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Insurance-Paid Upgrade Report
43% of Canadians secretly hope something goes wrong so their insurance buys them something new.
Insurance can be a fantastic product when you need it but all too often you’re left wondering what you paid for when another uneventful year rolls by. Paying a premium when you doubt you’ll ever make a claim can feel like throwing money down the drain. “Why am I spending all this money and getting nothing in return?” you may think to yourself looking at your car as its value continues to depreciate. “If only something would happen to that beater so I could get a new one …”
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Two in five Canadians (43%) secretly hope something will go awry so they can claim it on insurance, according to the latest survey of 1,200 Canadians from Finder.
What items do we want to see … damaged?
If the example of the car above rang especially true, that’s because you’re part of the 27% of Canadians who secretly hope their car is damaged or stolen so they can get an insurance-paid upgrade.
Cars are the most common possession Canadians are happy to see damaged if it means getting an upgrade in return but it doesn’t stop there. A decent portion of Canadians are willing to see their homes (17%), travel plans (15%) and computers (14%) go up in smoke – for some, literally!
|Claimable item||% of Canadians|
|Your engagement ring or other sentimental jewellery||6%|
|Your travel plans (eg flight, accommodation, tours)||15%|
How does hoping for an upgrade by insurance differ between men and women?
44% of men say they’re hoping for something to go awry so they can claim it on insurance versus 42% of women. More men are willing to see something happen to their car or computer, whereas more women want something to happen to their home, clothes, engagement ring or travel plans.
|Claimable item<||% of women||% of men|
|Your engagement ring or other sentimental jewellery||6%||5%|
|Your travel plans (eg flight, accommodation, tours)||18%||12%|
|Other (please specify)||0%||1%|
Young adults are the most likely to hope for an insurance-paid upgrade, with over half of gen Z and millennials (53% and 52%) hoping something gets damaged, stolen, delayed or cancelled so they can get an upgrade.
Across the generations gen Z are most willing to say goodbye to their car (35%), computer (19%), clothing and accessories (16%), appliances (14%) and their engagement ring or sentimental jewellery (10%). On the other end of the demographic spectrum, the silent generation are most willing to see misadventure befall their home (23%) or travel plans (20%).
|Claimable item||Baby boomers||Gen X||Gen Z||Millennials||Silent|
|Your engagement ring or other sentimental jewellery||4%||6%||10%||6%||8%|
|Your travel plans (eg flight, accommodation, tours)||14%||13%||19%||15%||20%|
But what are you willing to endure for that payday?
We asked Canadians what catastrophic event they’d be willing to endure to get an insurance-paid upgrade. Almost a quarter (24%) are willing to experience a car crash as long as no one is hurt. 11% say they’d go a step further, suffering some broken bones as the result of a collision.
A surprising number of Canadian adults are also open to seeing their homes ravaged by flames or floods if the end result is an insurance-paid upgrade. 16% say they’re OK with their home being burnt to a crisp as long as no one is injured and 14% are willing to experience a massive flood. 14% are also OK with being robbed blind yet just 8% are willing to experience a bed bug infestation where all fabrics are replaced. Go figure.
|Claimable event||% of Canadians|
|A massive flood in your home or condo||14%|
|A car accident (where no one is hurt but your car is totalled)||24%|
|A car accident (where you break some bones but suffer no permanent damage)||11%|
|Someone stealing all of your valuables||14%|
|A fire, where no one is hurt, but your home is destroyed||16%|
|Bed bug infestation, where all fabrics must be replaced||8%|
Women less likely to go through a catastrophic event than men
While the number of men and women secretly hoping for something to happen so they can get upgraded via insurance is fairly close, 44% of men and 42% of women, if you take that figure out of the abstract into a specific situation (presumably with imagined consequences), the gap between men and women widens. When asked about specific events 62% of women said they were not willing to endure a catastrophe for an upgrade by insurance versus 52% of men.
