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Allstate rolls out telematics auto insurance in Alberta


April 5, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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Allstate Insurance Company of Canada announced Tuesday it is using telematics to provide usage-based insurance to personal lines customers in Alberta.

White conceptual keyboard - Insurance (green key with car icon)Allstate went live April 1 with Drivewise, using technology from Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Modus Group LLC.

“In Ontario, (Drivewise) has been live for a while now, so Alberta is our new addition,” said Lisa McWatt, Allstate Canada’s director of brand innovation.

Markham, Ont.-based Allstate Canada is the first carrier to announce the Alberta government approved a rate filing based on usage-based insurance.

With Drivewise, Allstate is monitoring time of day, distance, excessive speed and hard braking. Allstate will not charge extra for risky behaviour but will give discounts of up to 30% for good driving behaviour.

“What drove our decision was we’re focused on rewarding safe drivers and creating programs that are going to reward safe driving habits,” McWatt said in an interview.

Allstate says that once customers are enrolled in Drivewise, the behaviour of their vehicles “will be monitored for a six-month period, after which the data collected will determine the earned discount (up to 30 per cent) that will be applied at renewal.”

In Alberta, Allstate Canada is currently offering Drivewise through Allstate agents. It is not currently available through brokers selling auto insurance written by Allstate Canada subsidiary Pembridge. However, there will be a program – called My_Bridge – available for brokers selling Pembridge policies in Alberta starting in May, an Allstate Canada spokesperson said.

Allstate is not making any predictions on the impact on frequency and severity of claims.

“We haven’t done any forecasting,” McWatt said. “I would assume over time that if people start driving better, that is going to have a positive impact.”

In Quebec, Industrial Alliance Home and Auto Insurance Inc. provides usage-based insurance through its Mobiliz brand and increases rates if certain risky behaviours are detected.

In Ontario, usage-based insurance is approved for discounts only.  In addition to Allstate, carriers offering UBI in Ontario include The Co-operators Group Ltd., the South Central Ontario arm of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA SCO), Desjardins General Insurance Company (DGIG) and Intact Insurance.

Also in Ontario, Aviva Canada Inc.’s Pilot subsidiary writes personal lines auto, using telematics, through Ingenie Canada Inc. That product is available both directly to consumers and through brokers. Independent Broker Resources Inc., a subsidiary of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, has an agreement Quindell plc, Ingenie’s parent company, to provide telematics in Ontario.

Aviva Canada Inc.’s Pilot subsidiary offers UBI through Ingenie Canada Inc., both through brokers and direct to consumers on the Ingenie.ca website. Ingenie’s parent company, Quindell plc, has an agreement with IBAO subsidiary Independent Broker Resources Inc. (IBRI) to provide telematics in Ontario.

In the summer of 2015, Unica Insurance Inc. announced it is endorsing IBRI fleetadvisor, a telematics-based commercial auto offering.

RSA Canada also previously announced plans to launch telematics-based insurance in Ontario.

Travelers Canada is “very interested” in telematics, CEO Duane Sanders said this past October during the CEO panel at IBAO’s annual convention in Toronto.


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2 Comments » for Allstate rolls out telematics auto insurance in Alberta
  1. Gilbert A. Carlson says:

    As an insurance broker (although not involved with the auto insurance market) I find it impossible to believe that the insurance companies are spending millions of dollars (I’m guessing here) on telematics for the sole purpose of being able to give discounts to good drivers. In the provinces where they can’t raise rates, they do not have to renew and may be able to cancel policies at will. Once this happens and the driver looks for another underwriter all information will be factored into the new rates whether or not there has been driving violations or points accumulated. This is a huge smoke screen.

  2. Glenn Bondy says:

    UBI is the best thing to happen to our industry in a long time. Good drivers have the ability to control their own rates. Young and inexperienced drivers will be taught early on (with monetary benefits) how to be a safe driver….definitely a game changer.

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