Doing the right thing: Shelter Insurance provides premium relief to auto customers and financial assistance to communities affected by coronavirus

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

ICMIF member Shelter Insurance (USA) has announced that it will return 30% of monthly premium to personal auto customers that have been affected since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The company also announced that it would be donating a total USD 1.5 million to help local communities in the 15 states that Shelter serves.

Many of Shelter’s customers in the US are under unprecedented stay-at-home orders and social-distancing mandates due to the coronavirus, and so are driving fewer miles and experiencing fewer accidents. In the interest of providing help to their customers now, when they need it most, Shelter will pay policyholders approximately 30% of their monthly premium for their personal autos for the months of April and May. This is based on their best estimate of the impact of this pandemic on customers and on Shelter’s business.

Shelter will seek to obtain approval from the Departments of Insurance in each state they serve to get this money into their customers’ hands as quickly as possible. If a customer paid their premium automatically through a bank account, they will deposit directly into the account when possible.

In a statement the US mutual insurance company said: “The Shelter Insurance® group of companies was among the first to take the stance of continuing coverage when a customer could not pay their premium, and now Shelter, including its subsidiaries AmShield Insurance®, Haulers Insurance®, and Say Insurance®, will join others in our industry in finding ways to provide relief to our customers who insure their personal autos with us.”

“Shelter is known for doing the right thing. We will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation and do what we can to help our customers, agents, and employees.”

Two other ICMIF members recently announced similar initiatives to return auto premiums back to policyholders following a reduction in motor accident claims. In France, Maif announced that following a significant decrease in the number of motor vehicle accident reports during their eight-week containment period, the French mutual insurer would pass on the savings it had achieved to its motor insurance policyholders, estimated at approximately EUR 100 million. In Canada, Desjardins General Insurance Group is offering discounts on auto insurance premiums for personal and business clients, calculated over a 3-month period and will reflect their client's annual distance travelled, as declared on their insurance contract.

The Shelter Insurance Foundation, representing Shelter Insurance employees, agents and retirees, also announced that it had allocated USD 1.5 million to help with crisis relief in the communities Shelter serves.

To support mid-Missouri, the location of Shelter’s corporate headquarters, the Board approved a donation of USD 50,000 to CoMoHelps - a joint effort of the Heart of Missouri United Way, City of Columbia, Boone County and Community Foundation of Central Missouri to provide a partnership to quickly determine and meet the region’s COVID-19 needs.

The Foundation also approved offering a USD 1,000 donation per agent and USD 5,000 per regional office to area charities working to respond to local COVID-19 needs. This offer is extended to each of Shelter’s 1,400 agents in their 15-state operating territory and to their 20 regional offices. Agents may choose which local charity to support and submit their requests to the Foundation.

“Our thoughts are with everyone suffering during this crisis,” said Teresa Magruder, Executive Vice President of the Shelter Insurance Companies and Secretary of the Shelter Insurance Foundation. “We know that local charities providing COVID-19 relief are being asked to do more every day, and we hope these donations through our local agents will make a difference.”

Shelter agents and employees have a long history of supporting the communities where they live and work, and these donations are designed to assist them in their on-going efforts.

More information is available at shelterre.com/lp/covid-19response