What does Cannabis legalization mean for drivers?

There has been a lot of chatter lately about the legalization of cannabis and its implications for drivers. With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, effective October 17th , comes some uncertainty with new or changed laws with regards to driving under the influence.

cannabis driving

Getting high and driving is not only dangerous and is against the law. According to Statistics Canada over the first half of 2018, about 1.4 million Canadians reported that they had been a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who had consumed cannabis in the previous two hours. In addition, one in seven cannabis users with a driver’s licence reported that they got behind the wheel at least once within two hours of using the drug in the past three months.

It only takes a small amount of cannabis to impair your ability to drive. Driving high more than doubles your risk of an accident. Drugs impair your ability to drive by affecting:

  • balance and coordination
  • motor skills
  • attention
  • judgment
  • reaction time
  • decision-making skills

Cannabis can impair each person differently. The impairment on individuals can depend on:

  • The method of consumption, for example how cannabis was consumed (smoked, inhaled, ingested).
  • The quantity of cannabis consumed.
  • The variety of cannabis and its THC levels, including cannabis prescribed for medical use.

As a result, there is no guidance to drivers about how much cannabis can be consumed before it is unsafe to drive or how long a driver should wait to drive after consuming cannabis.

The Canadian Automobile Association, whose polling has found that one in five millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) believe they can drive as well — or even better — stoned as they do sober, funded the research.

So far, police forces across Canada have been slow to deploy roadside saliva testing that can check a driver for recent drug use. They’re also grappling with how to reliably and quickly get blood samples from suspected drug-impaired drivers in order to use new criminal charges. Police are still able to rely on field sobriety tests — which can involve standing on one leg or tracking an object with your eye — to screen for drug-impaired driving at the roadside. Anyone who fails can be taken in for further testing.

Don’t take a chance. Don’t drive high.

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles of 2018

car theft

It usually only takes a couple of minutes, or even less for someone who has the right means, to steal a vehicle. With the holiday season approaching it is important to be more cautious of your vehicles as this is the most common time for any vehicle to be stolen, mainly due to the fact that they could be filled with gifts.

Vehicles are never a good place to store your personal belongings or gifts. If things are stolen from your car, there may be limited to no coverage under your auto policy. Your homeowners or renters insurance may cover these items, however this will involve reporting a separate claim which will likely carry a deductible.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada noted in a recent article that thieves generally steal vehicles for one of four reasons:

  • To sell abroad: Stolen vehicles are often immediately packed – with their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) still intact – and shipped abroad, where they are sold for many times their original market value.
  • To sell to unsuspecting consumers: Stolen vehicles may be given a false VIN and then sold to unsuspecting consumers. They can also be dismantled and sold for parts.
  • To get somewhere: This may be referred to as “joyriding.” Auto theft of any kind is a crime and innocent people may get hurt or killed as a result.
  • To commit another crime: Stolen vehicles used to commit other crimes are often recovered – abandoned and badly damaged – within 48 hours of their theft.

A big factor Insurance companies use to set premiums is how often your make and model of vehicle is stolen. To minimize the chances of your vehicle being stolen it is important to not leave your vehicle running unattended; do not leave your keys or key fob unattended; do not leave valuables on the seat or visible; ensure you park in a well lit area or in a locked garage.

A newer way vehicles thieves are getting away with your vehicle involves boosting key fob signals. This is done by intercepting the fob signal from inside the home to open and steal cars in driveways. The Toronto Police Service recently posted a photo (below) warning the public regarding relay thefts of vehicles using the boosting key fob signals method.

car theft

Each year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada complies a list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada.

Here are the Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles of Canada for 2018:

  1. 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  2. 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  3. 2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  4. 2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  5. 2003 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  6. 2006 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
  7. 2001 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
  8. 2000 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
  9. 2015 LEXUS GX460 4DR AWD SUV
  10. 2001 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU

Here are the Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles of Ontario for 2018:

  4. 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD

To see other provinces Top 10 Stolen vehicles visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website: ibc.ca

TruceTO Road Safety Campaign Launched in Toronto


This weekend RSA Canada launched a road safety campaign in Toronto. TruceTO aims to restore empathy between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. City streets require everyone to share the road, however too often cars and bikes can feel like opponents fighting an urban turf war. This conflict isn’t helped when issues like bike lanes and parking are politicized and terms like “war on cars” enter the discourse.

That’s where TruceTO comes in. The campaign aims to raise awareness about how we can share to roads better. A recent survey found that 50% of Toronto pedestrians and drivers don’t know when cyclists have the right of way. TruceTO supporters are encouraged to make a pledge to better share the streets.

The campaign launched in Toronto June 2, 2018 at King and Spadina. Attendees were able to take a road safety quiz, practice their skills in a driving simulator, and of course take the TruceTO pledge. RSA is piloting the initiative in Toronto and plans to expand it across Canada.

TruceTO Toronto

Visit TruceTO.com to learn more.

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