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Pandemic prompts Canadians to rethink their insurance

As lockdowns continued, Canadians spent more time researching and evaluating their insurance options online.

Click below to jump to a different section of's 2021 Digital Money Trends Report:

Canadians typically have three types of insurance

Although the most popular types of coverage include auto and home/condo, insurance policies in Canada aren’t just limited to these two. The average Canadian currently pays for three types of insurance.


Canadian renters taking on unnecessary risk by forgoing insurance

Less than 50% of renters in Canada have tenant’s insurance. While just 18% of the total Canadians surveyed have an active renter’s insurance policy, more specifically only 48% of total renters have tenant’s insurance in place. This means that over half of the renters in Canada won’t have their living expenses or belongings covered in the event of an unexpected issue, such as theft, flood or fire.

Older Canadians are more likely to be insured

While most Canadians have some form of insurance, it's the older demographic (55+) that's most likely to be insured. For example, when comparing those 55 and older and those under the age of 55, we found:

The differences in insurance ownership are likely a result of the fact that the older demographic grew up in a time where home and vehicle ownership was more attainable. Younger Canadians are struggling with the current economic landscape that makes home ownership significantly less affordable. As well, many young Canadians living in large metropolitan cities like Toronto don't purchase vehicles, as they rely on the city's public transportation system, in addition to ride-sharing services and car rentals.

Pandemic prompts increased online research & quote comparison

Only 35% of Canadians claimed to have always researched and compared insurance rates online prior to the arrival of COVID-19. However, the pandemic has since caused buyers to alter their online shopping behaviour, with this number increasing by a full 7%. In the future, at least 42% of Canadians believe they'll incorporate research and quote comparison online before purchasing any insurance policy.

Before the pandemic, 33% of Canadians allowed their insurance policies to automatically renew (with no research). Again, this number has changed drastically due to COVID-19, dropping a full 7%. Only 26% of policyholders claim they'll opt for an auto-renewal of their insurance in the future. Insurers should expect customers to shop around and switch providers more frequently as they search for the best product and pricing to suit their needs.

Although technology has changed the nature of the financial services industry and more Canadians are willing to start their product search/research online, 31% of Canadians still don’t feel comfortable purchasing insurance online. It’s no surprise, however, that the younger generation is more likely to shop for a policy online – those under 55 years old showed more interest in making an online purchase across all types of insurance, including auto, home, life and travel.

How Canadians plan to shop online for insurance going forward

Among all the different types of insurance, the most popular ones to be purchased online include auto insurance (42%), travel insurance (39%), life insurance (33%) and home insurance (32%).

Canadians leaving money on the table in insurance discounts

Only 1 in 3 insurance users bundled their auto and home policies together for a discount.

  • 28% of users that compared car insurance quotes with in 2021 were interested in bundling their home insurance policy for a discount.
  • 35% of users that compared home insurance quotes with in 2021 were interested in bundling their car insurance policy for a discount.

Only 41% of insurance users opted for a soft credit check for a home insurance discount.

  • Without agreeing to a soft credit check when shopping for home insurance, policy premiums can increase upwards of 30%. Plus, some providers won’t even offer a rate to customers that don’t opt for a credit check.

Only 4 in 10 Canadians have considered the idea of usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance (UBI) provides a cheaper solution for Canadians who want to pay a more accurate rate based on their own driving behaviour instead of stereotyped risk factors. However, survey data shows that only 4 in 10 (41%) Canadians have considered usage-based insurance due to COVID-19, while only 40% of users in 2021 opted in for a telematics option when comparing auto insurance quotes.

Of the 57% of Canadians that have heard of usage-based insurance, many have concerns on issues involving rate changes, accuracy and privacy.

Click below to jump to a different section of's 2021 Digital Money Trends Report:

For more information on's 2021 Digital Money Trends Report and survey methodology, click here.