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Big ‘I’ President & CEO Praises Insurance Carriers’ Coronavirus Response

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges presented to insureds, Travelers, Liberty Mutual and Progressive have announced measures designed to help those hit hardest by economic uncertainty.
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In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges presented to insureds, several insurance carriers have announced measures designed to assist those hit hardest by the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Last week, Travelers announced that it will accelerate commission payments to its eligible agents and brokers. The accelerated payment will be made in mid-April, according to a press release sent by Travelers to its agents and brokers. In total, Travelers is accelerating more than $100 million. The program will provide a significant boost of cash flow to its distribution partners when they need it most.

This week, Safeco/Liberty Mutual Insurance announced that it will give personal auto insurance policyholders a 15% refund on two months of their annual premium through their Personal Auto Customer Relief Refund program.

The initiative will return $250 million to Liberty Mutual and Safeco auto insurance customers, according to a press release, and works in tandem with other support features, such as flexible payment options and coverage expansion for policyholders who use their person vehicles to deliver food and medicine.

Progressive also announced it is providing approximately $1 billion to customers. Subject to approval by state regulators, Progressive personal auto customers who have a policy in force as of April 30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May, and those who have a policy in force as of May 31 will be credited 20% of their May premiums in June, according to a press release. There will be no impact to agents' commissions as a result of this move. Progressive is working on other plans for independent agents that will be announced in the near future.

Through the company’s Apron Relief Program, Progressive is helping customers, its employees, independent agents and local communities. The plan includes a full-service claims experience for first responders and health care workers who experience a car accident; covering health insurance co-pays for Progressive employees’ telemedicine visits and covering costs of coronavirus medical treatments; donating to charities focused on hunger, health and homelessness; and partnering with agent associations to provide direct relief to help agents address coronavirus challenges.  

“There are a number of carrier partners that are leading the way for independent agents and their clients, such as Travelers, Progressive and Liberty Mutual and Safeco,” says Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. 

“These are unprecedented times for business, including independent agencies, which are facing economic challenges unforeseen just a couple of months ago. The Big ‘I’ is grateful to see the number of insurance companies that have stepped up with innovative and quick ways to make a difference for independent agents and brokers and their policyholders,” Rusbuldt adds. “These moves will prove absolutely essential as we continue to move forward in uncharted waters.”

As Big “I” members and their clients look for guidance in the days, weeks and months ahead, the Big “I” is making the most up-to-date information available and continuing to lobby on behalf of independent agents and their clients. To help Big “I” members prepare and respond to the coronavirus epidemic, the association created a resource page, which will be updated as the outbreak develops.

AnneMarie McPherson is IA news editor.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Personal Lines