In a sign that companies are increasingly asking workers to be in the office, new data suggest one-in-four Canadians (26 per cent) are commuting to work more frequently than they were six months ago. But many of those who are driving to work more often are not telling their insurance company, which could spell trouble. 
That’s a key finding in the latest BNN Bloomberg and RATESDOTCA survey, conducted by Leger this month. The polling company surveyed 1,522 Canadians from Sept. 16 to 18 to understand whether workers were going to the office more frequently, and how they’re getting there. 
The survey indicates that 77 per cent of Canadians who are commuting to work more frequently are driving. It’s important to know that if the amount you're driving increases, you should inform your insurance company. 
Respondents who said they’re driving to work more often were also asked whether they had informed their insurance company. Only 43 per cent said that they had, while 44 per cent said they did not. 
The survey found that some drivers may intentionally be hiding that information to save on costs. Sixty-six per cent said they were aware that they had to inform their insurer of changes in the number of kilometers they drive, but only 40 per cent did so. 
Meanwhile, 31 per cent said they don’t believe it’s a serious offence not to tell an insurer about changes in driving habits. 
That’s not true, of course. Any misrepresentation can potentially be grounds for cancelling a policy, which can lead to higher insurance rates because a cancellation stays on your record. 
More and more Canadians have been returning to the office this year after the pandemic upended norms and catalyzed a work-from-home trend.
Some large employers, including Royal Bank of Canada, have recently asked their workers to come into the office more often. Many of those employers are currently using hybrid models, where workers divide their weeks with some days in the office and some at home. 
Last September, another Leger survey for RATESDOTCA and BNN Bloomberg found that most workers who were going back to the office planned to drive, with 71 per cent of those surveyed saying they expected to use a car to get to work, an increase from the 65 per cent of commuters who used a car to get to work in the prior year. 
And with the number of Canadians driving to work increasing, car insurance companies are expected to increase their rates. More than a dozen already have this year, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), which regulates insurance pricing in Ontario. 
Car insurance companies use many factors to price insurance, including a person’s driving history, the postal code they live in and the vehicle they drive.
And overall insurance claims matter, too. When the volume rises — such as when roads become busier and accidents go up — those costs get passed on to consumers because insurance companies need to ensure they bring in more money through premiums than they pay out in claims.