David Cicilline

04/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/07/2020 17:23

Cicilline Calls on Car Insurance Companies to Provide Partial Rebate of Premiums

Cites leadership of Allstate and American Family Mutual, urges other providers to do the same

PAWTUCKET - As Americans under quarantine are staying home and driving less, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) is calling on America's leading car insurance companies to rebate to customers a portion of their premiums so as to not unfairly profit off the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Allstate Corporation and American Family Mutual Insurance Company have agreed to pay it forward by refunding hundreds of millions of dollars in refund checks to their policy holders, and I applaud them for taking action on this issue,' Cicilline wrote in an open letter to the auto insurance industry. 'I urge you to follow their lead, review your data, and reach out to the appropriate state insurance regulators to determine how to best implement a system that refunds excess premium charges to consumers.'

The full text of Cicilline's letter is embedded below.

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April 7, 2020

Dear Automobile Insurance Companies,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states across the country have implemented social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, and consequently Americans are driving less and filing fewer insurance claims. As our nation's car insurance companies, you stand to benefit from the increase in profits.

Citing a substantial decrease in accident claims due to Americans staying in their homes, Allstate Corporation and American Family Mutual Insurance Company have agreed to pay it forward by refunding hundreds of millions of dollars in refund checks to their policy holders, and I applaud them for taking action on this issue.

I urge you to follow their lead, review your data, and reach out to the appropriate state insurance regulators to determine how to best implement a system that refunds excess premium charges to consumers.

At the time of calculating your policyholders' premiums, you determined rates based on an assumed risk level, which included, at least in part, some measure of how many miles likely to be driven or the frequency the driver uses the covered vehicle. Drivers who are increasingly staying home to help combat the public health crisis are now paying more than their fair share.

This potential windfall will not have been earned through any specific business decisions, but rather as a result of a devastating pandemic; and it comes at the expense of many who are in great need. The unfairness would be especially pronounce considering we have seen a sharp increase in the number of unemployment claims and families across the country are suddenly experiencing significant financial strain.

Sincerely,

David N. Cicilline