ERIE, Pa. – June 14, 2022 – In a national survey of U.S. consumers commissioned by Erie Insurance, two-thirds of respondents said they are more concerned about their financial security than they were before—and many are taking steps to address it. The wide-ranging survey also revealed what people miss most about working from home and like most about returning to the office and, if they moved during the pandemic, why.
As a company that increases people’s financial security by providing life insurance, homeowners insurance and auto insurance, Erie Insurance periodically commissions surveys to stay on top of changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors.
The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) value spending quality time with family more today than they did before; more than half (55%) value financial security more, and about the same percentage (54%) value spending quality time with friends more.
Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said the pandemic made them more concerned about their financial security than they were before.
61% said the pandemic made them more concerned about how their family would be taken care of financially if they became seriously ill, or worse, could no longer provide for them.
Half (49%) said the pandemic made them question whether they had the right type and amount of life insurance as part of their overall plan for financial security, and a quarter (25%) contacted their insurance agent about it.
“It’s been said that life insurance is a product you buy with the hope you don’t need it right away, but our survey found that having a policy provides value,” said Louis Colaizzo, senior vice president of Erie Family Life, Erie Insurance. “In fact, 44% of respondents said the pandemic made them appreciate the peace of mind they get from having life insurance even more than they did before.”
People on the move
One in five respondents (21%) said they moved during the pandemic while 79% stayed put.
Topping the list of reasons for moving (36%) was to live in a place with a better quality of life. Living closer to family and having a lower cost of living tied for the second most mentioned reason for moving (26%, respectively), followed by having a larger home so everyone could spread out more (18%) and to live somewhere with a nicer climate (16%). Nine percent of people moved because they got sick of their house after spending so much time in it.
The bitter and the sweet about returning to the office
For many people who worked from home during the pandemic, returning to the office is bittersweet. The survey revealed what they miss or will miss most about working from home and what they like or will like most about going back.
Top things people MISS most about working from home
Percentage of people who miss it
Not having to commute to work 27%
Not being able to do small chores around the house during breaks throughout the day (like unloading dishwasher, folding laundry) (tie) 24%
Not being able to spend as much time with my kids (tie) 24%
Having less free time (tie) 24%
Not being able to sleep in 23%
Not being able to spend as much time with my pets 21%
Not being able to spend as much time with my spouse/significant other 19%
Top 5 things people will LIKE most about going back to an office or other workplace
Percentage of people who will like it
Socializing with colleagues at work 34%
Not feeling cooped up in the house 33%
Socializing with colleagues after work 27%
Meeting with colleagues in person 24%
Having lunch with colleagues19%
Among a list of 11 things people like or will like most about going back to the workplace, having facetime with the boss came in last, with only 14% saying this. However, men were four times more likely than women to say facetime with the boss is one of the things they’ll like most. Almost a quarter of men (24%) said this compared with only 6% of women.
38% of respondents agree that it seems like the number of speeding drivers increased a lot earlier in the pandemic and that hasn't changed – drivers are still speeding to about the same degree. But when asked about their own speeding habits, only 15% said they found themselves speeding earlier in the pandemic and still do. 69% said they didn’t speed before the pandemic and don’t now.
This survey was conducted online by Falls & Co. on behalf of Erie Insurance from April 1 through April 8, 2022, among 500 U.S. residents ages 18 and older. Falls established the sampling quotas, designed the questionnaire, tabulated the survey responses, and managed the overall project. Falls used Dynata (Plano, TX) to administer the survey via the internet, including mobile devices, to Dynata’s captive U.S. panels who met the age, gender, and regional demographic criteria.