Aviva studies COVID’s impact on employment, transportation and purchasing behaviour

By The IJ Staff | August 27 2020 09:40AM

Photo: Freepik | kjpargeter

Aviva Canada Inc. commissioned a study of 1,500 Canadians recently, which shows that significant shifts in consumer behaviour have occurred as a result of COVID-19.

Notably and perhaps surprisingly, younger Canadians in particular are more likely to want to interact with their insurers over the phone when purchasing insurance, rather than use self-serve options. Almost half, 48 per cent said they wanted to interact with their insurer over the phone, compared to only 12 per cent who said they wanted to correspond by email. “Customers between 18 and 29 showed the lowest interest in leveraging a 24/7, self serve option,” they write.

They also found that 33 per cent of customers are likely to shop for insurance over the next 12 months – up significantly from previous preference surveys where only 11 per cent of those surveyed said they were shopping around. The study adds that 19 per cent of customers are likely to switch insurers over the next 12 months.

According to Aviva’s study, 13 per cent of Canadians have experienced a change in their employment status – half of this group is temporarily laid off while the other half have lost their jobs. Those under 30 were hardest hit: 27 per cent of those between 18 and 29 report losing their job or being temporarily laid off as a result of COVID-19. Although half of those surveyed overall report no change to their household income, the remaining 50 per cent have experienced cuts to their household income ranging from 10 to 75 per cent.

Transportation habits have also changed, they add, saying use of public transit will decline and significantly more Canadians, especially younger drivers saying they are more likely to use their own vehicles going forward.

For brokers, Aviva says the lifespan of a personal home and auto lead is a lot shorter than commercial client leads. “Brokers need to respond to these leads quickly, otherwise they’ll lose business,” the report concludes.

“As we see an increase in consumers shopping for insurance, it’s imperative that brokers proactively reach out to customers during their shopping experience and most importantly at renewal,” they say. “Educating customers about why rates have increased and discussing different options for premium reductions are important conversations to have with customers that many brokers aren’t prioritizing. Next to price, service is the main reason for customers to shop and switch.”

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