurance. Also, you may have to cancel your car’s registration with your state to avoid legal penalties and a registration suspension. This policy may not be allowed in every area, so contact your local DMV if you’re unsure.

    How long are car insurance grace periods?

    Most car insurance grace periods range from 10 to 20 days, although some states extended them up to 60 days during the coronavirus. This grace period gives you time to respond to an overdue payment before your car insurance company cancels your policy, which would lead to lapsed coverage.

    The time period varies based on the insurance company and requirements in your state. You can typically find out your state’s grace period from the Department of Motor Vehicles or Department of Revenue website.

    What happens if I can’t pay my insurance premiums?

    If you expect to miss a car insurance payment, contact your insurance company right away. Many companies understand the economic downturn that’s happening during the coronavirus outbreak. Your insurer may work with you on an extension or to make payments manageable.

    What to expect if you miss payments:

    • You’ll get notified. Your car insurance company is required to notify you about canceling your policy. You may get notice by mail or email, stating the date your policy will be canceled.
    • You’re still covered during the grace period. The grace period starts after the payment due date and gives you several days to make a payment. You may get charged a late fee even if you pay before the grace period ends.
    • You may get force-placed insurance. If you’re financing your car, your lender probably requires that you keep full coverage car insurance. Your lender can legally put a forced-placed policy in place for you, requiring you to pay a steep premium for low coverage.
    • Your insurance company can deny coverage. If you miss too many payments without talking to your insurer, the company can cancel your policy. You might have to shop for a high-risk insurer if your old company won’t reinstate coverage afterward.

    How do I reinstate my car insurance policy?

    If your car insurance lapses, some insurance companies will make an exception to reinstate your coverage. Reinstatement means your insurer will activate your old policy and backdate it, so you won’t have a coverage lapse on record.

    You’ll have a better chance of getting reinstated if you call your insurance company soon after your coverage lapses. You will need to make a payment to reinstate your coverage.

    Switch car insurance online

    Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
    Progressive
    Optional
    30%
    All 50 states
    Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
    Allstate
    13%
    All 50 states
    Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
    EverQuote
    EverQuote
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states
    Roll in a variety of car insurance quotes from top insurers despite a high-risk driving profile, and view possible discounts while you’re at it.
    The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
    Optional
    Yes
    All 50 states & DC
    Drivers over age 50 can enjoy low rates and perks designed for mature drivers, plus freebies and AARP member perks like free replacement cost coverage.
    Liberty Mutual
    Optional
    30%
    All 50 states
    Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
    Esurance
    40%
    All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
    Take advantage of this online company's low base rates and mobile tools like app-based telematics and teen safe driver programs.
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    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    Many companies nationwide are offering grace through payment extensions during the coronavirus outbreak, including car insurance companies. But if payments still cost more than you’d like, you could switch car insurance policies if you can find a better rate elsewhere.

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