The American Property Casualty Insurance Association is responding strongly to new lawsuits that the group says is an attempt to capitalize on the ongoing pandemic by targeting the auto insurance market.
This week, class lawsuits were filed in Nevada against 10 major auto insurance companies, alleging that the companies were charging excessive insurance premiums during the pandemic by ignoring a drop in driving and accidents.
The lawsuits, which acknowledge that some insurers gave discounts on military roads and the number of claims fell, say the discounts do not provide "meaningful relief that actually reduces the number of cars on the road and reduced driving during the year. pandemic, "said court documents. The rates that were charged violate state law against premiums that are too high, the lawsuits state.
The APCIA, the leading national trade association for home, auto and business insurers, disagrees.
“The plaintiffs' bar leaves no stone unturned during the pandemic. the long-term economic recovery. The insurance industry is working to rebuild communities and yet this kind of abuse of lawsuits has the opposite effect. "
Zielezienski claims the cases come from enterprising lawyers who are misinterpreting facts about highway data and auto insurance to gain new business during the pandemic, which he said will ultimately affect the market and consumers.
By 2020, auto insurers voluntarily provided more than $ 14 billion in refunds and credits to policyholders for less driving during the pandemic, and the industry spent more than $ 220 million in philanthropic contributions to support local communities during COVID-19, according to the APCIA .
"Insurers understood the urgency to help businesses and individuals recover from the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. “Insurers are committed to serving policyholders in these difficult times and will continue to adapt claims handling procedures to meet the new virtual needs needed to pay claims quickly and efficiently. Policyholders are encouraged to report any reduction in their driving habits to their insurer to discuss premium adjustments if those changes are not automatic. "
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the number of road deaths increased significantly in the first nine months of 2020, despite the total number of miles traveled decreasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group said.
Now several sources have indicated that mileage has increased in recent months and is approaching pre-pandemic levels. According to the Federal Highway Administration, an 8.6 percent reduction in miles was driven in September 2020, the smallest monthly drop since the pandemic's peak.
"The increase in road fatalities in 2020 suggests that despite improved car technologies and car safety laws, driving behavior is deteriorating at a rapid pace," he said. “Reckless driving trends could prove to be even more deadly as traffic volume returns to pre-pandemic levels. These dangerous trends, combined with increasing litigation, medical and auto repair costs, are impacting the market. "
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