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Nevada drivers sue insurance companies over pandemic rates

Ten class-action lawsuits filed Tuesday accuse auto insurance companies of failing to reduce premiums sufficiently for Nevada policyholders as traffic declined during the pandemic.

“With fewer people driving fewer miles, there are fewer automobile accidents and, therefore, fewer automobile insurance claims,” the suits state. “The COVID-19 pandemic has thus led to a dramatic reduction in automobile insurance claims by Nevada residents.”

In the early part of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s stay-at-home order last year, statewide traffic volumes dwindled to as much as 70 percent in some areas compared with the same period a year prior.

Yet insurance companies did not “provide and charge a fair and appropriate insurance premium,” according to the complaints filed by the Las Vegas firm Eglet Adams and Reno trial attorney Matthew Sharp.

The lawsuits filed in Clark County District Court name State Farm, USAA, Geico, Acuity, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Progressive, Travelers, Nationwide and Allstate. The suits allege breach of contract, bad faith dealing to policyholders and violations of Nevada’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Lawyers also contend in the complaints that reduced driving, crashes and claims “will almost certainly continue for the foreseeable future, and for as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues.”

While some insurers dropped rates as much 25 percent, the suits allege that was “insufficient” to match the reduction in driving time, distance and claims.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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