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Light traffic on the freeways in Los Angeles on Monday evening. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Auto insurers Allstate and American Family Insurance announced Monday they're giving back some $800 million in premiums to customers in recognition that many are not driving much during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The payments their customers will receive are not vast amounts, but the "nature of the action is exemplary — and rare — given the context of a pandemic," notes the New York Times, which surveyed nine other auto insurance firms to see if they would follow their rivals' lead.

The latest: Nationwide announced on Thursday it will offer a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

By the numbers: Allstate said most customers will receive 15% of their monthly premium in April and May as part of a "Shelter-in-Place Payback," totaling more than $600 million, as the firm noted that "less driving means fewer accidents."

  • American Family will pay $50 per vehicle covered by clients' personal auto policy, costing about $200 million in total.

Of note: A Progressive spokesperson told the NYT that plans would be in place soon on "how to best return some premium to customers," while a USAA representative said the company was "exploring options" and an announcement was expected in "the coming days."

  • A State Farm representative told the Times the firm was weighing "how best" to "return value to our auto insurance policyholders," with a decision expected by the week's end.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Go deeper

37 mins ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.