QBE offering $50 to car insurance customers during COVID-19: Will others follow?

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on April 22, 2020
QBE offering $50 to car insurance customers during COVID-19: Will others follow?

Photo by Ben Shanks on Unsplash

One of Australia's largest insurers is offering financial support to car insurance customers in the form of gift cards.

QBE Insurance (QBE) has today announced it will be offering gift cards to Australian motor insurance customers "to help ease the pressure on household budgets brought on by COVID-19."

According to QBE, eligible existing comprehensive car insurance customers will receive a one-off COVID-19 benefit in the form of a $50 gift card. 

New customers who sign up before June 30, 2020 will get one too. 

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Meanwhile, new and existing motorcycle, caravan and other private motor insurance customers will receive a $25 gift card.

That $25 also applies to customers with third party (excluding CTP) and third party fire & theft policies. 

This benefit represents about 25% of the average insurance policy cost over April to June, according to QBE Australia Pacific CEO Vivek Bhatia.

“We know that for many of our customers, the health and economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19 is placing huge pressure on their household budgets," Mr Bhatia said.

"This one-off benefit will be a welcome boost to Aussie families at this difficult time."

Mr Bhatia said QBE is rolling out this support in response to fewer vehicles being on the road, resulting in fewer car insurance claims. 

QBE Group CEO Pat Regan meanwhile said it is vital insurers step up to assist customers. 

"While the path through this pandemic remains uncertain, we will continue to be there to support our customers and their communities, true to our purpose to give people the confidence to achieve their ambitions," he said. 

This relief package excludes commercial and fleet policies.

Will other car insurers follow suit? 

As it stands, QBE's offer is a unique one in terms of support offered during COVID-19. 

A quick scan of the market found most insurers' COVID-19 support pages are quite vague, saying things like "We know that thousands of Aussies will be financially stretched for the next few months. If you’re among them, we may be able to help", before telling customers to contact them (AAMI). 

Others are slightly more direct, such as Budget Direct, which has an FAQ section that tells customers, among other things, that if they use a car for business and are now working from home, they can update their policy to potentially get a lower premium. 

One insurer to offer discounted premiums to car insurance customers is Youi, discounting 15% off premiums for the next three months.

This will be available to new and existing policy-holders who are driving their cars less due to restrictions imposed for non-essential travel during the pandemic. All they have to do is login to their online account and click the required box (existing), or click the box at the quote stage if they're a new customer. 

“Given the decline in driving at the moment, premiums can be lower,” Youi CEO Hugo Schreuder said.

If you are struggling to pay your insurance bills or are facing financial hardship because of coronavirus, contact your insurer to see what they can offer you. 


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William Jolly joined Savings.com.au as a Financial Journalist in 2018, after spending two years at financial research firm Canstar. In William's articles, you're likely to find complex financial topics and products broken down into everyday language. He is deeply passionate about improving the financial literacy of Australians and providing them with resources on how to save money in their everyday lives.

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