On Thursday, September 5, Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced the approval of electronic proof of auto insurance in Ontario.
On Thursday, September 5, 2019, the Ontario government announced that digital proof of insurance will now be acknowledged by authorities, in addition to traditional pink paper slips. This change is a part of the Putting Drivers First Blueprint which brings forth a number of ideas to make positive changes in the insurance industry.
While drivers can begin using digital slips in lieu of paper ones immediately, there will be a one-year transition period where insurers must provide a traditional paper slip in addition to a digital version.
At the CAA conference where the announcement was made, Finance Minister Rob Phillips explained, "With the proliferation of mobile devices and apps and various add ons, it only makes sense that drivers in Ontario can take advantage of the same options that drivers in other provinces can."
Ontario is now the fourth province to approve the use of digital slips, behind Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada notes that consumers have digital options in other sectors such as banking and retail, so it makes sense for auto insurers to follow suit – and we couldn’t agree more.
What does this mean for you?
Gone are the days of rummaging through your glove box
Like Phillips said, rummaging through your glove box shouldn’t be something you have to do in 2019. With digital pink slips, all you’ll need is your phone handy.
An uncharged or damaged phone won’t get you off the hook
If your phone’s screen is in rough condition or dead when you need your proof of insurance, the police won’t take this as a valid excuse to let you off the hook.
Will your privacy be compromised?
Having your proof of insurance on your mobile may seem a little unsecure to some drivers, but Phillips mentioned during his announcement that the digital cards will feature safeguards that won’t allow them to be edited or tampered with.
Phones have become more than just a communication tool; they’re where most of us keep our personal information. So, when handing your phone over to police, how can you be sure that information stays private? According to a bulletin from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario, electronic insurance cards in Ontario must be able to be viewed on a phone using "lock screen capability."
That means that the card must be able to be ‘locked’ - whether that’s a design capability or a setting the policyholder changes on their phone. Regardless, the province has said that it’s the responsibility of policyholders to use the lock screen function to "make sure personal information is protected."
We’re always trying to simplify insurance, so of course, we’re over the moon that things are about to get even more convenient for our customers. We believe insurance should be simple, and this is a step in the right direction.
It’s important to note that even though we currently provide a digital copy of the pink slip for reference, these copies aren't able to replace your physical proof of insurance just yet.
You can bet we'll be working as fast as we can to get the full-fledged digital pink slip rolled out for all our customers. Ontario drivers are due for a little more modernity in their insurance.