Mutuals Step Up During COVID-19

At the heart of the mutual industry is its strong commitment to community and to helping others, and that’s exactly what NAMIC members are doing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Across the country, mutual insurers are stepping up and taking action to help their policyholders as well as their communities. By clicking on the boxes below, you will learn about the many ways mutual insurers are doing their part during the pandemic.

ACUITY

In response to decreased driving, Acuity Insurance is discounting its personal auto rates for policyholders who will receive a discount on average of $50-$100 for two cars. The reduced-driving discount will be automatically applied to policies for both existing and new customers, pending regulatory approval. For customers whose policies began on or after March 11, 2020, an adjustment will be made to the next bill. Customers who have already paid in full will receive a refund. For customers whose policies began prior to March 11, 2020, a credit will be applied at renewal. The company is also making a special $300,000 financial contribution to be equally distributed among three charitable organizations – the Sheboygan County Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and Feeding America – to support those groups’ COVID-19 relief efforts.

ALFA

Alfa® is offering to temporarily suspend policy cancellations due to non-payment of premium and waive late fees for policyholders facing financial strain due to COVID-19. The extended grace period is available for Alfa automobile, property, and life insurance policies. The company is reviewing hardship requests based on individual circumstances. Customers facing financial difficulty are asked to contact their agents or local service centers.

AMERICAN FAMILY

The company announced it will double down on returning premium to its auto insurance customers due to reduced driving and claims from the pandemic, increasing the total to $425 million from the previous amount of $200 million. This time, American Family plans to return premium through a 10% credit on personal auto policies in force from July 1 through December 31, 2020 and expand discounts. The first round of premium relief came in the form of a one-time full payment of $50 per vehicle covered by an American Family personal auto policy. The typical American Family household with auto coverage has two vehicles, meaning the average relief check was $100. American Family completed distribution of all 2.3 million checks within 60 days.

AMICA

The company has announced that every AMICA customer who had an automobile insured with the company on April 1, 2020, will receive a 20 percent credit on their auto premiums for April and May, pending regulatory approval. AMICA is also deferring any nonrenewal underwriting actions during this period. Policyholders will, however, continue to receive bills and notices and will still be responsible for paying the premium owed on their policies after the grace period ends.

AUTO OWNERS

The company has announced a Special COVID-19 Personal Auto Premium Refund Program due to a reduction in travel across the nation caused by the pandemic. The company will be providing a 15 percent premium refund to personal automobile policyholders for the months of April and May. This refund will be processed upon regulatory approval in your state.

CO-OPERATIVE INSURANCE

Co-Operative Insurance Companies’ has elected to temporarily reclassify as Offices the approximately one-third of its commercial business owner policy book’s small retail establishments or hospitality classifications in Vermont and New Hampshire (i.e., restaurants, B&Bs, inns etc.). Using a restaurant as an example, for at least the next 90 days, the company will be converting them from its highest-rated property class to its lowest-rated property class. This means that for restaurants that decide to keep operations going with takeout or delivery, the company is reclassifying those establishments as deli/pizza shops to account for the lack of dine-in service, generating a fairly substantial premium reduction at 30 percent from a full-blown restaurant. In most cases this will develop a refund to the insured. In addition, the company is refunding 20% of 3 months Personal Auto Premiums and waived personal auto deductibles for all essential workers involved in an auto accident until “stay at home” rules are lifted in its states of operation.

CHUBB

Chubb is providing its personal auto insurance clients in the U.S. with a credit on annual renewal premiums as a result of reduced driving activity. Upon renewal, clients will receive a credit reflecting a 35 percent premium reduction for the months of April and May, with additional discounts for subsequent months, as the situation warrants. Across Chubb’s portfolio, the average credit is expected to be $110 per vehicle. Clients will not have to request the credit; it will be applied automatically at renewal. All premium and rate adjustments are subject to regulatory approval. The company also is committing $10 million to pandemic relief efforts globally.

