Pandemic Drives Significant Changes in Insurance Customer Behaviours

Toronto, ON (Oct. 30, 2020) – The Covid-19 pandemic may be the defining event of this generation, broadly impacting the world economy as well as global physical and mental health. According to Aviva’s recent Covid-19 Consumer Behaviours Insights Study, 2020 also has seen significant shifts in the behaviour of Canadian insurance customers compared to previous years.

Customers are Three Times More Likely to Shop for Insurance Over the Next Year

“What we saw this year is that about 33 per cent of Canadians are shopping for insurance, compared to previous years when it was 11 per cent,” says Charlene Ramdeo, Digital Lead with Aviva’s Digital Marketing Consultancy (DMC Group). “This increase drives the need for brokers to be online and be active and responding to clients who are shopping.”

According to Ramdeo, “People are more likely to shop when premiums go up. But what we don’t realize is that they are actually more likely to shop as well when premiums go down, which indicates to them they can save more money elsewhere. This is where the value of the broker comes in.”

Ramdeo presented the study findings with Pam Buckley, Aviva’s Research and Insights Lead- Customer Marketing, in a live webinar titled “Changing Consumer Behaviours During Cov-19” hosted by CSIO on October 24. The study was conducted online by Pollara Strategic Insights, and surveyed 1,500 Canadians over the age of 18 with a home or auto insurance policy. The research was conducted in June 2020 and a follow up survey in the Fall produced similar results.

Almost Half of Canadian Consumers Prefer to Interact with Their Insurance Company by Phone

Among the most surprising results the survey uncovered is that 48 per cent of Canadians are more likely to want to interact with their insurance company over the phone, compared to only 12 per cent over email. While online searches were up in 2020, customers still want to speak to a broker to provide guidance and advice. “What we saw during Covid is that people have a lot more time, a lot of them are working from home, they are trying to learn more about their policy and how they can save,” said Ramdeo. “So they are spending their time to pick up the phone, interacting with their brokers.”

Webinar to Soon be Available as an eLearning Course

Since the beginning of the pandemic, CSIO has ramped up its education offerings to support members with free, accredited webinars and courses to help them stay up-to-date on the latest digital topics.

This webinar on Changing Consumer Behaviours will soon be available on-demand as the latest offering in the Spotlight on Industry Leaders series, part of the CSIO Digital Broker eLearning program. The Spotlight courses were created in response to demand for accredited courses that could be watched as hour-long videos in one viewing. The series of four videos offers our most popular webinars of 2020 to CSIO members in a convenient, on-demand format. The courses feature industry leaders and experts sharing insights through virtual fireside chats and panel discussions.

With many insurance brokers continuing to work from home, CSIO continues to provide many options for CE credits, including live webinars, one-hour video recordings, and interactive online courses.

Access the latest CSIO eLearning course to learn how the pandemic has affected your customers, including ideas on how to action the survey findings to improve your campaign results and better service the changing needs of your customers.

About Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

CSIO is Canada’s industry association of property and casualty insurers, service providers and over 38,000 brokers. CSIO is committed to improving the consumer’s ease of doing business within the broker channel by overseeing the development, implementation and maintenance of technology standards and solutions such as My Proof of Insurance, eDocs, and eSignatures. In addition, CSIO operates the industry-owned mail network service, CSIOnet. CSIO maintains offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

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