To help drivers in Alberta save money on car insurance, Intact Insurance is introducing a telematics program that will allow motorists in that province to potentially save up to 25% on their premiums at renewal.
Commonly referred to as usage-based insurance (UBI), Intact’s ‘my driving discount’ program involves the use of a mobile app on an individual’s smartphone that collects driving behaviour data. If a driver consistently demonstrates safe driving habits over a minimum of nine months, they will receive a personalized discount.
The program assesses driving behaviour on three factors: hard braking, rapid acceleration, and time of day. Customers receive a one-time 10% discount on their premium for signing up for the program. Intact’s program was initially launched in Ontario in 2013 and is also available in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec.
Safe Driving Habits Can Lead to a Lower Premium
Other auto insurers also offer their customers UBI programs that are designed to reward them with discounts for driving safely. Similar to using a mobile app to track and analyze an individual’s physical fitness when they exercise, telematics programs track how you drive.
According to Insurance Business Canada, a 2018 report suggests 74% of Canadians would agree to use an app that monitors their driving habits to receive a “personalized car insurance premium.”
Furthermore, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) notes the widespread adoption of telematics offers additional benefits, including a reduction in traffic accidents and congestion. IBC says it expects the number of auto insurers offering telematics programs to increase.
Will UBI Become a Big Factor for Auto Insurance Reform in Alberta?
An Alberta government committee is reviewing ways the province may be able to reduce the cost of auto insurance. One approach may be to loosen the strict regulatory environment that governs how auto insurers operate, including their UBI programs.
Though UBI programs are available through some insurers in Alberta, one of the recommendations in a report by IBC encourages the province to enhance how UBI is administered. Presently, “insurers are very limited in how they can use usage-based insurance technology, which allows drivers to pay premiums based on their actual driving habits instead of proxy variables such as territory, age, and gender”, the report states.