COLUMBIA INSURANCE GROUP

Columbia Insurance Group has joined with Missouri Employers Mutual and Shelter Insurance® in a partnership with Culver’s of Columbia to offer 12,000 meal vouchers for health care workers and first responders in Boone County. The companies plan to distribute 12,000 vouchers to workers at MU Health Care, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital, Boone Hospital and to area first responders such as the Boone County Fire Protection District and the Columbia Fire Department. In addition, Columbia Insurance Group is making a $1,000 donation on behalf of each of the 65 agencies who were planning to attend its now-cancelled 2020 Pinnacle Agency Conference to support a local charity of their choice responding to those impacted by COVID-19 in their communities. Columbia Insurance Group has extended premium payment grace periods beginning March 22nd through June 30th in all states for all policyholders. The company is also providing free hired/nonowned auto coverage for businesses that quickly set up new delivery services. Additionally, Columbia is also amending small business customers policies mid-term to reflect reduced sales and/or payroll expectations.

THE DOCTORS COMPANY

The Doctors Company is adjusting policy cancellation and premium installment due dates for practices that are disrupted by COVID-19 to ensure there is no break in coverage if members are unable to make payments due to the impact of the pandemic. In addition to following federal and state orders regarding premium payments, the company is also providing payment flexibility for members suspending, relocating, or reducing the scope of practices and providing medical professional liability coverage at no cost to its retired members who want to volunteer to provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMC INSURANCE COMPANIES

EMC is offering policyholder assistance through its independent insurance agents. Policyholders are encouraged to use EMC’s electronic bill pay options. EMC’s risk improvement and premium audit field personnel have suspended on-site inspections and premium audit visits. Loss control and premium audit work will occur through phone, email, and mail. The company’s claims representatives will handle individual claims on a case-by-case basis to determine if a physical visit to a claims site is necessary.

FARMERS

Farmers Insurance® announced on April 7 it will provide additional relief to more than 115,000 of its business insurance customers under its Farmers® Cares initiative. Business customers in the restaurant, office, retail, and service sectors across the country will receive a 20 percent monthly credit on their business owners policy for April and May premiums. Farmers Insurance® is also automatically extending coverage, for no additional charge, to customers with Farmers branded personal auto and motorcycle policies who are making food, grocery, pharmacy and medical supply deliveries using their personal vehicles through May 31. Additionally, Farmers has implemented flexible payment plans and a temporary pause on cancellations to help relieve some of the financial stress being felt by customers.

FRANKENMUTH

To help bring peace of mind to policyholders who are facing financial challenges, Frankenmuth has extended an automatic grace period through Sunday, May 31, 2020, to all policies for all its states of operation. For policyholders who are unable to pay their premium due to COVID-19, late fees are waived, and policies will not be canceled for nonpayment. On May 31, 2020, a “pending cancellation” notice will alert policyholders to the amount of premium due and will provide a new due date based on the rules in policyholders’ states, typically 15 days. The company has acknowledged that people are driving less, and the risk of accidents is less, too. It is evaluating this impact and, in the coming days, expects to announce a premium relief plan for personal auto insurance policyholders.

GERMANIA

The company announced the Reduced Driving Payback of nearly $6 million in credits for personal auto insurance policyholders. A payment of $25 will be provided for each personal auto policy in effect as of March 31, 2020, and an additional $25 payment provided for each personal auto policy that is effective as of April 30, 2020. Germania will automatically deposit the $25 credit to the account of each eligible policy, reducing the current balance due. For accounts paid in full, a refund check will be issued and mailed. This process will begin in April and will be repeated in May. In addition to the Reduced Driving Payback, Germania is waiving installment fees for all customers. Germania has also modified its claims process to accommodate the growing number of vehicles being utilized for delivery purposes. Both changes are applicable through the end of May 2020.

GRANGE MUTUAL HOLDING COMPANY

Grange is suspending cancellations of policies due to nonpayment of premium and will not issue late pay notices or charge late fees. This suspension continues through May 29, 2020.

Grinnell

Grinnell has issued a moratorium for all policyholders (direct lines of business) in all states of its writing territory until May 18, 2020, and will honor this regardless of states that do not issue their own moratoriums. The company has donated $25,000 to a COVID-19-specific small-business emergency fund established by the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce to help mitigate losses by small businesses in the Grinnell area. It also purchased more than 700 boxes of unsold Girl Scout cookies donating them to the area hospital, first-responder teams, and local senior care centers.

