Did you know that as of September 2019, Ontario drivers can now carry their auto insurance policies on their smartphones or other mobile devices?
Technology has come a long way, allowing consumers just about anything with the tap of a screen or a button, but should insurance be one of those things? Now, the answer is YES. Pink paper insurance slip is not being eliminated (not yet at least), but being able to display the information on the phone will bring a great convenience to tech-savvy drivers. From an eco-friendly standpoint, it is good for the environment. Less paper is less rummaging through the glove box, looking for your little pink slip.
There will be a one-year period where insurers will have to issue a paper card in addition to the electronic option if it is requested. In Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador drivers can already display their proof of insurance electronically, so the trend is on the rise.
With all the changes that come along with this new feature, Erie Mutual and our members still have a few questions:
- Would an officer take your phone back to the cruiser like is done now with the paper slip?
No one has an issue with an officer taking the pink slip back to their cruiser, but how would you feel about an officer taking back your private mobile device for an undetermined length of time? Our phones have become mirrors of ourselves as they contain our search histories, private photos and communications.What assurances would we have that an officer would keep their eyes on the proof of insurance and not find his or her way to other areas of your phone? The phone screen will need to be able to lock to ensure that only your proof of insurance can be viewed. What happens if the officer drops and damages your phone? While the officer is reviewing your information back in the cruiser, are you left in your car without any way to communicate with the outside world to tell your family or work that you are running late for instance?
- Will other provinces in Canada or states in the U.S. accept an electronic form of insurance?
While Ontario and some other provinces in Canada are adopting this new way of providing proof of insurance, not all provinces are and certainly not the United States (as of now, October 2019). So what happens if you cross a border into a jurisdiction that does not recognize electronic proof of insurance but it may be the only form you have?
- What if you are unable to provide digital proof of insurance because your phone is not accessible?
Part of the news regarding this change states that drivers will be solely responsible for making sure their phone can display the proof of insurance, even with a poor signal, drained battery or damaged screen. So, what would the consequences be for poor reception, dead battery or otherwise that would prevent you from showing your insurance on your mobile device due to circumstances beyond your control?
There is plenty that makes sense with the rise of electronic proof of insurance, including safeguards that protects against document tampering, however we feel there are still many questions left unanswered ane we are curious to see that they get resolved as we enter in a brave new world.
If you have any questions or concerns about this new law and how it may affect you as an Erie Mutual member, or are interested in receiving an auto insurance quote, please contact us today!
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.