Canadian Underwriter

Provincial brokers hearing consumer demand for electronic pink slips

November 23, 2017   by Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor

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Nova Scotia motorists will probably get permission early next year to present electronic proof of auto insurance without having to carry paper pink slips in their vehicles, the president of the province’s broker association predicts.

Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia (IBANS) has endorsed the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations’ eDelivery products, which are expected to be released in 2018. CSIO’s industry solution is intended to send electronic versions of auto liability cards, as well as personal and commercial policy documents, to consumers, CSIO announced Thursday, two days after demonstrating the product to Nova Scotia brokers.

Some Nova Scotia motorists are already requesting electronic copies of pink slips from their brokers, says IBANS president Gina McFetridge. “In other cases, they are taking photographs themselves and storing electronic copies in their phones, potentially not thinking they are still required to have that hard copy pink card….”

“The majority of consumers are ready for [pink cards] and looking to have [them] available within the province,” McFetridge says.

Thursday’s announcement comes eight days after CSIO announced that the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta also endorsed eDelivery.

Alberta, like Nova Scotia and Ontario, also requires drivers to carry paper pink slips, although Ontario’s ruling Liberals announced in May, 2017 that they intend to let drivers “confirm their proof of insurance through their mobile device, instead of the current paper ‘pink slips’ issued by insurance companies.”

The Nova Scotia Office of the Superintendent of Insurance was “certainly behind the concept of having electronic proof of insurance, but they had been presented with some concerns related to the possibility of privacy issues and had decided to take a step back and make sure those privacy issues were addressed before they moved ahead and asked law enforcement to start accepting electronic proof of insurance,” McFetridge says.

Based on Tuesday’s CSIO demonstration, IBANS believes some of these privacy issues have since been “addressed” and IBANS is “hopeful that we will be able to get endorsement within the province in the coming months,” McFetridge says.

The privacy concerns were explored in an advisory report prepared for CSIO, and written by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin lawyer Daniel Fabiano.

“Concerns have been raised regarding a police officer’s ability to access [electronic pink slip] information while that officer is in possession of the mobile device in the course of verifying the proof of insurance,” Fabiano wrote in the CSIO paper.

“Initially some of the methods that were considered required the phone to be unlocked or didn’t have the option of viewing the pink card while the rest of the phone was locked down so that messages and different private information wouldn’t be exposed when the phone was handed over to the officer,” McFetridge said Thursday, adding she is optimistic that by early 2018, Nova Scotia motorists will no longer be required by law to carry paper pink slips.