IBC Innovation Agenda

IBC innovation

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) have released an Innovation Agenda for Ontario’s insurance industry. The report contains four excellent recommendations for the industry which miBroker fully supports.

  1. Allowing all insurance communications and transactions to be completed and delivered electronically if the consumer provides the necessary consent.
  2. Allowing insurers to provide consumers with the option of selecting usage-based insurance (UBI) to help determine the cost of their auto insurance.
  3. Integrating the sharing economy – specifically, technology-enabled ride- and vehicle-sharing services – into the auto insurance system so that insurers can offer new products to cover the risks that individuals face while using sharing economy platforms.
  4. Granting both incumbent insurers and new market entrants access to the regulatory super sandbox to encourage new innovations that will benefit consumers.

Conducting Consumer Transactions Electronically

Insurance laws are unclear about the validity of electronic copies of policies. Many brokers and insurers including miBroker issues electronic copies of policies, but must also send the paper copies to be fully compliant.

Worse, certain transactions are only permitted by mail, registered mail, delivery or personal delivery. This throw back is the result of provisions in the Insurance Act not having been updated when the Electronic Commerce Act was introduced in 2000. This puts insurance at a technological disparity with other industries like real estate. IBC is asking that Brokers and Insurers be allowed to conduct some of these transactions electronically and to adapt existing forms and applications to an online environment.

Electronic proof of insurance is something that many consumers would prefer. Many brokers provide electronic copies of proof of insurance, often these are acceptable to whoever is making the request like a police officer for example. However, technically only printed proof of insurance is valid. It could be requested at a traffic stop and insurers still have to issue the paper copies. This could be an easy fix. A bulletin could be issued by the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to allow electronic slips. These are accepted in most US states and as of January 2018 Nova Scotia. Theres even an industry standard available through the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO).

Option to Choose Usage-Based Insurance (UBI)

People want easy and flexible insurance products. Dynamic pricing is already used in many other industries like finance and banking. FSCO currently allows insurers to use UBI products to offer discounts like through Intact’s My Driving Discount product.

IBC would like to see FSCO go further with this and allow UBI products to set the base price of a policy. This would open the door to pay per use models, or pay per kilometre, which have already ben used in Europe and the US through insurers like Metromile.

This makes a lot of sense as people in cities like Toronto are driving less, and relying more and more of alternative modes of transport like public transit and ridesharing.

Integrating the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy and ridesharing specifically introduce complications into our existing insurance framework. Despite coverage being provided through the ridesharing service, drivers need policies with specific insurers to ensure their adequately covered. We’ve covered some of these issues in the past, and the IBC report goes into greater detail on issues like who’s accident benefits pay in the event of a claim.

An Accessible Regulatory Sandbox

Regulatory sandboxes allow insurers to test new products on real people on a limited basis. Aside from the obvious benefits of prototyping innovative products, regulatory sandboxes allow insurers to work on these projects with an eye to graduating into a regulatory framework.

You can read the full report here: http://mibroker.ca/doc/IBC_InnovationReport.pdf 

You can visit IBC’s Ontario Insurance Innovation microsite here: http://insuranceinnovation.ca

Lyft Ridesharing Launches in Toronto

lyft

Ridesharing competition in Toronto is about to grow with Lyft coming to town. Torontonians flocked to Uber even while insurance and by-laws remained a grey area for months. The City of Toronto legitimized ridesharing in 2016 by passing regulations. We’ve talk about the insurance implications of ridesharing before, so drivers are wondering how Lyft is handling things.

First, Lyft has an Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP) in place. Coverage for the fleet is being provided through Aviva Canada. What remains unclear is who’s picking up coverage for the gaps; time when drivers are not on fare, but might not be covered by their personal policies. Even if drivers are not actively “trolling” for fares, there may be coverage issues. An insurer could argue that if the vehicle is being driven all over the GTA that represents a much different risk than what they signed up for.

What if a driver takes a fare from Toronto to Hamilton and gets into an accident on the way back? Would they have been in that situation if they weren’t driving for hire?

Uber and Intact partnered to solve this with Intact extending coverage to their policy holders for these gaps between fares. Drivers would need a personal auto insurance policy with Intact, but coverage was free of charge.

Interestingly Aviva was first to offer ridesharing coverage in Ontario, for an additional premium. They were left out of the Uber / Intact deal. Perhaps they’ll follow suit with a similar “free” extension of coverage for Aviva policy holders. For now, anyone planning to drive with Lyft should discuss these insurance issues with their broker.

Uber Driver Crashes, Passenger Injured, and the Multi-Million Dollar Question : Does Uber’s Policy Cover UberX Drivers?

A 59-year-old gentleman named Kirit started to work for Uber a few hours a day in late 2015 in order to supplement his income. While driving a passenger in mid January, 2016, he got into an accident with another car causing injuries to his passenger and $10,000 in damages to his car.

Kirit contacted his insurance provider and they explained to him that because he was driving for Uber at the time of the accident, he had breached his automobile insurance policy and the claim would be denied. At this time Kirit notified Uber of the denied claim. Kirit had to pay for the damages to his car out of pocket.

Kirit then got a call from a lawyer representing the injured passenger indicating that she would be making a claim for compensation. He immediately notified his insurance company and also Uber. At this time Uber’s representative assured Kirit that they would help him but needed to have his insurer’s position in writing.

At this time Kirit’s lawyers got in touch with his insurer again and asked whether they would be supporting Kirit in a future lawsuit. Again the insurer stated that Kirit has breached his contract by driving for Uber and that they would not be defending him in the event of a lawsuit.

This information was passed onto Uber who has said nothing since assuring Kirit they would help him, despite repeated requests for a response.

Kirit is now in a very uncertain place and if Uber will not step up to defend him, Kirit may lose his home.

If you are driving for Uber it is of paramount importance that you have the correct ridesharing insurance. If you or anyone you know drives for Uber consider ridesharing insurance to protect yourself and your passengers.

Sources:

Tumarking, Sivan. “Uber Driver’s Worst Nightmare Comes True.” Uber Insurance. Sivan Tumarking Lawyers Barristers and Solicitors, 15 Apr. 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Ridesharing Insurance for UberX Drivers

Ridesharing is part of the emerging sharing economy and includes services such as Uber’s UberX. Ridesharing continues to grow at a rapid pace and is absolutely changing the way we travel.

Uber has made a deal with Intact and bought commercial coverage for their drivers. This means that those insured with Intact can now drive for Uber for no extra cost over their regular premium. Customers simply have to be insured with Intact and call their broker or agent before participating. The Intact coverage will apply from the moment drivers make themselves available to accept a ride request until passengers have exited the vehicle. Offering utmost peace of mind for both drivers and passengers, most importantly at no extra cost to the driver.

This unique ridesharing product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers. The coverage breaks down as follows.

uber PICExisting customers that would like to drive for UberX can please contact their Broker. New customers can get started by contacting us.