HARFORD MUTUAL

Effective April 1, 2020, Harford is suspending cancellation and non-renewal of coverage due to nonpayment through June 1, 2020. The company will not charge interest, late fees, or penalties during this period, providing policyholders extra time to pay their premiums without risking cancellation. For commercial auto policyholders, Harford Mutual is providing premium relief of 20% of their premiums for the months of April & May for those policies in-force as of May 31, 2020, amounting to approximately $1.3 million. When requested, Harford Mutual is lowering premiums mid-term, by adjusting payrolls and receipts on workers’ compensation and general liability policies to recognize the revenue decreases some of its commercial policyholders are experiencing. Harford Mutual has already disbursed over $250,000 in charitable giving in 2020 as part of its annual Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, and is doubling those efforts with an additional $250,000 in support directed to COVID-19 related relief agencies and organizations with an identified need. The company is donating $50,000 to the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation (Bel Air-based hospital) COVID-19 Fund; $100,000 to local first responders across the 9 states and District of Columbia where it writes business; and another $100,000 to local non-profits that are addressing the specific areas of food insecurity, mental health and domestic violence, and access to technology—areas of need exacerbated by the current situation.

TEXAS HOSPITAL INSURANCE EXCHANGE

The Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange has announced a surplus distribution of $1,000,000 to its active subscribers. This surplus distribution to owners is above the normal renewal refund plan. Hospital subscribers will receive a distribution based on the number of policies placed with THIE ($5,000 for Workers’ Compensation policies, $5,000 for Hospital Professional Liability policies, $2,000 for Commercial Auto policies, and $2,000 for stand-alone General Liability policies). Non-hospital subscribers will receive a distribution of $1,500. Distributions were to be made by the end of April.

HUMBOLDT MUTUAL INSURANCE

The Humboldt Mutual Insurance Association is making donations totaling $50,000 to the food pantries in the company’s 21-county writing territory in North Central Iowa. The donation amount for each county will be based on premium volume, risk in force, and number of policies by county. Every county will receive a donation to help families that are struggling to get access to basic essentials during the pandemic. This is the first step by Humboldt in giving back to the communities it serves.

INDIANA FARMERS

Indiana Farmers Insurance has voluntarily placed a 90-day moratorium on all policy cancellations. During this time the company is waiving any late fees or NSF fees. Indiana Farmers is also reducing auto premiums for new business and renewals effective June 1, saving members approximately $54 per policy. Personal auto and commercial lines underwriting guidelines have been changed to allow for food delivery. Additionally, a planned rate change for business owners has been delayed until Q4 2020 and a planned homeowners rate revision has been modified removing any rate increase components while maintaining all rate decrease components. Indiana Farmers also convened a virtual Agency Advisory Council meeting to ensure the company and its agency partners are working seamlessly to serve customers.

Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance

Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company announced on April 13 that it is returning a total of $21 million in dividends to its automobile policyholders. Customers are receiving auto premium rate reductions in 2020 valued at $32 million, providing members with a total of $53 million in auto insurance relief this year. To make a direct, cash-in-hand impact on its members, Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance will issue a $25 dividend check for each motor vehicle currently insured by the company.

LIBERTY MUTUAL

Liberty is giving personal auto insurance customers a 15 percent refund on two months of their annual premium. This returns approximately $250 million to Liberty Mutual and Safeco personal auto insurance customers and builds on other customer support, including flexible payment options and delivery coverage expansion for auto policies. The refunds will begin in April and will be issued either by check or in the manner the customer made his or her most recent payment. The payments will happen automatically. Liberty Mutual has also halted late fee charges and cancellations due to non-payment for personal auto and home customers from March 23 through at least May 22, 2020. The company has expanded all personal auto policies to cover customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food and medicine. Standard Safeco personal auto policies typically exclude such coverage. This additional protection is in effect for all personal auto policies in all states for losses occurring from March 16 to May 22 and reported by July 1, 2020.

