Everyone is required to drive safely and conscientiously follow the rules of the road—but some people are more committed to driving safer than others. Why should cautious, safer drivers pay the same amount for their auto insurance as those who don't give safety a second thought? Ontario telematics insurance allows good, low-risk drivers to be acknowledged and rewarded with a discount on their insurance, even if they don't have a long driving history to confirm their careful driving practices. The reliable, experienced brokers at Morison Insurance can find you the right telematics insurance policy to ensure you get credit for keeping yourself and others safe on the road.
Ontario telematics insurance is a type of voluntary auto insurance program in which drivers can undergo a six-month assessment period to confirm that they are safe drivers, netting them a discount on their car insurance premiums. The monitoring and assessment are done through a smartphone app that records incidents such as hard braking and sharp turns while driving in real-time. After the assessment period, the telematics insurance provider reviews the collected data and uses it to determine your eligibility for a personalized insurance rate.
Suppose you typically drive defensively and take care to follow the rules of the road. In that case, you can benefit from a discount on your car insurance rate with Ontario telematics insurance. Drivers of any age and with any level of driving experience can stand to benefit from telematics insurance. Still, it can be particularly beneficial to young drivers or newly licensed drivers because their rates are automatically higher since they have yet to have the opportunity to prove their safe driving habits over the years. With telematics insurance, new drivers can show that they are committed to defensive driving and get their car insurance rates lowered a bit. Hence, they're more in line with a driver with a few years of experience and a clean driving record. Ontario telematics insurance can also be helpful to those who spend little time on the road because the less driving you do, the lesser your chances of being involved in an automobile accident. That being said, you need to drive at least 50 kilometres during the six-month assessment period, so there's enough data to develop a clear picture of your driving habits.
If you're interested in Ontario telematics insurance to reduce insurance costs through driver monitoring, contact your knowledgeable Morison Insurance broker and ask them about telematics-based insurance. Your broker will then explain which insurance providers offer telematics insurance and get you some quotes for programs that meet your unique insurance requirements.
When enrolled in an Ontario telematics insurance program, you will typically receive an enrollment discount of around five to 10 percent. You'll be required to install your insurance provider's telematics app on your mobile device and ensure you have continuous data access during the assessment period. You also need to ensure you have your smartphone when you're driving, but most people in this day and age already do that anyway.
After enrollment, the six-month assessment period begins. Insurance providers use the data collected by their telematics app to evaluate the frequency of your vehicle usage, along with how often you participate in safe driving behaviour such as:
Once the six-month assessment period has ended, your insurance provider will review the data and use it to determine the premium discount you are eligible for. Based on the collected data and your insurance company, the insurance discount could range from five to 50 percent. It's impossible to say precisely how much you can expect to save because it relies so heavily on the assessment. Still, the average driver with Ontario telematics insurance will save approximately $450 per year on their car insurance costs.
There are some excellent reasons to consider enrolling in Ontario telematics insurance. Saving money is the major perk everyone is after, but getting objective information about your driving habits can also be advantageous.
Traditional insurance pricing for vehicle coverage is based on elaborate risk assessment models that evaluate drivers by age, gender, location and sometimes even marital status or the type of care they drive, along with their driving history and insurance claims history over the years. While statistics can give important insight into the probability that any given individual will drive safely, there are exceptions to every rule. You may be in high-risk categories for age and gender, for example, but that doesn't mean you, as an individual, will not follow safer driving practices. Telematics insurance offers a way to be fairly assessed based on your good driving habits, not statistical data that may or may not even apply to you personally. That means you can get an accurate premium that truly reflects your unique risk levels based on nothing other than how you drive regularly.
