Toronto, Ontario -- September 10th, 2019 -- Ontario drivers will no longer have to rifle through their glove box to find their proof of insurance; the province is phasing in electronic proof of auto insurance, accessible through mobile devices such as a smartphone.
The decision was announced at a press conference last Thursday by Ontario’s Minister of Finance Rob Phillips. The approval follows similar policies in Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia was the first to implement electronic proof of auto insurance in January 2019, while Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador followed suit in July.
Some auto insurance providers were already offering electronic proof of insurance for policyholders, though Ontario had not created a regulatory framework for them. The Centre for Study on Insurance Operators also had an industry-based solution prepared to launch in June 2017.
Phillips said the government needed time to consult with insurers, consumer groups like CAA, law enforcement, and experts and officials in privacy. The electronic slips have “sophisticated safeguards,” said Phillips during the conference. “They can’t be edited or altered. Features cannot be included to enable anyone to track your location or collect, use or disclose data without your explicit permission.”
Offering a paperless option is a move welcomed by CAA and its members; a recently conducted survey indicated that nearly two-thirds of respondents were interested in electronic paper slips. Ontario’s approval mirrors CAA Insurance’s similar efforts in the province’s modernization of auto insurance. Last year the company released the first pay-as-you-go auto insurance of its kind, CAA MyPace, where drivers can monitor how much they drive and pay for insurance based on their mileage.
Don’t toss out your pink card yet, though; there will be a one-year phase in period for the electronic slips. Insurers who provide the new electronic slips will be required to provide policyholders with a paper slip at no additional cost.