According to a press release from the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID), drivers across the state will receive credits totaling $60,815,207 from auto insurers after a number of companies have filed requests with the department.
Return premiums related to the COVID-19 pandemic listed in the press release from MID ranged from 15 to 30 percent, meaning savings for Monroe County policy holders.
Mark McGowan, Monroe County Farm Bureau manager, said $50 rebates for two months will be reflected in June billings. He also said in addition to customer rebates, Farm Bureau donated $500,000 to Mississippi food banks.
“We realize that in times like this, people are driving less and struggling with job losses, and the company is doing its share to respond,” he said.
According to the press release, Farm Bureau’s projected return premiums will total $5.8 million across Mississippi.
McGowan reported little impact from the pandemic on day-to-day business at his office. He said there is no way of knowing how long the savings may last, however.
“We’ll know more in the months ahead,” he said.
According to the MID, State Farm is returning 25 percent, or more than $17 million, in projected return premiums statewide.
According to Amory agent Stacy Forbus, the savings formula is 25 percent of one month’s premium multiplied by a factor of 2.5.
“The savings will vary with the customer. It will be generated after the June 1 renewal and could reflect as much as half their premium payment,” she said. “We’re just trying to help our customers through this crisis and hoping to get back to normal as soon as possible.”
Shelter Insurance Agent Carla Glasgow of Amory said customers will receive savings as well.
“Average savings will be different for everyone. The company has given two months of premiums back,” she said.
That figure equates to 30 percent, according to the MID press release.
“Shelter is giving $1,000 grants to each agent in addition to the premium returns to give back to our communities through their loyal customers,” Glasgow said. “Our office is using the grant to replenish the Kiwanis Food Pantry backpacks program for needy children.”
Glasgow said the first premium returns will apply to April and May. Shelter Insurance will evaluate progress toward rebuilding its business at the end of that period to determine actions going forward.
Aberdeen insurance agent Tracey Cockerham represents a number of companies, including Allstate, Traveler’s, Safeco and Progressive.
“Savings are spread over two months and average 15 to 20 percent at this point. The companies are responding to less risk exposure since people are driving less. They are taking this opportunity to give back to customers and communities,” he said.
Cockerham declined to speculate how long savings may last.
“It depends on the recovery from the pandemic. Some are saying it could take a year,” he said.
Central Insurance Agency in Aberdeen offers policies through Progressive, Foremost and The Hartford Group, and customer service representative Christy Melton said all of the companies have returned 20 percent reflective of April and May premiums, which reflects an average of $160 on a six-month term.
“We have also extended grace periods for late payments from customers,” she said.