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Massachusetts groups pushing for lower auto insurance premiums after soaring profits due to COVID-19



Katie Lannan

Consumer advocacy group MASSPIRG is calling for a state review of auto insurance premiums and losses, pointing to what it describes as soaring profits for insurers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group is asking Insurance Commissioner Gary Anderson to ensure that drivers receive “appropriate” refunds and premium reductions.

“When the pandemic hit, Americans began driving significantly less. Auto insurance companies benefited from reduced miles driven and fewer crashes,” MASSPIRG legislative director Deirdre Cummings said in a statement. “And because insurance companies make money when they don’t have to pay for accidents and other claims, the pandemic increased their profits by tens of billions of dollars.”

Many insurers provided some relief to consumers during stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns in the spring, and MASSPIRG said its recent review found that 18 of 71 leading insurance companies returned at least half of one-month’s premium, and eight returned at least one month’s premium.

Earlier this month, 12 members of the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus wrote to Anderson and asked him to order that auto insurers deliver another round of premium relief in light of reduced travel and accidents

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