Auto Insurance

Allstate offers discounts with new telematics app for auto insurance

By: Lisa Coxon on May 13, 2019

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is joining the world of safe-driving telematics technology with the launch of its new app, Drivewise.

The app, which is debuting during National Road Safety Week (May 14 to 20) and is free to download on Android and Apple devices, allows Allstate customers to get a sense of their driving habits so they can learn how to drive safer. If they demonstrate safe driving behaviour, they have the chance to get up to a 30% discount on their auto insurance premiums.

“Every insurance company has customers who ask for lower rates because they say they are safer drivers,” said Glen King, Director of Product Development and Connected Consumer for Allstate. “The Drivewise app, through telematics technology, gives Allstate Canada customers the power to showcase exactly that, with the opportunity to save money as a result.”

The marriage of telematics and auto insurance is becoming fairly common. And the offerings are generally the same across the board.

Intact has had its my Driving Discount app for a while now, which offers a one-time discount of 5% just for enrolling in the program, and then gives customers the chance to earn up to 30% off their premiums.

Desjardins Insurance also offers its own safe-driving program called Ajusto, which is available as part of the Desjardins Insurance Home-Auto app and gives customers the chance to get up to 25% off their premiums. Ajusto provides drivers with a final score after they’ve travelled 1,000 kilometres and provided 100 days of trip analysis.

Smaller players have entered the market, too. Earlier this year, we reviewed the Onlia Sense app, which rewards safe drivers with Starbucks gift cards. Last December, Onlia began selling auto insurance and tied the app to discounts on customer’s premiums as well. That said, anyone can use the Onlia app for the caffeine-related perks; they don’t have to be an Onlia customer.

There’s even talk of telematics entering the home insurance and life insurance space as well. This, of course, raises significant privacy concerns. For instance, what are insurance companies doing with customer data, and could driving habits ever be used against drivers in the form of higher premiums?

So far, insurers offering safe-driving telematics apps have only been enabling drivers to earn drivers discounts on their premiums for safe driving, not penalize them for unsafe driving.

Allstate said in a news release that Drivewise would help the company estimate a driver’s savings based on the following:

  • Safe speeds: keeping speed below 125 km/h
  • Safe hours: limiting trips between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Safe stops: limiting hard braking

Right now, the Drivewise app is available only to customers in Ontario, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. Quebec will get its hands on the app in the summer.