Only 25% of Canadians Say They Received COVID-19 Relief Measures: Survey

By Liam Lahey
A couple looking over their bills and managing their budget.

In the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown, auto insurers offered rate relief measures to their customers to help them manage the financial challenges they face paying their auto insurance bills.

These rate relief measures ranged from rebates and premium discounts to payment deferrals and waiving non-sufficient fund fees for missing payments in March and April.

According to a recent online InsuranceHotline.com survey of Canadian drivers, only 25% of respondents say they were offered rate relief from their auto insurer compared to 64% who say they were not. Another 12% of respondents say they are not sure. Furthermore, of drivers who received some form of relief, 33% regard the measures as helpful, but 64% consider them insignificant.

That result begs the question what consumers may do. Will they shop around for a different auto insurance company or not? On that score, the respondents are split: 41% say they are not likely to shop around while 39% say they are; 20% say they are unsure.

Breaking those numbers down by age group, an equal number (39%) of Canadians are likely to shop around for another insurer regardless of their ages. But 37% of consumers younger than 35 say they are not likely to shop around compared to 42% of consumers who are older than 35.

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How Has COVID-19 Affected Canadians’ Finances?

Meanwhile, an unrelated survey by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Press finds the pandemic has had no impact on jobs for 33% of Canadians, 13% lost their jobs temporarily, 12% say it has affected their income, and 3% lost their jobs permanently.

When the InsuranceHotline.com survey asked Canadian consumers about the impact the pandemic lockdown has had on them financially, about half say they are feeling the pinch, with 36% being somewhat impacted and 12% significantly impacted. Another 28% say they were not impacted very much, and 19% say they are not impacted at all.

Regionally, Quebeckers are weathering the fiscal fallout of the pandemic better than the rest of Canada, with 40% of Quebeckers saying they are financially impacted by the pandemic compared to 53% of respondents across the rest of Canada.

What You Can Do to Lower Your Premium

There are several things drivers can do immediately to find out what auto insurance options they have during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Check the COVID-19 Rebate Calculator. If you’re not sure what relief measures your insurer is providing, take advantage of a free-to-use COVID-19 Rebate Calculator to find out.
  • Call Your Insurer or Broker. Have you called your insurance company or broker to inquire about how they may be able to help? Give them a shout, explain your challenges, and ask what they recommend you do to reduce your premium.
  • Go Comparison Shopping. Whether you are satisfied with your car insurance provider or not, it never hurts to shop for the lowest rate you can find.

An online survey of 1,265 Canadians with a car insurance policy was conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of InsuranceHotline.com from May 15 to May 17, 2020, using Leger’s online panel. The respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 55+ years old. Only those who have a car insurance policy are reported. The margin of error for this study is +/-2.8%, 19 times out of 20.