Only one in five drivers got their premium back from their car insurer as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, according to new research.
This is despite the fact that half of drivers have drastically reduced their mileage due to lockdowns and an increase in the number of people working from home, according to data from Which ?.
It found that 49 percent of auto insurance customers saw their annual mileage drop significantly, but only a fraction told their insurer or saw a premium refund as a result.
The survey also found that only 21 percent of auto insurance customers repaid part of their premium.
Many drivers used their cars much less in 2020 and stayed at home because of the Covid-19 lockdown
Which? surveyed more than 2,300 people with auto, home, or private health insurance about the impact Covid-19 had on their coverage.
The data showed that drivers most likely felt their policies had lost value.
Some drivers felt they were overpaying for their coverage, given how little they drove on the shutdown. One customer said, “I covered 40 miles from March to July.”
The survey also found that 14 percent of auto and home insurance customers struggled with their premiums during the pandemic, as did 29 percent of private health insurers.
While most struggling consumers said they had received some form of financial support from their auto insurer, up to 25 percent received no support at all – in some cases, possibly because the message didn’t reach them that help was available.
Insurers have paid at least some of their customers, and some claim to pay back savings in other ways as well.
In the spring of 2020, more than 20 major US insurers announced plans to refund what customers had overpaid.
However, Admiral is the only UK insurer to proactively discount all of its customers – they send £ 25 each.
Which? expressed concern that the Financial Conduct Authority no longer requires insurers to proactively contact potentially vulnerable customers who miss a payment.
Refund: Admiral was the only UK car insurance company to refund £ 25 to each of its customers
It calls on insurers to do more to support customers struggling financially as a result of the pandemic by making every effort to engage and help those who need it most.
Harry Rose, editor of which one? Magazine: ‘While insurers could not have predicted the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus, customers will not appreciate it if they feel companies are taking advantage of them – or if they are left without support in a time of need.
“Our research shows that many insurance customers are struggling with their premiums as a result of the pandemic, but up to a quarter of these people have not received any support.
The FCA has rightly proposed guidelines for companies to support customers struggling with the coronavirus, but it is worrying that the regulator no longer requires insurers to proactively contact those who miss a payment.
“Customers who miss payments are likely to be vulnerable, and companies should do everything they can to connect and support those who need it most.”
The Association of British Insurers said the Motor Premium Tracker shows the average cost of comprehensive auto insurance at its four-year low of £ 460.
It added that data from ABI members shows that during the first national lockdown, the value of the average-paid claim increased by 27 percent, despite fewer claims.
The ABI said the average cost of comprehensive motor insurance in four years is low at £ 460
An ABI spokesperson said: “ In the first three quarters of 2020, the number of reported engine claims has decreased by 25 percent compared to the same period in 2019, but underlying cost pressures remain, such as rising vehicle repair costs.
‘It is true that many motorists used their cars less during lockdown. However, drivers are required by law to take out insurance for when they are driving and to protect themselves against the risks of theft and damage.
Insurers have, and continue to provide, additional support to drivers given the exceptional circumstances, including automatically covering those who use their vehicle for community volunteer work, commuting, and helping those concerned about being able to continue paying for their premiums in installments.
“Any premium adjustments or refunds are a matter for individual insurers.”
However, some insurers believe that the industry should take steps to ensure that those who drive less are getting a fair deal.
James Blackham, CEO of By Miles, an insurer where customers pay per mile, added: ‘At the start of the first national lockdown, we predicted that insurers would make more profit as British drivers obeyed the government’s request and their vehicles used less. – reduce the chance of an accident.
Since the new lockdown measures came into effect on January 5, we have already seen the daily mileage decrease, with driving on our policies halving year-on-year.
‘We think it is reasonable for insurers to consider reimbursing drivers who follow the current lockdown rules to help stop the spread of the corona virus.
“We urge all insurers to be proactive and treat customers fairly with refunds. We know people drive less means fewer accidents, and we know insurers get more profit from the savings.
‘Those savings must absolutely be passed on to the public to prevent drivers from overpaying for insurance and to support drivers in a financially difficult time.’
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