Canadian Underwriter

Paid How Consumers Can Be in the Driver’s Seat When It Comes to their Auto Insurance

June 1, 2022   by Phil Gibson; EVP and Managing Director, Personal Insurance, Aviva Canada

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With warmer weather, many of us are thinking of spending more time outdoors, and for some this includes taking a cross country road trip. We’ve noticed that driving activity has been returning to pre-pandemic levels, and with inflation and gas prices at their highest levels in decades, we know Canadians are looking for more ways to save.

Recent news stories reported some Canadians planned to reduce the number of road trips they take this summer due to soaring gas prices. We’re happy to offer another way to save money: Aviva Canada’s new smartphone-based telematics offering, Aviva Journey. It not only provides an automatic 10% discount for the first year, it also helps safe drivers save up to 20% on their auto insurance premiums each year after that. Those with unsafe driving habits may see an increase. Anyone, new or existing customers can sign up for Aviva Journey at any time – there’s no need to wait until their policy renewal date. You can read more about Aviva Journey here.

Launched in Ontario in May, Aviva Journey is a usage-based insurance (UBI) proposition that uses drivers’ driving data to tailor their insurance premiums based on how well they drive. The app examines factors such as speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering – and provides drivers with real-time feedback on their driving. After the first annual term, these factors are used to determine their own personalized premium.  And since the Aviva Journey app gives trip scores on every trip taken, and consistently updates their potential renewal discount, there’s never a surprise for the customer. Aviva Journey truly allows drivers to take control of their auto premiums by understanding how to drive more safely and how it impacts their insurance premium.

While telematics or usage-based insurance isn’t new in Canada, the option has grown in popularity during the pandemic as driving activity decreased and more consumers adopted digital solutions. As many Canadians return to some form of hybrid work model and gas prices have increased, we think Aviva Journey is an attractive option for those looking to save money on their auto insurance premiums. My aim is to raise greater awareness of the program to benefit more people – because a recent survey Aviva Canada carried out in March this year showed that awareness of usage-based insurance is still low. About 66% of respondents surveyed did not know about usage-based insurance programs. Of the 33% who knew, only one-in-10 is enrolled, and they are typically under the age of 35.

We know consumers want more choices and influence over the rates they pay. There’s definitely room to raise awareness of how more safe drivers can benefit from potential savings and we’re looking to extend the program to additional regions and channels in the future. What makes Aviva Journey unique in today’s market is how it was heavily influenced by broker insight and feedback. We had the opportunity to test the app with select brokers over several months. For us at Aviva, it was important that we spent time getting invaluable broker feedback, to better understand their preferences, customers’ needs, and help brokers seek out the best options for their customers. We also wanted to make sure the Aviva Journey is straightforward and easy to understand for both our customers and brokers. Based on the initial feedback I’ve been receiving, I think we’ve hit these goals. As for me personally, ever since I enrolled in Aviva Journey, I’ve learned that I’m generally a safe driver, but I need to slow down a bit to make sure I receive the lowest premiums possible…and to enjoy the journey.