Along with saving money by fairly assessing your driving ability, a key advantage of Ontario Telematics insurance is that you can gain valuable insight into your driving habits. You may know exactly how you operate your vehicle, but opening up an app and seeing concrete information on metrics such as the number of times you came to an abrupt stop is eye-opening. Like everyone else, you have a lot on your mind, and you may not always notice or mentally record every minor incident, like a sharp turn or rapid acceleration. Having that information in black and white in front of you can help you improve your habits by making you more aware of the minor ways you may not always drive as safely as you could.
Ontario telematics insurance coverage rewards safe drivers with discounted rates, and that's the primary purpose of any telematics program. In 2016, when telematics technology was becoming an increasingly popular option, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) released guidelines that stipulated telematics data could not impact claims decisions or lead to policy cancellations and surcharges for drivers due to concerns about the accuracy of the new technology and its reporting ability. However, in 2020, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) that replaced the FSCO eliminated those guidelines, making it possible for insurance companies to penalize drivers based on their telematics data. While insurance companies don't necessarily exercise this right, they do legally have the ability to do so. It's worth noting that most people who choose to enroll in a telematics insurance company have a positive experience and benefit from the process overall.
No, it doesn't. While it's true that driving at night or in busy rush hour conditions can increase the likelihood of a vehicular accident, the time of day that you choose to drive during your six-month assessment period does not impact the results of your Ontario telematics insurance evaluation. That being said, the frequency of driving—at any time of the day—can make a difference because if you don't drive very often, you have a reduced risk of being involved in a car accident than someone who is constantly on the road. Therefore, if you are a less frequent driver, you stand to benefit from telematics insurance but keep in mind that you must drive a minimum of 50 kilometres during the six-month assessment period in order for the app to gather a sufficient amount of information for evaluation.
The name "black box insurance" is something of a throwback to when telematics was first introduced. To access Ontario telematics insurance, drivers had to have wireless devices installed in their vehicles that would record the data and send it to their insurance company. Still, it's not done that way anymore. Nowadays, you download your insurance company's telematic app on your smartphone and leave it there for the six-month assessment period. That means you need to have your smartphone with you in the car while you're driving. Insurance companies no longer have the "black box" devices installed in drivers' cars, so it's only possible to get Ontario telematics insurance if you have a smartphone for the six-month assessment period.
The telematics app from your insurance company relies on data coverage to record and transmit data about your driving habits, so it is necessary to have an active data plan on your smartphone during the six months you are being assessed. If your data lapses and the mobile app cannot send or receive information, the evaluation period will be void, and it will be necessary to start over again.
It's essential to protect your privacy in the modern world when so much information about you is being stored and transmitted online. The very idea of Ontario telematics insurance can raise red flags about privacy concerns, so this is a valid question to ask. However, policyholders can rest assured that strict privacy policies protect their telematics information and cannot be used for any purposes other than auto insurance assessments without your express consent.
Ontario telematics insurance is not something that every auto insurance provider offers—in fact, only a relatively small number of companies currently offer telematics as an option. Suppose you'd like to enroll in a telematics insurance program. In that case, it makes sense first to contact your insurance broker and find out if the insurance company you already have coverage with has an option for Ontario telematics insurance. If they don't, the best course of action will likely be to wait until your policy is up for renewal and have your experienced broker at Morison Insurance switch you over to an insurance carrier offering a telematics insurance program. However, it's worth noting that the popularity of telematics insurance is on the rise, so it's safe to assume that more companies will be getting on board with it shortly and offering their own Ontario telematics insurance programs.
Ontario telematics insurance is only available for personal vehicles and cannot be applied to a vehicle that is solely covered by commercial auto insurance.
If you're interested in Ontario telematics insurance benefits and want to get started on enrolling in a telematics program, call your friendly Morison Insurance broker today at 1-800-463-8074. At Morison Insurance, we work for our clients rather than for the insurance companies. That's why we focus on finding the right combination of coverages, limits and policies to address your unique insurance needs and give you the financial protection you need to have total peace of mind knowing you won't have to pay out of pocket for costs associated with the perils you're most likely to encounter.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.