MEMIC

Maine’s mutual insurance companies and their agents offered an army of arms to the American Red Cross chapter of Southern Maine on April 15 to help meet its need for blood. Spearheaded by a coalition of leading Maine businesses, the mutual insurance companies committed to donating at least 100 units of blood in a single day. MEMIC, Patrons Oxford, Patriot, and MMG recruited their employees and independent agents to meet the challenge and exceeded the mark gathering 111 units.

NATIONWIDE

Nationwide announced on April 9 it is offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020. The refund is equivalent to an average savings of 15 percent for two months and is on top of existing discounts customers already earn. It will be returned to customers in the last form of payment they have made, whether electronic or paper. The refund will arrive in the next 30 days, subject to individual state regulatory approval. In addition, to provide support for impacted communities, the Nationwide Foundation made $5 million in contributions to local and national charities to support pandemic response efforts.

NJM

NJM Insurance Group in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania announced that it will provide a 15 percent refund on the equivalent of three months of annual premium for personal auto policyholders. In total, NJM will return $41.7 million in relief. The Company is also providing payment flexibility, including waiving late fees, providing a 60-day grace period (longer in some states), and placing holds on cancellations and non-renewals for non-payment, per state guidelines. NJM is also committing over $400,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts to assist families, businesses, and communities impacted by the pandemic.

OHIO MUTUAL

Ohio Mutual has contributed $50,000 to the local Salvation Army corps to support their food program in the company’s home county. The amount is expected to cover a full month’s worth of food supplies at the current level of demand, which has increased 570 percent since the pandemic and quarantine efforts hit. Ohio Mutual presented the Children’s Hunger Alliance with $100,000 for its statewide children’s feeding program, which primarily replaces many of the suspended school-based meal programs upon which many disadvantaged families rely. This organization focuses its services in the four largest urban areas of the Ohio.

PEMCO

PEMCO is providing auto premium relief to all its auto customers. Policyholders will automatically receive a 15 percent credit on their monthly premiums for April, May, and June. Customers will begin to see this reflected in their May billing. No action is required – customers will automatically receive the credit to their accounts. Additionally, PEMCO won’t cancel customers for nonpayment through May 9 in Washington and through April 23 in Oregon, and the company has added temporary coverage for their auto customers who use their personal cars to deliver property for compensation. The PEMCO customer service team has been helping customers in financial crisis tailor flexible payment arrangements to fit their individual situations, depending on their payment methods and frequency.

PENN NATIONAL

Penn National is seeking regulatory approval for applying a credit of 15 percent to two months of premiums for its 165,000 personal automobile policyholders in force as of April 30 in recognition of the temporary reduction in vehicle miles driven caused by COVID-19-related stay-at-home directives. The credit will automatically be applied to policyholders’ next premium balance or refunded if the premium had already been paid in full. In addition, the company is providing an extended 30-day premium grace period to allow customers more time to pay before cancellation notices are sent, waiving late fees and reinstatement fees, and providing uninterrupted customer service throughout the temporary transition to working from home. To help the broader community, Penn National is donating more than 19,000 respirator masks to Geisinger Holy Spirit Healthcare to support and recognize the tireless work of all health care professionals. The company also donated $50,000 to the United Way of the Capital Region, Harrisburg, Pa., to the organization’s COVID-19 relief fund, and allocated funds to each of the company's field offices to provide local relief.

Secura

The company is working with its policyholders to provide grace periods, longer payment terms, or premium deferrals if needed and will not cancel or nonrenew policies for nonpayment through May 31, 2020. This is not a waiver; it is an extension of the grace period in which to pay the premium. We will waive late fees and non-sufficient funds fees during this time.

SENTRY

Policyholders who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to call their SENTRY account managers, billing specialists, or customer service representatives for help in discussing alternate billing arrangements.

