Canadian Underwriter

A milestone for digital pink slips

July 18, 2018   by Jackie Rosen and Greg Dalgetty

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In January, Nova Scotia’s Office of the Superintendent of Insurance issued a bulletin approving the use of digital proof of auto insurance, becoming the first province in the country to do so.

“I believe it’s something the industry is looking for, I think consumers are looking for it, and I think it’s a step forward in technological evolution,” Jennifer Calder, the province’s deputy superintendent of insurance, told Canadian Insurance Top Broker.

In 2015, a report commissioned by the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) found that regulators in Canada could approve the use of digital pink slips via bulletin. Nova Scotia’s bulletin includes guidelines for insurers and brokers on the implementation of digital pink slips.

“It’s basically the guiding principles outlining the expectations of the insurance industry should they choose to offer electronic proof of auto insurance,” Calder said. “If their platform meets the requirements that we’ve outlined, then that would be acceptable.”

The milestone was met with fanfare from Catherine Smola, president and CEO of CSIO.

“We applaud Nova Scotia on being the first regulator in Canada to take this important step and are optimistic that other provinces will follow suit in the coming weeks and months,” Smola told CITB.

At press time, Nova Scotia remains the only province to have approved digital proof of auto insurance, but that doesn’t mean the industry isn’t preparing for a sea change.

In December, Aviva Canada partnered with 12 brokerages in Ontario to launch a digital pink slip pilot program. The six week trial gave brokers’ customers the option of downloading digital pink slips when their insurance came up for renewal.

Drivers who participated in the program still had to carry physical pink slips since digital versions aren’t accepted in Ontario. But Tom Reid, Aviva’s executive director of digital broker strategy, believes it’s only a matter of time until the province approves digital pink slips.

“There’s a whole raft of regulatory changes that are coming down the pipe,” Reid told CITB. “Eventually it’s going to happen—there’s no doubt. It’s just a question of how it’s going to happen.”

Reid noted that privacy will be one of the key issues regulators have to consider before approving the use of digital proof of insurance, since drivers would be handing over their phones to police if they get pulled over.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the January/February 2018 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.