Insurance companies in New Zealand are reportedly saving big bucks as the coronavirus crisis keeps the country’s drivers off the roads.
The Kiwi insurance industry has saved about $100 million given that motor vehicle claims have plummeted as much as 90 percent, the head of the New Zealand Insurance Council told local news outlet RNZ. The drop came amid a nationwide lockdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, during which New Zealand has recorded roughly 1,400 cases and just 11 deaths so far, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
For comparison, insurers paid out roughly $100 million (about $60 million in US dollars) in car claims after a single hailstorm last November, Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton told RNZ in a Friday report.
“It only hit Timaru, but the thick end of $100 million on motor vehicle claims resulted from that one event,” said Grafton, whose organization reportedly represents more than two dozen companies controlling 95 percent of the market.
Restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus have led drivers to use their cars less, likely leading to fewer accidents and fewer claims to insurers. Those trends have led American companies to give their clients a financial break amid the pandemic that has also gutted the global economy.
US auto insurers are expected to return $10.5 billion to their customers in the form of refunds on premiums, discounts, dividends and credits, according to an estimate from the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group with more than 60 company members.
Just 14 insurers who announced such deals last week are responsible for $8.1 billion of that value, the institute said. The group expects that another $2.4 billion in breaks are forthcoming given that hundreds of companies sell private-passenger car insurance in the US.
“These are challenging financial times for millions of Americans, and the country’s auto insurers are making it easier for their customers to get through this extraordinary time in US history,” institute CEO Sean Kevelighan said in a statement.
Source: Read Full Article