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What Are Americans Searching for Most During Quarantine?

by Agnieszka Fratczak,  Nov 18 2020

2020 has definitely thrown the world a massive curveball. The COVID-19 pandemic had most Americans sheltering in place by springtime. Many of them suddenly without jobs, childcare, or our usual coping mechanisms — like going outside, or talking to people.  

So, we took to Google. We looked for new hobbies and ways to pass the time. And we had a lot of financial questions while we adapted to our changing lives. 

Whether you spent the year making sourdough bread while practicing yoga in the kitchen, or binged “Tiger King” while researching insurance discounts, just know we were right there with you. Together, but apart: Here’s how the nation spent 2020 through the lens of our search bars. 

Most Searched in: The Pandemic 

COVID-19 came with a lot of changes to the workplace. While many people were lucky enough to hold on to their jobs and switch to remote working, millions faced temporary — or permanent — layoffs. When it comes to pandemic questions, it is no surprise unemployment topped the list. 

How do I qualify for unemployment insurance? 

One of the most devastating effects of COVID-19 was the sheer numbers of people who were laid off from their jobs. States often struggled to keep up with the volumes, and it took weeks for payments to trickle in. Americans searched for updates on their unemployment claims, and how to expedite the process. 

The good news: While searches spiked in March and April, the numbers have trended downward as more and more people were finally called back to work. 

Most Searched in: Insurance   

In a year where we’re cooking at home more than we’d like, driving less, and trying to keep an eye on our tight budgets, we’ve had a lot of money questions.

How is my insurance company handling COVID-19?

Perhaps unsurprising, searches for insurance companies and COVID-19 policies spiked around April and May — with West Virginians searching more than any other state. 

There’s a good reason for that. Particularly during the first few months of the pandemic, many of us were sheltering-in-place, cars parked in the driveway. The sudden life shift may have had you wondering if you should even have car insurance when you’re not driving. Spoiler alert: You should! Comprehensive coverage can protect you from damage or theft, even when you’re parked. 

Can I get a car insurance refund?

Thankfully, several insurance companies did offer help to their customers this year. With money tight and the need to drive virtually zero, many car insurance companies opted to give their customers a partial refund. Actual numbers ranged from 10 to 25%, depending on the insurance company. 

What happens if you suspend your car insurance? 

According to search trends, many Americans wondered whether they could temporarily pause their car insurance until they were able to drive again. 

In short: You can’t. All but one state — New Hampshire — requires a minimum amount of liability insurance, whether you’re currently driving or not. In several states, if your insurance lapses, you could be on the hook for fines each month until you’re insured again. 

Most Searched in: The Homebound Life 

As we adapted to our new norm, beating boredom became the name of the game. Judging by our collective searching, we’ve found some adorably wholesome ways to keep ourselves happy and entertained from six feet apart. 

How do I make sourdough bread?

In 2020, Instagram’s bragging photos of vacations and brunches with friends was replaced with loaves of bread. People with nothing else to do suddenly found they had the hours needed to bake their own sourdough bread, and the whole world got behind it. 

What is the best exercise to do at home?

Gyms closed at the exact moment most people found they finally had time to work out, and the searches reflected that. Searches for “online yoga” “virtual HIIT,” and “home workouts” soared. 

What is the best pet adoption site?

With the majority of Americans working remotely, it seems there was no better time than a quarantine to adopt a pet. Studies have shown petting your furry friend releases oxytocin in the brain—helping you feel better. 

2020 has been a year of learning, and with extra time to reflect (and Google), many Americans became much more educated in what they need and don’t need. From a good mixer to bake their sourdough bread to the importance of a good insurance policy, at the very least we can hope that we’re at least set up until this chaos is over. 

Want to find out if you could save more on car insurance this year? Compare rates side by side with Gabi, no commitments, and no strings. (Because, hey, who needs more stress this year?) 

Editorial content on Gabi.com is not written by a licensed insurance agent. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice.

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