Mileage-based insurance gets fresh look from drivers staying at home

The daily commute has been put on hold for many drivers. Yet the cost of insuring cars parked in driveways isn’t going away. That has led to growing interest among drivers to reduce those costs, including use-based programs that reward drivers for safe driving and reduced mileage.

“COVID is a harsh awakening that usage-based insurance is a smart choice,” Mike LaRocco, State Auto Financial chairman, president and CEO, told analysts on a conference call to discuss its third-quarter financial results last week.

LaRocco said more policyholders are expressing interest in the program. Surveys by J.D. Power back that up. Before the outbreak, about 10% of consumers expressed interest in such programs. Now it’s 27%, said Kyle Schmitt, J.D. Power’s vice president and managing director. Of that group, 55% believe they won’t be driving as much as they used to even when the outbreak eases, he said. In that group, 40% are interested in these programs.