Fewer people are on the road as cars sit in driveways or garages with the owners holed up at home, social distancing.

As activity plummets, fewer miles are being driven, reducing the risk for insurance companies. In turn, over 20 auto insurance companies operating in North Dakota are offering relief or flexibility as the economy is on pause due to COVID-19.

“We’ve instructed every insurance company operating in our state to offer flexibility. That’s generally handled on a case by case basis, because what may work for you may not work for somebody else,” North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread said. “That could be if you missed a payment, we’ll extend your grace period. There’s a lot of different options out there, but insurance companies can only enact those kinds of flexibilities if they're aware of it.”

Godfread encourages any North Dakotans unable to make a payment or facing financial duress to reach out to their insurance company as soon as possible.

“The first step is to call your insurance company and say, ‘Hey, listen, because of the COVID-19 crisis I’ve been laid off,’ or, ‘I’ve got some issues here. I'm not gonna be able to make this payment, what can we do? How do we keep this coverage in place?’” Godfread said. “They’ve been instructed from our office to offer as much flexibility as possible.”

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North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread was first elected to the position in 2016.
North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread was first elected to the position in 2016.

Many insurers have also extended coverage for customers who are using their personal vehicles to deliver food and other essential commercial goods during the pandemic.

While vehicles may not be racking up miles, continuous coverage is important, Godfread said.

“If you just decide that you're going to go without auto insurance for two months, that's a very risky behavior that should impact your rates as far as how we determine what your risk profile looks like. But this situation is completely different,” Godfread said. “As we go back into turning the economy back on, how do we make sure that we're not punishing people for essentially following directions and isolating and doing what they should be doing for public health?”

It’s mostly the national folks offering relief right now, but Godfread is working with some of the smaller, local companies to hopefully implement something similar.

Here’s a list of insurers in the state offering relief and what the options look like:

  • Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Offering a one-time payment of $50 applied uniformly for each personal auto policy active as of March 31, 2020.

  • Allstate Insurance Company

Shelter-in-Place Payback” of about 15% for April and May.

  • Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Allowing coverage for commercial delivery of goods.

  • American Family Mutual Insurance Company

Qualifying customers will be entitled to a one-time $50 payment per insured vehicle from the “Return of Premium Relief Fund.”

Waiving any exclusion pursuant to Commissioner’s Bulletin 2020-4, which encourages all personal auto insurers to temporarily extend coverage when insured is delivering essential goods

  • American National Property and Casualty Company, American National General Insurance Company

Providing a 15% credit back on monthly personal auto policy premiums for April and May.

Pausing cancellation of coverage due to non-payment for all policyholders through June 1.

Revising previous rate filing to achieve 0% impact — 1.9% American National General, 1.7% for American National Property and Casualty

  • Amica Mutual Insurance Company

“COVID-19 Auto Premium relief program” — all automobile-insured customers as of April 1 will automatically receive a 20% credit on auto premiums for April and May.

Extending coverage on personal line automobile policies when the vehicle is used for commercial purposes such as food delivery.

Stopped cancellations and non-renewals of policies through June 2.

  • Auto-Owners Insurance Company

Providing coverage under personal auto policies for those who are temporarily involved in delivery services.

Providing up to a 15% premium refund automatically to personal automobile policyholders for the months of April and May. Customers must have bodily injury coverage in force on March 31, 2020 to be eligible.

  • Auto Club Group Insurance Company, MemberSelect Insurance Company

Extending coverage for delivery of consumer goods such as food or medicine, excluding transportation network companies (Lyft, Uber).

Every policyholder with auto insurance in effect as of April 30 will automatically receive a 20% policy refund applied to two months of premium, for April and May.

Pausing cancellations for auto policies due to non-payment through May 31.

  • The Cincinnati Insurance Company

Applying a 15% premium credit automatically to all personal lines auto policies during the months of April and May.

Pausing cancellations due to non-payment of premium and waiving late fees until at least April 30.

Temporarily waiving restrictions on customers performing delivery services.

