Why is Nova Scotia alone in adopting electronic proof of auto insurance?

Published: August 31, 2018

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While electronic proof of insurance solutions are now readily available, many parts of the country have yet to adopt the technology. Regulators explained that concerns about customer privacy rights regarding mobile phones is proving to be a problem and preventing eSlips from being introduced.

Electronic proof of auto insurance allows consumers to present their insurance documents digitally through a smartphone application.

Canadian Underwriter reached out to provincial regulators to find out what the stumbling blocks are. Andrew Hanon, communications director for Alberta Treasury Board and Finance explained staying within the boundaries of privacy laws “is out top concern”.

The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) approved electronic proof of auto insurance in February, but Nova Scotia remains the only province to have implemented it. In January, the insurance regulator in the province approved use of electronic proof of insurance. CCIR has previously urged other provinces to follow Nova Scotia.

“Given today’s advanced digital marketplace, the CCIR recommends that EPAI [Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance] be made available in Canada alongside the traditional paper proof of insurance.”

“In our conversations with stakeholders, police have expressed concern about having to handle a motorist’s smartphone to verify their insurance and the potential for officers being accused of violating motorists’ privacy,” Hanon said Monday.

It also seems that other provinces are using Nova Scotia as an experiment. Hanon freely admits Alberta is “watching what happens in Nova Scotia to see what we can learn from their experience.”

“We support those insurers and brokers who have developed electronic applications that allow motorists to access their insurance information on devices; however, insureds still must carry a paper pink card in their vehicle with them,” Hanon said.