Australian personal lines insurance giants IAG and Suncorp are not offering wide-ranging motor premium discounts, despite action by challenger brand Youi and large-scale refunds by US motor insurers.
Youi announced it is offering its customers a 15 percent refund on insurance premiums for three months to reflect changes in driving habits during the COVID-19 crisis. With lockdown measures to control the coronavirus outbreak still in place, customers are driving less, and this is expected to result in reduced claims. Youi’s premium relief applies to existing and new customers who are currently using their car less due to the pandemic. “Right now, most of you are hardly using your cars,” Youi said. “If this applies to you, we feel it’s only right to give you 15 percent temporary relief on your car insurance premium.”
A spokesman for Suncorp’s AAMI brand said it is not currently offering any refund on premiums paid but has introduced other measures. “We are working to help our customers experiencing financial hardship by offering a number of financial relief and support options, including flexible payment options and waiving cancellation fees,” he said.
At IAG, a dedicated team is working on customer support measures during the COVID-19 crisis as a company priority, but premium refunds to motor insurance customers have not been announced. “It’s our intention that any additional benefits arising from the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions will ultimately flow through to our customers,” a spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au. IAG’s immediate focus is vulnerable customers facing financial hardship, the insurer said.
IAG was the first Australian insurer to announce measures to assist coronavirus-impacted customers, including deferring premium payments for up to six months for small business customers and refunds of all unused travel insurance premiums with no administration or cancellation fees. “We can also provide customers with the option to change upcoming premium payments from annual to pay-by-the-month and we are waiving any cancellation and admin fees for customers who cancel their policies,” the IAG spokesman said.
South African-owned Youi, which lifted gross written premium by 6 percent to $372 million in the first half, says it’s is looking into further initiatives to provide relief to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. “Given the decline in driving at the moment premiums can be lower,” Youi CEO Hugo Schreuder said. “As an insurer we’re there to support our customers in times of difficulty and right now we want our customers to know we care about them and are committed to doing the right thing.”
US motor insurers have pledged more than $US10 billion ($15.58 billion) to customers in the form of refunds or premium discounts, the Insurance Information Institute said. Refunds, discounts and credits have been made possible by fewer claims and reduced customer mileage as a result of the crisis. “The country’s auto insurers are making it easier for their customers to get through this extraordinary time in US history,” said institute CEO Sean Kevelighan.
This article courtesy of insuranceNews. Check out their website at https://www.insurancenews.com.au/.