Canada turning corner on UBI coverage

Published: March 26, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Insurance companies in Canada are looking towards innovations in auto insurtech, but the developments are further behind European and US companies. According to research by Ptolemus, the usage-based insurance (UBI) market grew 26% globally during 2017, but markets like the United States, Italy, and United Kingdom still vastly surpass Canada’s tiny UBI sector.

Despite this, there is hope. Kenny Hawk, the CEO of telematics connected car company Mojio believes there is progress being made in Canada.

“Canada is coming along. We launched with Telus and a couple of other carriers there and we’re starting to see some more aggressive moves by operators to connect up the unconnected,” said Hawk.

While Canadian regulations are often stifling for auto insurance companies may pave the way for UBI to become more popular. For example, the Ontario government last year proposed a pilot project for conducting emissions tests through on-board devices.

“You have to get in a car and drive to an emissions test station where you’re generating more smog, plug into a computer where it reads the information, and then you drive back, generating even more smog. It should all be done remotely and now it can be. Toronto has approved that,” said Hawk.

“They’re especially interested because compared to the old days – old days being just a few years ago – where the insurance company would have to market to the consumer, they’d have to buy a device, they’d have to ship the device, they’d have to convince the user to use the device, and the only thing a user got was a potential discount. Now, we have over 650,000 users that put a device in their car and are paying their own way because of all the benefits, above and beyond just the discount.”