UK motor insurers have been urged to follow their US counterparts and refund drivers who are stuck at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Data from car insurer By Miles shows that there has been a 69% decrease in daily average miles driven in the UK since the government advised people to only make essential journeys last month.
This is even more pronounced in London, where there has been a 72% fall in daily average miles driven, yet many motorists are still paying for insurance that they will not use during the lockdown.
James Blackham, CEO of By Miles, said that UK car insurers stand to make in excess of £1bn due to a reduction in claims, and urged them to follow the lead of several major US firms by offering refunds.
“We’re challenging traditional car insurers to recalculate their rates and make insurance fair under these extraordinary circumstances,” he continued.
“As people are driving far fewer miles while in lockdown, the number of insurance claims due to accidents also decreases, and those savings should be passed on to the public.”
Allstate – which is one of the largest car insurers in the US – has said that it will give back $600m (£490m) in total to customers, while American Family Insurance is refunding $200m.
Members of the Association of British Insurers have pledged support for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there has been no talk of significant refunds.
Blackham said that young people, who typically pay most for car insurance, are being hit particularly hard, and said that policyholders should be able to request a premium reduction or extra months added to their policy.
“If you’re not using your car as much as usual during this health crisis, then it’s only fair that you should pay less for your car insurance,” he continued.
“People in the UK are currently living through an unprecedented moment in history and are having to adapt to the government’s advice to stay at home. Everyone is forced to make changes in this situation – that should include car insurers.”