Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Michael Pieciak announced April 22 that more than 40 additional auto insurance companies have filed plans to return premiums or reduce their rates for Vermont policyholders. DFR has moved quickly to approve these plans, which amount to over $14.6 million in savings for Vermonters to date.
All Vermont-based auto insurance companies, along with most major out-of-state insurers, have developed refund plans for Vermonters, which combined, represent approximately 90% of all personal auto policies in Vermont. Each of these insurers has seen a reduction in claims as Vermonters do their part to stay home to comply with the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” directive.
“I’m grateful the insurance industry is acknowledging the reduced risk of auto claims as a result of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order,” said Governor Scott. “These reduced rates provide additional relief at a critical time for many Vermonters, and I appreciate the Department of Financial Regulation’s ongoing work with industries to help save Vermonters money.”
The premium savings will vary depending on the company; however, most Vermonters can expect to receive a credit on their auto insurance statement, a refund check or a reduced rate when renewing their policy. At this time, most relief will be in the range of 15-20% for a period of two or three months.
Two Vermont-based insurers, Vermont Mutual and the Cooperative Insurance Company, will also provide auto-insurance customers with the choice to donate their refund to one of several charities assisting with local Covid-19 relief efforts. A third Vermont-based insurer, Union Mutual, has partnered with local businesses to provide food for the homeless, as well as for medical workers and nursing home staff members in Vermont.
“I really appreciate these insurers stepping-up to provide premium relief during this challenging time,” said Commissioner Pieciak. “I am particularly pleased that our Vermont-based insurers established these innovative pay-it-forward options for worthy charities confronting the Covid-19 crisis.”
Commissioner Pieciak continues to encourage insurance companies to determine whether Vermonters are overpaying and promptly file a plan with DFR if that is the case. For a list of insurance companies with DFR-approved premium savings plans, please visit dfr.vermont.gov/document/dfr-approves-several-insurer-plans-refund-auto-insurance-premiums.
DFR’s approval also provides flexibility to further reduce premiums if similar driving habits continue. As the pandemic evolves, DFR will continue to monitor insurers’ experience and finances to ensure that Vermonters’ rates are not excessive compared to changing risks.