TruceTO Road Safety Campaign Launched in Toronto

TruceTO

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

Auto Insurance

auto insurance

Standard auto is what most drivers in Ontario are familiar with. However, a standard policy leaves you under insured. Two important optional coverages we offer all clients are Collision and Comprehensive coverage. In addition to these, there are several policy endorsements that might be right for you:

  • Loss of vehicle use/non-owned auto covers the cost of a rental vehicle if it is being repaired or replaced, if the damage is the result of a covered loss on your policy. Rental car insurance can also cover physical damage to a rental car, negating the need to buy expensive coverage from rental car agencies.
  • Accident protection/forgiveness protects your driving record in the event that you have an at-fault loss. This coverage can only be used once within a certain period, a second accident would still be charged to your record.
  • Family Protection Coverage extends coverage to you or a member of your family from your Third-Party Liability. This is useful in a situation where you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, with someone who carries less insurance, no insurance, or is an unidentified driver.

UBI – Usage Based Insurance

usage based insurance

Usage based insurance (UBI), sometime known as telematics, is a technology that combines telecommunications and measuring. Specifically, these are devices that measure how you drive. Information such as how hard a driver breaks, or how quickly they accelerate is recorded by most vehicles. In addition to being recorded by the vehicle, there are smartphone apps that can record and share this data.

While this technology is new to the Ontario auto insurance market, it has been used in Europe, the United States and in Quebec. There are currently over 5.5 million usage based insurance policies active world wide and this number in increasing rapidly. By some estimates there will be over 100 million telematics policies by 2018! So what’s all the fuss about?

Insurance companies that offer UBI programs use vehicle data to assign discounts based on driving habits. It’s important to note that in Ontario this data can only be used as an incentive; companies are not allowed to surcharge, or refuse a risk based on telematics data. Discounts can range from 5% to 25% in some cases. On average, Ontario drivers have the most expensive insurance in Canada. The potential savings from using a telematics device make its appeal clear. There is also strong evidence that UBI programs can improve a person’s driving habits.

Drivers can check their driving attributes through a convenient website or mobile app. This can be especially helpful for new drivers who might not recognize risky behaviours, like constant acceleration followed by hard breaking. Having a baseline for these habits makes it easy for drivers to track their improvements. Parents or driving instructors can review the data to provide coaching and constructive feedback.

Usage based car insurance isn’t for everyone. Young drivers and drivers who live in expensive insurance territories like Brampton and Etobicoke have the most to gain from these potential savings. A common complaint about car insurance is that people can’t help where they live, why should you have to pay for all the bad drivers? Telematics is a step towards fixing this problem. Insurers and good drivers have a lot to gain from auto insurance that is based on real driving habits.

There are no additional costs to the driver. Downloading the app and setting it up is easy. Contact us today to start saving on your auto insurance!