When the pandemic first hit, millions of Americans stopped commuting and ditched their business casual clothes for something more business comfortable.
Of all the changes brought on by COVID-19, many people have found working from home to be a surprisingly welcome disruption. Even when it’s safe to return to the workplace, plenty of employers are allowing their staff to keep working remotely at least part of the time.
“Our best estimate is that 25% to 30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021,” says Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, on her site.
If you’re still working remotely, that means your car is spending a lot more time sitting on the driveway than on the freeway. But unless you tell your auto insurer it’s going to stay that way, you could end up overpaying for coverage.
Insurance discounts drying up
With traffic way down during the pandemic, crashes and insurance claims have plummeted, too. A number of auto insurers have passed on their oversized profits to policyholders in the form of discounted premiums or refunds.
But as more people start commuting again, don’t expect those across-the-board benefits to automatically continue.
Any employees still working from home, clocking 30-second commutes on the heel-toe express rather than 30 minutes on the highway, will need to take action to keep getting reduced rates.
Savings could be a quick call away
Most insurance companies base their rates on an expected mileage of up to 12,000 miles per year, according to AutoInsurance.org. If you’re driving far less than that, there’s a good chance you’re overpaying for your insurance.
The site reports that drivers with long commutes end up paying about $7.09 more per month on average. Over a year, that adds up to about $85 — which may not seem like a lot of money, but it could become much more if invested wisely.
Of course, if you’ve really cut back on your miles, you could see even larger savings. Drivers clocking fewer than 7,500 miles a year could see savings of up to 20% on their premiums, says the personal finance site ValuePenguin.
That’s a lot of money you could save with just one phone call to your insurer.
How to save even if your commute isn’t changing
Unfortunately, you’re not guaranteed to get a deep discount or any discount at all. Every insurer calculates their premiums in a different way, and some don’t put as much emphasis on the amount you drive every day.
If your insurer won’t budge, it could be time to shop around and see whether another provider is willing to reward you for low mileage.
In fact, even if you’re going to go back to the office five days a week, you may be able to use that strategy to find savings of nearly $100 a month.
Since premiums can vary so widely from company to company, the Insurance Information Institute recommends you compare at least three quotes before settling on an offer. It may sound like a lot of work, but you can handle the task in minutes using a quote comparison site.
That way, the next time you do have to waste an hour in traffic, at least you’ll know you’re not wasting your money.
This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.