Canadian Underwriter

Aviva partners with brokers to launch digital pink slip pilot project

March 1, 2018   by Greg Dalgetty, Editor

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Photo copyright: Canada has partnered with 12 Ontario brokerages to launch a six-week digital pink slip pilot project for auto insurance customers.

“The customers of those brokers have the option on renewal to request their digital pink slip,” Tom Reid, Aviva’s executive director, digital broker strategy, told CITB. “They’ll get an email or a text message depending on their preference that will give them a link to download the digital pink slip onto their phone.”

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The digital slip contains all the same information found in a physical pink slip, including instructions on what to do if you’re involved in a collision. The idea came from a broker hackathon Aviva hosted in 2016 and gels with the insurer’s desire to keep pace with evolving consumer expectations, Reid explained.

“Nowadays you can bank 24/7 online off your phone or your desktop. Until recently, you could not do that in the property and casualty insurance business,” he said. “We’re trying to make it easier for customers to do business with us, and the digital pink slip is one way we’re doing that.”

There is, of course, one small obstacle: digital pink slips are currently not considered a legal document in Ontario, so Aviva is advising customers participating in the pilot project to continue to keep a physical copy of their pink slip in their car. However, Reid remains optimistic that Ontario will soon accept digital pink slips as proof of insurance.

“There’s a whole raft of regulatory changes that are coming down the pipe because of a number of things, including digitization,” he said. “Eventually it’s going to happen—there’s no doubt. It’s just a question of how it’s going to happen.”

He noted that Calgary-based brokerage Sharp Insurance has launched its own digital pink slip solution for its customers, who have reportedly not run into too many problems when presenting the digital documents as proof of insurance.

“The experience they’ve had with people getting pulled over is that the police most of the time will accept it,” Reid said.

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One issue that will need to be addressed and carefully considered by regulators is privacy, since more drivers could soon be handing their phones over to police if they get pulled over.

“It’s one thing to hand [the police] a piece of paper that’s only got your insurance information on it,” Reid said. “It’s a whole other thing to hand them your phone, which, if you’re like most other people, has your entire life on it.”

As part of its pilot project, Aviva will be gathering broker and customer feedback and sharing it with insurance regulators. The insurer plans to eventually make digital pink slips available nationally.

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.