Desjardins General Insurance is offering refunds on car insurance premiums for personal and business clients who are staying at home because of COVID-19.

The refund will be offered to clients whose commuting habits have significantly changed and who are only using their vehicles for essential trips to such places as the pharmacy or grocery store. The refund is open to anyone who has lost their job, for example, or who is now working from home, or otherwise self-isolating. It will be calculated over a three-month period and will reflect the client's annual distance travelled, as declared on their insurance contract.

Measures come as a result of social distancing

"As a result of the physical distancing and other government measures implemented due to COVID-19, Canadians are using their cars less,” said Guy Cormier, president and CEO of Desjardins Group. “It only seems right that we, as a co-operative, give our clients a refund on their auto insurance premiums.”

In addition, using a personal or commercial vehicle for delivery purposes will be temporarily covered under auto insurance policies for Desjardins General Insurance clients. No additional insurance premium will be required, whether the driver is making deliveries as a volunteer or as an employee of a restaurant, pharmacy or grocery store. This relief measure automatically applies to all auto insurance policyholders. The coverage, however, does not apply to people who offer delivery services through third party apps and services like UberEats, Skip the Dishes or DoorDash.

Home coverage limit temporarily raised

Since the current situation is forcing many people to work from home, Desjardins has decided to temporarily raise the coverage limit under home insurance contracts for goods used to work from home such as ergonomic chairs and computer equipment to $10,000. This additional coverage automatically applies to all home insurance policyholders.  

These relief measures are on top of those previously announced. These measures include adding liability coverage for a borrowed or rented vehicle at no extra charge for auto insurance policyholders returning early from the U.S. in a rental car. Clients who are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19 may continue to have their insurance premiums deferred. Specific measures are also available for business clients whose operations have been forced to stop temporarily or who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 situation. Each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.