As the COVID-19 pandemic slams New Jersey, NJM Insurance Group and Selective Insurance Company of America are giving back to their auto insurance policyholders.
As part of the NJM Policyholder Relief Program, the regional carrier will refund 15 percent of the equivalent of three month’s annual premiums to members with personal auto insurance policies for a total of $41.7 million in returns.
Personal and business auto insurance policyholders of Selective will also see a 15 percent premium credit in April and May, the company announced on Monday, subject to regulatory approval.
“The NJM Policyholder Relief Program helps ensure that the premiums paid by our policyholders recognize the changes they have been required to make in their daily lives,” NJM President and Chief Executive Officer Mitch Livingston said in a prepared statement.
Those changes – shelter-in-place restrictions and social distancing guidelines, chief among them – amount to a whole lot less driving in the region.
West Trenton-based NJM said it is also offering extended premium payment deadlines and special payment options to policyholders. Refunds will be made by check or direct deposit over the next few weeks, with the amount based upon members’ annual premium as of April 1.
Branchville-based Selective is also offering payment flexibility on an individual customer basis, and a delay in policy cancellations, late payment notifications and late or reinstatement fees until May 31 – or that adhering to a time frame as determined by drivers’ home state insurance commissioner. Mid-term policy adjustments are also available to business customers experiencing a change in operation or risk exposure.
Selective’s efforts toward COVID-19 have also impacted its employees and communities.
According to the company, nearly all its office-based employees transitioned to home-based operations in the middle of last month. Selective is also waiving copays for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 for its insured employees and family members and fees for all telemedicine visits, the latter through June 4. If a covered member is diagnosed with the virus, the company said it is distributing care packages with over-the-counter medications and cleaning supplies to help protect other house members from potential exposure.
Outside of its enterprise, the Selective Insurance Group Foundation recently contributed $100,000 to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, is matching employee contributions to COVID-19 relief efforts dollar-for-dollar up to $500 across its footprint as part of its Employee Matching Gift Program, adjusted its Employee Volunteer Program to increase the number of paid volunteer days for medical-certified employees up to 10 days a month–and 20 days in all, and will host a blood drive for its employees and family members amid concerns that blood banks could be starved for donations amid the spread of the outbreak.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:57 p.m. EST on April 13, 2020 to include information regarding a similar initiative from Selective Insurance Company of America, and additional COVID-19-related efforts from that company.