Men are more willing to get into a car accident, both with (14%) and without (27%) people getting injured. In fact, men are more open than women to all but one catastrophic event: a bed bug infestation (a tie at 8% apiece).
|Claimable event||% of women||% of men|
|A massive flood in your home or condo||13%||15%|
|A car accident (where no one is hurt but your car is totalled)||20%||27%|
|A car accident (where you break some bones but suffer no permanent damage)||8%||14%|
|Someone stealing all of your valuables||13%||15%|
|A fire, where no one is hurt, but your home is destroyed||14%||17%|
|Bed bug infestation, where all fabrics must be replaced||8%||8%|
31% of gen Z willing to get into a car accident for insurance purposes
Almost a third (31%) of gen Zers say they’re willing to get into a car accident where no one is harmed but their car is totalled, if it means an upgrade on their vehicle from the insurance company. Gen Z is closely followed by 27% of millennials and 25% of the silent generation.
|Claimable event||Baby boomers||Gen X||Gen Z||Millennials||Silent|
|A massive flood in your home or condo||9%||17%||22%||16%||13%|
|A car accident (where no one is hurt but your car is totalled)||18%||24%||31%||27%||25%|
|A car accident (where you break some bones but suffer no permanent damage)||8%||9%||18%||13%||13%|
|Someone stealing all of your valuables||13%||13%||20%||14%||16%|
|A fire, where no one is hurt, but your home is destroyed||15%||15%||16%||15%||23%|
|Bed bug infestation, where all fabrics must be replaced||8%||6%||17%||8%||9%|
Fake it until you make it?
One in five (21%) Canadians would even commit insurance fraud if they knew they couldn’t get caught. Staging an event, like a car crash or theft, to capitalise on auto insurance was the most popular theoretical fraud, followed by flooding or burning down their home to take advantage of home insurance (10%). Coming in tied third place is disability insurance fraud (6%), travel insurance fraud (6%) and life insurance fraud (6%).
|Type of insurance||% of Canadians|
|Auto insurance (e.g. crash/damage my own car or pretend it was stolen)||11.50%|
|Disability insurance (e.g. break my own arm or pretend to contract a chronic illness)||5.50%|
|Home insurance (e.g. flood or burn down my house)||9.67%|
|Contents insurance (e.g. stage a robbery)||3.83%|
|Travel insurance (e.g. “lose” my baggage)||5.92%|
|Life insurance (e.g. stage my own death or the death of a loved one)||5.92%|
|Pet insurance (e.g. pretend pet died from an accident)||2.25%|
|Income protection insurance (e.g. pretend you’ve been laid off)||4.75%|
|I wouldn’t stage an event or mislead an insurance company even if I couldn’t get caught||79.17%|
Almost a quarter of men would stage an insurable event
It turns out that women are more honest than men – at least when it comes to insurance fraud. Over a quarter of men say they’d do the dodgy and fake a claim on their insurance, versus 16% of women. Men were 7 percentage points more likely than women to say they’d fake an auto insurance claim or a claim on their home insurance.
|Type of insurance||% of women||% of men|
|Auto insurance (e.g. crash/damage my own car or pretend it was stolen)||8%||15%|
|Disability insurance (e.g. break my own arm or pretend to contract a chronic illness)||4%||7%|
|Home insurance (e.g. flood or burn down my house)||6%||13%|
|Contents insurance (e.g. stage a robbery)||3%||5%|
|Travel insurance (e.g. “lose” my baggage)||4%||8%|
|Life insurance (e.g. stage my own death or the death of a loved one)||4%||8%|
|Pet insurance (e.g. pretend pet died from an accident)||1%||3%|
|Income protection insurance (e.g. pretend you’ve been laid off)||4%||5%|
|I wouldn’t stage an event or mislead an insurance company even if I couldn’t get caught||84%||74%|
Once again gen Z tops the list for the wrong reason. 41% of gen Zers would defraud their insurer if they couldn’t get caught, the highest of any generation. Over a quarter (26%) say they’d fake an auto insurance claim, 14% a home insurance claim and 13% a contents claim.
Boomers are the most honest generation, with only 11% willing to commit fraud even if they couldn’t get caught.
|Type of insurance||Baby boomers||Gen X||Gen Z||Millennials||Silent|
|Income protection insurance||2%||6%||14%||5%||1%|
|I wouldn’t stage an event or mislead an insurance company||89%||79%||59%||71%||87%|
While the fear of getting caught is likely to deter many dishonest Canadians from actually committing insurance fraud, the data reveals just how far some are willing to go for an upgrade or payout. From broken bones to lost engagement rings, many Canadians are willing to put it all on the line.
What would you be willing to endure for an insurance-paid upgrade?
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