By: Luke Jones, Published on April 29, 2018 09:33 PM, Last Update on April 29, 2018 06:35 PM
Distracted driving in Canada and indeed across North America is increasing and becoming a major problem. While drivers in Canada are plagued by vast insurance premiums and get a raw deal, they are also contributing with growing distracted driving.
Indeed, distracted driving is a significant contributor to escalating auto insurance premiums in Canada. Aviva International’s CEO has likened distracted driving to impaired driving, suggesting that until distracted driving is treated the same it will continue to grow.
“I think distracted driving has become the new drunk driving,” said Maurice Tulloch, CEO, Aviva International Insurance. “It’s just as deadly but it hasn’t quite gotten the same negative social ramifications yet. While many drivers are aware of the pitfalls of texting or being distracted by their smartphones, they’re also aware it’s not as yet deemed as socially unacceptable as drunk driving. I believe distracted driving needs to become just as socially unacceptable.”
Ontario, the largest driving market in the country and Alberta, the second says both provinces are turbulent markets. This is especially in Ontario, where fraud is a major problem and the costs are passing to customers, added Tulloch.
“In Canada, the price of motor insurance in several provinces is nearing $2,000 per year, which is around 5% of the average Canadian household’s disposable income,” Tulloch told Insurance Business. “Politicians have to work for the betterment of their constituents, and if insurance is something that’s placing burden on the family budget, then that’s something that needs to be fixed. At Aviva Canada, we want to work with the government to get the right outcome for consumers.
“We’ve been saying for a few years that we think Canadian consumers are paying too much for auto insurance. When close to half of the indemnity payments are going into report writing and admin fees as opposed to claimant treatment, then you know there’s a problem with the system. We would rather see that money going to the claimant and their wellbeing.”