Over the last few years, many of us have traded working in busy offices for the comfort of working from home, or some kind of hybrid model. One of the WFH perks that people love the most is skipping the daily commute that takes so much time every morning and evening. Not only is it a time saver but it saves on gas too! What could be better than this? 

Well, saving money on gas and insurance, too! That’s right, working from home can mean paying less for car insurance. If you’re curious about how it all works, we’ve got all the answers to your questions about how working from home affects your car insurance. 

Should I tell my insurance company when my commute changes?

Absolutely! In general, it’s important to tell your insurer about any significant changes to your driving habits. This way, you ensure you’re getting the right coverage for the best price. Your car insurance coverage and cost factors in changes to your commute, travel distances for leisure activities, and where you live. 

Just like cutting out your daily commute, moving affects your car insurance as it changes where and how much you drive. For example, moving to the country could mean longer drives and operating in less traffic but needing to go more kilometres every year to run errands. However, if your move enables you to bike, walk or use public transit, you might qualify for a discount for reducing the number of kilometres you log each year. 

On the other hand, your auto insurance could increase if you move to an area with higher accident rates. Insurance providers consider many factors when determining how much you pay for car insurance. Therefore, you must inform them of your move to make sure you’re covered. If you don’t update your insurance policy address, it could result in claim denial. 

Similarly, when you start working from home, you should tell your insurance company as there might be discounts available. If you resume your commute, tell your insurer as quickly as possible to avoid a claim denial should an accident occur during your commute. 

What’s the difference between pleasure use car insurance, commuter car insurance and commercial auto insurance?

If you work from home 100% of the time, your insurance policy changes from commuter car insurance to pleasure use insurance. Car insurance premiums for leisure driving only tend to be the lowest. Commercial or business car insurance is typically more expensive than pleasure and commuter auto coverage. Driving for work increases a motorist’s time on the road and, therefore, exposure to risks like collisions or damage from potholes and windshield-cracking debris. 

What if I work from home part-time?

Your commute and the number of kilometres you drive every year help to determine your annual auto insurance premium. So, driving fewer kilometres every week means you could be eligible for a low-mileage discount depending on your non-work-related driving habits. Just be sure to tell your insurance company if the amount you commute changes to ensure your drive to work is always covered. 

What if I work from home, but other drivers in my household don’t?

If other household members have their own car and insurance, they will not be rated on your vehicle. Unless they are otherwise insured, everyone with a driver’s licence in your household is included in your car insurance policy, unless specifically excluded. Depending on how often each family member or housemate drives your vehicle, insurance companies classify them as primary, secondary or occasional drivers.

Suppose someone covered under your policy starts working from home. In this case, you could save money on your insurance due to the reduced distance your vehicle drives yearly. However, since primary drivers are the people who use your car to commute daily, you’ll see a more significant reduction in your auto insurance premiums if a primary driver starts working from home. 

For example, suppose you work from home, and another driver in your household uses your vehicle to commute to work or school every day. They would be classified as a primary driver, and in that case, your auto insurance would still be classified as a commuter’s policy. 

Should I consider other types of insurance when I work from home? 

Insurance experts recommend learning about home business and usage-based auto insurance to ensure you have the best coverage for your work, home and vehicle. 

Home Business Insurance 

When you work from home as an employee, purchasing home insurance helps cover the value of your belongings (including those in your home office) if they are stolen or damaged. However, your employer may already have insurance covering employee use if you have specialized work equipment. 

Suppose you work from home as a small business owner, independent contractor or freelancer. In either of these situations, consider adding home business insurance to your home, renter’s or condo insurance policy. Home business insurance also covers liability insurance if a client or customer suffers an injury on your property. In addition, home business insurance can help pay for lost income after covered equipment breaks down or your home workspace suffers damage. 

Learn more about home business insurance and commercial insurance for freelancers and entrepreneurs

Usage-Based Car Insurance 

Usage-based car insurance, also known in the industry as ‘telematics,’ can help safe drivers pay less for insurance. And it’s not just for those who work from home. It can significantly benefit any driver who always drives responsibly. 

When you sign up for telematics-enabled insurance, an app on your phone monitors:

  • Your speed 
  • The distance you drive
  • Where and when you drive
  • Behaviours that indicate unsafe driving, like hard breaking and cell phone use

Working from home means you’re more likely to avoid driving during peak traffic when other drivers rush to and from work. Usage-based insurance programs offer discounts for signing up and showing off your safe driving habits. Ask your broker about usage-based car insurance.

How else can I save money on car insurance when I work from home? 

Bundle your home, business and car insurance. Most insurers offer significant home and auto bundle discounts. You can save even more when you buy purchase a cottage, trailer, boat or business insurance policy with the same company. 

Compare quotes from multiple companies. Each insurance company will offer you different car insurance quotes, and some companies will offer WFH employees better savings than others. However, the lowest cost coverage isn’t always the best coverage. For example, budget insurance providers may cut costs by reducing the quality of service they provide customers. Therefore, always check an insurance provider’s reviews before you finalize your policy.

Work with an insurance broker to find the best coverage for your needs. Since brokers work with multiple insurance companies, they can help you compare coverage options to help you build an affordable customized policy. 

Consider adjusting your coverage. There are risks to reducing your insurance since you could have less coverage if you needed to make a claim. However, driving less might mean you feel comfortable reducing your coverage limits or removing optional policy endorsements like comprehensive and collision coverage. In that case, you can ask your insurer to adjust your policy. 

WFH Car Insurance Quotes 

Your commute to work is just one-factor insurers use to calculate your insurance premium. Other significant contributors that affect your car insurance policy cost include:

  • The type of vehicle you drive 
  • Your age and insurance history
  • The age and insurance histories of other drivers on your policy  
  • The coverage you choose, including deductibles and optional policy add-ons

Read up on other insurance savings opportunities available to drivers

Working from home is a modern opportunity many Canadians are navigating for the first time. Now that you know that working at home could save you money on car insurance, contact your insurance representative to make sure your home and auto insurance policies match your employment arrangement.

Get a free car insurance quote today.

1) Hudson’s Bay Rewards points offers may change without notice. All Rewards points will be awarded within four to six weeks. When you pay your monthly premiums, you will earn 1,000 Rewards points when you enrol for a $200/month benefit; 2,000 Rewards points for a $250/month benefit; 4,000 Rewards points for a $500 benefit; 6,000 Rewards points for a $750/month benefit and 8,000 Rewards points for a $1,000/month benefit. Earn up to 8,000 Rewards points on the anniversary date of your policy. Rewards points will not be prorated if you cancel before the anniversary date.