COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
With many people sheltering in place, people are driving less and having fewer accidents. Because of these changes, CONNECT is offering a second round of our premium relief program to auto insurance customers as an extension of our Handle With Care philosophy.
Here’s where to find answers to your questions about either round of premium relief or about how we’re handling ongoing concerns related to COVID-19.
Premium Relief Round 2 FAQs
Are you providing any more premium relief going forward?
Yes, we are. It’s the right thing to do for our customers during these difficult times.
We’re seeing fewer claims as people drive less, and that’s a trend we expect to continue. So we’re providing a second round of premium relief payments to our auto insurance customers, pending state approval. Customers will be eligible for approximately 10% of premium until December 1. This is separate from the first round of premium relief for which you may already have received a check.
We’d like to add that we have been overwhelmed by the positive response we received from our customers after our first round of payments. Some people used it for groceries or to pay bills. Some decided to pay it forward to those more affected by the pandemic. We’re honored to play a small part in your generosity.
Why are you only giving 10% this time?
We’ve had more time to study the effects the change in driving habits have had on claims. While overall claims are reduced, the percentage of severe accidents has increased, leading to larger individual claim amounts. In addition, states are easing restrictions, and while we project that people will still drive less, more people are getting back on the road.
When will I get my relief payment?
During this second round of the program, you will receive a 10% return of your auto insurance premium by check, once in September and again in December. To be eligible for the first payment, you must have an active auto policy on August 31. To be eligible for the second payment, you must have an active auto policy on November 30. Just like last time, you won’t need to take any action to receive your check.
Why aren’t you doing this through the end of the year?
We started on this journey in March. This new round of premium relief will provide nine months of premium relief in total. Of course, we will continue to evaluate the circumstances as December nears.
Will my rates go up because of these relief payments?
The payments are related to a reduction in claim costs because we’re all driving less. They will not factor into rates in any way.
What if I cancel my policy?
Your policy must be active at the time the relief payment is released in order to be eligible.
Will new customers receive a check?
Yes, because everyone is affected by the pandemic, new customers are eligible. Their premium relief amount may be prorated based on their effective date.
I only have comprehensive coverage. Will I still receive a check?
Yes. We will still be providing relief for you.
Why aren’t you just giving a premium credit to my policy instead?
Customers have the option to pay their premiums in multiple ways. Sending checks was the only method that was consistent for all customers. And, based on the customer feedback we received from the first round of premium relief, we know many customers appreciated receiving the payment by check.
If you have difficulty cashing your check, we’d be happy to make an alternate arrangement.
COVID-19 General FAQs
My income has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Can you work with me on my billing?
We understand that this national emergency will have financial impacts to many customers, and we have processes in place to help. Please call us at 888.239.9953 to discuss your options. We will do our best to accommodate you.
What payment assistance are you offering?
We’re here to help. We can offer a variety of ways to help you manage your expenses. We can help you change from paying in full to paying in installments. If you’re unable to make a payment, please call us at 888.239.9953 to discuss your options.
Can I defer a payment or submit a partial payment if I can’t pay in full right now?
We will work with you to find the best options for your specific situation. If you can’t make a payment, please call us at 888.239.9953 to discuss your options.
How can I make changes to automated payments?
You can log in online to change your payment method, or you can call us at 888.239.9953.
Will there be a late fee if I can’t make a payment this month?
No, we aren’t charging late fees. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss payment options.
My policy is up for renewal soon. Is there a grace period or can I get a payment extension?
We know it’s important that you have the coverage you need. If you think you might miss a payment, please call us at 888.239.9953 to discuss your options.
Will there be changes to my coverage due to the pandemic?
We are not planning to make changes to coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, except as required to comply with state and federal directives.
I’ve been sheltering in place. Can I adjust my vehicle usage and/or annual mileage?
Thank you for doing your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Fewer cars on the road, mean fewer accidents. We’ve addressed this change by offering premium relief to our customers.
It’s important to note that our auto policies are not pay-per-use but rather use annual mileage as their measure. A temporary change in mileage and usage may not have a meaningful effect on your premium. At the same time, we understand that some people may have made long-lasting changes to their driving habits. If you fall into that group, please call us to discuss those changes.
Can I get premium relief on my home policy?
We are not taking action for premium relief on home policies. Because more people are staying at home, we don’t expect the same reduction in home claims as we do on auto policies. At the same time, we know that many people are financially affected during these unprecedented times and will do our best to accommodate you if you need help.
What is CONNECT doing to support its employees during the pandemic?
Our employees are our greatest resource and as we move through these turbulent times, know that we are doing all we can to keep our employees safe. In March, we closed our offices, and 99% of our staff transitioned to working from home. We are taking every precaution to protect those essential workers who must be in the office to support critical functions, such as printing, technology support and security. Our employee benefits, including medical plans and an employee assistance program, help us make sure our employees are getting the help they need.
Although many of us are facing challenges unlike any we’ve faced before, we are so proud of how our team has adjusted and come together to continue serving you. We truly appreciate their dedication and hard work during this turbulent time.
What is CONNECT doing to support the community during the pandemic?
One of our foundational principles is giving back, and we’re doing our part in multiple ways. Early in the pandemic, CONNECT donated to the United Way Emergency Response Fund in the county of our headquarters. We also match the amount employees choose to give to the charitable organizations they care about.
In addition, we’re proud to be able to keep our employees working during these difficult economic times while also supporting sheltering in place.
Premium Relief Round 1 FAQs
Are you offering premium relief due to the pandemic?
We have filed our plan with the Department of Insurance to provide premium relief to our auto insurance customers. In keeping with our Handle With Care philosophy, existing customers will receive a one-time premium relief check based on estimated cost savings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment will be approximately 15% of three months of your auto insurance premium.
Relief payments will be based on policies in-force as of March 31, 2020, (or May 15 in New York) and will be mailed out on a state-by-state basis.
How was the premium relief amount determined?
With many people staying at home, people are driving less and that means fewer accidents and fewer automobile claims. Based on industry data, we expect auto claims during this period to be reduced by about 35%.
Applying that number to our current premiums based on our customer base, over a three-month period that translates to about 14% of premium, so that’s why we’re providing 15% of premium for the three months. Although carriers are rolling out different premium relief initiatives based on their own customers and experience, our numbers are comparable with most of the industry.
What do I need to do to get my check?
Nothing! You won’t need to take any action to receive this relief check. We will send a premium relief letter once your state approves our plan and follow it up by mailing a check separately.
When will I receive my check?
Checks will be sent on a state-by-state basis beginning the week of April 20. We appreciate your patience as we work to get checks issued and sent out. Please note that mail delivery could take longer than normal due to the pandemic.
I have a policy that’s just comprehensive coverage. Will I still get a check?
Yes. We know that many people have been affected by the pandemic, so we feel it’s important to provide this premium relief to all our auto insurance customers.
I’m a new customer and didn’t purchase my policy until after March 31. Can I still get the premium relief?
Because we know the pandemic is affecting everyone, we wanted to provide our new customers with the same premium relief as our existing customers, something that most other companies aren’t doing. With that you may be eligible for the relief check if you purchased your policy between April 1, 2020, (or May 16 in New York) and June 30, 2020. You would get a premium relief check equal to approximately 15% of three months of auto premium. Your policy must be in force as of June 30, 2020 to qualify for the premium relief.
We anticipate that premium relief checks for new customers will be sent to eligible new business auto insurance customers in early July.