  • Esurance Insurance Company

Extending coverage for commercial delivery of goods.

As part of the Allstate family of companies, Esurance will also offer the “Shelter-in-Place Payback” of about 15% for April and May to auto insurance customers.

Farmers Insurance Exchange

Coverage will be extended automatically for non-contracted delivery of essential goods through April 30, 2020.

Automatically pausing cancellation of auto, home, umbrella or specialty policies for non-payment through May 1 and waiving late fees.

  • Farmers Insurance Exchange — Business owners

Automatically applying a 20% monthly credit for the next two months to Business Owners Policy customers in the restaurant, service, office and retail industries.

  • Farmers Insurance Exchange — Personal Auto

Automatically reducing April auto premiums by 25% on all Farmers-branded policies.

  • Geico Indemnity Company

Allowing for commercial delivery of goods for automobiles and motorcycles.

Providing a 15% credit to private passenger auto policies, including motorcycle and RV policyholders with effective dates on or after April 8, as the policy comes up for renewal.

Paused cancellation of coverage due to non-payment and policy expiration through at least April 30.

  • Hartford Casualty Insurance

Refunding all eligible policyholders 15% of their April and May auto insurance premiums who had a policy in force as of April 1.

Waiving late-payment fees and cancellations for non-payment until May 31 on auto and home policies.

  • Liberty Insurance Corporation, Liberty Mutual General Insurance Company

Expanded food and medicine delivery coverage on all personal auto policies.

Stopped charging late fees and have temporarily paused personal auto and home coverage cancellations due to non-payment from March 23 through June 1.

Personal auto insurance customers that were in effect on or before April 7 will receive a 15% refund on two months of their auto premium through the “Personal Auto Customer Relief Refund.”

  • Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Will not cancel policies due to non-payment through July 1.

Active MetLife Auto customers who are paid to date will receive a 15% credit for April and May based on their monthly premiums.

Extending coverage under all personal auto insurance programs at no charge for people using their personal vehicles for delivering medicine or food through May 1.

  • North Star Mutual Insurance Company

One-year “Stay at Home Discount” on all personal and commercial auto policies — current customers will automatically receive a 10% premium discount on policies renewing June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021.

Temporarily extending personal auto coverage for the delivery of food, medicine or other essential goods.

  • Permanent General Assurance Corporation

Late fees may be waived through May 15.

Payment leniency options — Customers are only asked to pay 50% of their bill in order to stay covered, and can request to defer payment for 30 days through May 15.

Lowering minimum payment amounts and reinstatement requirements.

Temporarily providing coverage for policyholders on all personal automobiles that are covered by The General while they’re delivering essential goods until May 15.

  • Progressive Direct Insurance

Customers with an active personal auto policy at the end of April or May will automatically be receiving a 20% premium credit via the “Apron Relief Program.”

Waiving late fees, pausing collections and holding off on canceling or non-renewing any active policies due to non-payment through May 15.

Expanding coverage for personal auto customers temporarily delivering food or medicine.

  • RAM Mutual Insurance Company

All active customers will receive a premium credit equal to 15% of premium starting May 1 through Oct. 31 from the “COVID-19 Relief Discount.”

Waiving all late fees.

On request, will work with policyholders to defer payments and cancellations.

Temporarily extending coverage on personal auto policy to include coverage when insured is delivering essential goods.

  • Safeco Insurance Company of America

Personal auto insurance customers will receive a 15% refund on two months of the auto premium based on premium amount as of April 7.

Automatically stopped charging late fees and have temporarily paused personal auto and home coverage cancellations due to non-payment until June 1. Also extending payment dates.

Expanded all personal auto policies to cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver goods for a commercial purpose, except those delivering for a transportation network company or online-only delivery platform.

  • State Farm

Providing about a 25% policy credit as part of the “Good Neighbor Relief Program” for the time period of March 20 through May 31.

  • State National Insurance Company

Reducing 25% of April premium for all insureds who purchased commercial auto, general liability and professional liability policies prior to March 1, 2020.