These fears are also influencing potential future behaviors. A significant portion of consumers said they will place greater emphasis on planning for the future, with many planning to save more and pay off debts to mitigate future uncertainty.
Small businesses in Canada have faced unprecedented and unanticipated risks as a result of COVID-19, with the pandemic acting as a stress test to their financial resilience. Some of the hardest hit businesses are those that are customer-facing, including the hospitality, travel and retail sectors.
The most financially impacted (see methodology) Canadian small business owners have seen a revenue downturn of at least 40%, with many seeing an 80%–100% decrease in revenue. Conversely, the least financially impacted small business owners have seen minimal effects on their revenue, with 65% of this respondent segment experiencing no change.
Key concerns among all small business owners are similar, regardless of how financially impacted they have been by the pandemic. However, the most financially vulnerable place a greater emphasis on survival: their top concerns include remaining open and coping with the loss of revenue they experienced.
Consumers’ product appetite
So, what do consumers’ overarching concerns mean for insurers? With increased uncertainty about the future and the impact of COVID-19, there is a clear appetite for accessible insurance products that protect against existing and emerging risks.
Consumers’ future appetite for insurance products falls into three primary categories: flexibility in purchasing insurance, protection against lost income and lowering the cost of insurance through innovation.