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Let's Talk Automobile: Car Insurance COVID Rebate

February 11, 2021

Many drivers have been using their vehicles less frequently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most companies offered a temporary car insurance COVID rebate to recognize the decreased use of vehicles.

The COVID rebates have now expired and all insurance companies have resumed “normal” prices and premiums have been adjusted accordingly.

Working Remotely and Car Insurance

While some drivers have returned to regular use because they have resumed commuting to work, many continue to use their vehicles much less. Having your car insurance rated for commuting versus pleasure will certainly impact your premium.

Vehicle rated for commute: The vehicle is used to commute to and from work regularly; often daily

Vehicle rated for pleasure: The vehicle is used primarily for fun and/or errands, such as on weekends.

In contrast, an increased number of public transit users are purchasing private transportation to avoid close contact with others. For commuters concerned about their health and the health of their families at home and can afford to do so, they are not taking the risk of using public transportation.

Drivers commuting to work are enjoying fewer cars on the road than normal, which is why some were driven to take public transit in the first place.

Many drivers have made changes to their commuting habits because of COVID-19 earlier this year. If your driving habits have changed, you should get back in touch with your broker to review and update your Automobile Insurance Policy to ensure you are properly rated for your current use.

Back to School Out of Ontario

Another point being overlooked this year is that insured vehicles are being out-of-province for extended periods. With more parents working from home, the family vehicle is being used by post-secondary students while away at school.

Automobile insurance is regulated by the province, therefore insurance companies often limit the number of time vehicles are permitted outside Ontario. Each company has differing requirements, so check your policy documents on your Scrivens Online account, or contact your broker.

If your child is attending school in another province and is using the family vehicle insured in Ontario, please be sure to notify your insurance broker of this change.

The Future of Automobile Insurance in Ontario

While there are many scenarios possible, one likely thing is an increase in automobile insurance rates. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the increasing cost of claims has been worrisome in the industry.

During the initial peak of the pandemic, the second quarter of 2020, car insurance prices in Ontario experienced a 2% increase over the first quarter. However, year-over-year prices have decreased in the second quarter relative to 2019.

The best way to avoid your car insurance rate to increase is to avoid a claim altogether. Often, easier said than done, but driving safely, focused, and predictable will make a large impact on not only steering clear of accidents but losing that all-important claims-free discount.

Ensure your car insurance details are accurate by signing in to Scrivens Online and reviewing your policy details.