A Quarter Fewer Canadians Will Commute to Work After the COVID-19 Lockdown Lifts: New Survey

June 23, 2020 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
TORONTO, ON June 23, 2020 A new survey from Rates.ca found that COVID-19 is driving a lasting shift in Canadians' commuting routines with a decline by 25 per cent of respondents (84 per cent compared to 63 per cent) stating they will travel to work post lockdown, whether in their own vehicle, taking public transit or carpooling.

Representing a 13 per cent decline, slightly more than half (53 per cent) of respondents say they plan to drive to work in the future, a notable change from 61 per cent who did pre-COVID-19. When it comes to taking public transit to their jobs, the survey indicates a drop of 58 per cent (17 per cent to seven per cent) while 50 per cent fewer will carpool (six percent to three per cent).

Where Canadians work will also change. Almost three in 10 (28 per cent) of respondents say they will be working from home, a dramatic increase from nine per cent. Those over the age of 35 are more inclined to go back to work in an office (52 per cent) whereas 48 per cent of people under the age of 35 say they will be returning to their workplaces as usual.

"There's no question COVID-19 is changing Canadians' lives both in terms of where we work and how we plan to commute to work," says Liam Lahey, editor, Rates.ca. "Our survey highlights that the transition to working remotely will likely impact commuting patterns for the foreseeable future."

To help Canadians as they formalize work from home arrangements, Lahey advises: "If you are going to work from home, it's worthwhile to check your home or condo insurance policy terms. Home insurance is not business insurance it's not designed to meet the specific needs of individuals who work from home. And, if you are driving less, there are things you can do to lower your auto insurance premium without reducing your coverage, such as changing your vehicle classification. If you are going to be commuting to work regularly again, make your insurer aware of that and ensure you are covered fully."

Here are four tips from Rates.ca for Canadians who are planning to work from home more often:

Home Insurance. Review your home or condo insurance policy. If you are working from home, does your policy cover the cost of theft or damage to any business equipment or any company merchandise in your possession? If you plan to have client meetings in your dwelling, do you have the coverage you need if they are injured while on your property? Find out if your insurer provides home-based business coverage within your policy.
Auto Insurance. Many insurers are extending or adding to the financial relief measures they are providing over time, so it's worthwhile to check Rates.ca's free-to-use COVID-19 Insurance Premium Calculator every couple of weeks to calculate your latest savings.
Speak to Your Broker. Talk to your broker or insurance provider and ask for a review of your auto and home policies to ensure you and your family are adequately protected, especially if you intend to work from home and are driving less. Also, if your insurer is providing you with any COVID-19 rate relief measures currently, ask what will happen after those measures come to an end, and how it will affect your premiums.
Shop Around for Rates. Whether your auto or home insurance policy is up for renewal or not, it's always worthwhile to comparison shop to find out what types of policies you can get at different prices. You may be surprised to find you can save a significant amount on your auto and home insurance by shopping around.

Among the survey's other findings:

Seven per cent of Canadians who walked or rode a bike to work before the pandemic would continue to do so.
When asked what actions their employers took because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, 28 per cent say some employees were told to work from home, 26 per cent say all employees were told to work from home, 25 per cent say it was business as usual, 16 per cent say employees were temporarily laid off, and one per cent say employees were permanently laid off.
When the lockdown started, 54 per cent of employers directed their employees to work from home at some capacity. With the easing of lockdown measures, this group saw the biggest change in work from home behaviours, with 86 per cent of employees indicating they will continue to do so.
Twenty-eight per cent are office workers who say they will return to their places of business, followed by 21 per cent who are professionals. The least likely to see a change are manual labourers at two per cent.

To review the survey's findings, visit Rates.ca.

About the Survey
A digital survey of 817 working Canadians aged 18 years or older was conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of Rates.ca from June 5 to June 7, 2020, using Leger's online panel. The margin of error for this study is +/-3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Rates.ca
Rates.ca is Canada's one-stop shop for the best rates on insurance and money products. Rates.ca publishes rates from 30+ insurance providers so that shoppers can find the best rates for themselves. Use the site to find the best rates for auto, home and travel insurance, mortgages, and credit cards. Headquartered in Toronto, Rates.ca is located at 360 Adelaide Street West, Suite 100, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 1R7.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Masha Mikey, Proof Inc. for Rates.ca
mmikey@getproof.com
(416) 969-2664

Cameron Penner, Proof Inc. for Rates.ca
cpenner@getproof.com

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