Canadian Underwriter

New program aims to bring high-risk drivers back to standard market

July 22, 2022   by Alyssa DiSabatino

Three yellow taxi cabs lined up on the street

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Facility Association (FA) is launching a video-enabled telematics program for Ontario taxi drivers, and it may see participants earn their way back to the standard market. 

The program, effective Dec. 1, 2022, is meant to help drivers improve their driving and correct bad habits. 

“Enrollment in the telematics program would qualify participants to an incentive reduction in premium, and more important, may qualify them to return to the standard market where they would enjoy more choice and better prices for coverage,” FA said in a press release. 

Toronto-based tech firm Foresight Insurance Analytics Inc. will install the telematics devices and manage all data received. FA will not access or receive any of the data that’s generated. 

Taxi drivers will receive a daily score via the telematics device so the operator or owner can monitor their good or bad habits and make improvements.

The score is based on multiple incident types interacting with each other. These incidents include risk factors such as red-light violations, distracted driving, following too closely, hard or late braking, weaving in and out of lanes, hard on gas, harsh turning, no seatbelt and lane violations. 

Poor driving habits often send drivers to an insurer of last resort, said FA’s president and CEO Saskia Matheson.

“It’s also the reason insurance premiums are higher than the standard market,” she added.

“We are always looking for ways to try and get drivers back into the standard market and for the first time in the history of FA, we have created an incentive reduction in premium for those who enroll…we believe it will help not only improve driving habits, but also allow customers to earn their way out of FA and back into the standard market,” said Matheson. 

Since 2016, FA’s taxi market share in Ontario increased significantly, despite a decrease in the overall number of public vehicles in the industry.

“The trend started at the onset of the pandemic and continues to be a concern for FA,” said Fadia Charbine, vice president, underwriting, claims & operations at FA in a press release. “We strive to enhance market stability by minimizing our market presence in an effort to provide consumers with the benefits of a healthy and competitive standard insurance market.”  

FA said it will explore opportunities in other provinces to determine if there is a desire to establish a similar telematics program, following its approval in Ontario. 


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