SHELTER

Shelter Insurance® is issuing a payment to policyholders representing approximately 30 percent of their personal auto monthly premium for the months of April and May, based on best estimate of the impact of this pandemic on customers and on Shelter’s business. If a customer paid his or her premium automatically through a bank account, it will be deposited directly into the account when possible. Otherwise, a check will be mailed. The company is also providing help to its agents by not reducing their compensation with this payment to customers. The company is also:

  • Temporarily suspending company-initiated non-renewals and cancellations of property and casualty policies;
  • Waiving all reinstatement fees incurred during this period; and
  • Offering at least a 31-day grace period on all Shelter Insurance® life insurance policies. Shelter will work with individual customers on any specific issues.

Additionally, the company has committed to provide a total of $1.5 million to support all the communities served by the company.

State Farm

State Farm announced that it is slashing $2 billion of premiums owed on 40 million vehicles benefitting about 21 million households through its “Good Neighbor Relief Program,” which offers a 25 percent policy credit on premiums due from March 20 through May 31, or about $20 a month for each vehicle insured. The company is also donating millions to relief efforts, including Feeding America, American Red Cross, and the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, and hundreds of masks and other supplies to local hospitals as well as teaming up with the Atlanta Hawks to help provide meals to vulnerable populations and health care workers in Atlanta.

UNION MUTUAL

Union Mutual announced on April 10 that over the next two months, the company will be applying an automatic credit of 15 percent to all personal auto premiums. It will also continue its involvement in purchasing nearly 750 meals per week from local restaurants offering takeout services to donate to shelters and health care workers throughout central Vermont.

USAA

USAA announced on April 8 that it will be returning $520 million to its members. This payment is a result of data showing members are driving less due to stay-at-home and shelter-in-place guidance across the country. Every member with an auto insurance policy in effect as of March 31, 2020, will receive a 20 percent credit on two months of premiums in the coming weeks. The company also announced that it will not cancel policies or charge late fees on its policies through June 17, 2020. Special payment arrangements are available to assist members experiencing financial difficulties. The company has also committed $4.4 million to help military-focused and other nonprofits respond to this pandemic.

WAYNE INSURANCE GROUP

As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to assist its personal auto policyholders during the COVID-19 crisis, Wayne Insurance has announced that for any active personal auto as of May 31 the company will be issuing a 15 percent credit on two months of policy premium subject to regulatory approval. Additionally, the company will donate 20 percent of the total amount of this personal auto credit to area health care and service organizations as well to every foodbank in Ohio.

WESTERN NATIONAL

Western is remaining open and continuing to pay all employees so it can continue to serve its customers. The company is working with policyholders who may be experiencing financial difficulties to make new arrangements (e.g., postponing due dates and adjusting payment plans). Western will not cancel policies due to the policyholder being unable to pay or if the policyholder has an expired driver’s license that cannot currently be renewed until June 1, 2020. And when requested, Western is lowering premiums now rather than waiting to post-term audit, through adjusting payrolls and receipts on worker’s compensation and general liability policies to recognize the revenue decreases some of its policyholders are experiencing.

WESTFIELD

Westfield personal auto customers will receive a 15 percent credit of their eligible monthly auto premium for the months of April, May, and June 2020. Customers with an active personal auto policy as of April 30, 2020, will receive the full credit to their bill in the month of May 2020. The company has also suspended all cancellations and late fees from March 20 through May 31, 2020, and will provide coverage to customers with a personal auto policy who are engaged in delivery of essential goods, including food delivery. For commercial business customers Westfield is working to provide flexible billing solutions and has suspended the current term endorsement activity on sales/payroll changes as the result of prior term audits to help during this time. The Westfield Insurance Foundation is helping communities in Northeast Ohio and across the country by donating nearly $1.5 million to nonprofit partners focused on family stability and disaster recovery.

WEST BEND

West Bend is sending a one-time payment of $50 to home and highway policyholders who insured their vehicles with the company as of March 11, 2020, the date the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The company also has extended its suspension of cancellations of policies due to nonpayment through 11:59 p.m. CST May 31, 2020. This suspension is automatic and doesn’t require any action on the part of policyholders. During the suspension the company will not issue late pay notices or charge late fees.

Contacts

Neil Alldredge
Senior Vice President - Corporate Affairs

317.876.4303

  Neil

Catherine Imus
Vice President - Public Affairs

317.876.4249

  Catherine