Consumer Confidential: Car insurers gave everyone a pandemic discount. Now some are raising rates

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

In most cases, those discounts are now in the rear-view mirror, meaning our rates are back to pre-pandemic levels.

And now comes the prospect of some insurance companies recouping their losses by raising rates for the second half of the year.

David Martin, 69, suspects this happened to him when he received a bill from Allstate the other day for his next six months in premiums.

The Los Angeles resident told me the company had charged him $171 a month prior to the pandemic to cover his 2017 Lincoln Continental.

Because of the coronavirus and the fact that he's virtually stopped driving, he received a discount of $77 for April, May and June combined.

Now Allstate is informing Martin that his monthly premium for July through December is jumping to almost $190.


"If you're going to give me $77 as a discount and then charge over a hundred bucks more in a rate increase, what's the point?" he asked.

Allstate announced in early April that it would give customers a 15% break on their vehicle coverage for April and May. It later extended the rate relief by another month.

"This is fair because less driving means fewer accidents," said Allstate's chief executive, Tom Wilson.

After I wrote a column asking why other insurers weren't doing the same, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered all coverage providers to offer discounts for March, April and May. He subsequently required a discount for June as well.


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