Drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador can now show electronic proof of auto insurance (EPAI) to law enforcement, as the province recently became the second in Canada to be approved for the use of electronic pink slips.
“Electronic documents may be delivered through smartphones, apps, email or tablets,” Renee Dyer, the Superintendent of Insurance of Newfoundland and Labrador, wrote in a bulletin on Monday. “The use of electronic information is not required but, if EPAI is offered by an insurance company, a person may consent to its use.”
The news is bound to be well-received by drivers in the Atlantic province. It’s quite common for drivers to call brokers in order to request a copy of their pink card, says Kelly Hickman, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (IBAN).
“So being able to offer them an electronic version will likely appeal to those clients comfortable with technology and using smartphone apps,” Hickman told Canadian Underwriter.
Nova Scotia was the first province to adopt EPAI in January 2018.
Could Ontario be next?
That’s going to be a question for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), which took over auto insurance regulatory duties from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in June, according to Canadian Underwriter.
FSCO told the publication back in May that “the launch date has not yet been set for the approval of electronic proof of insurance in Ontario.”
Hopefully it arrives soon because Ontario drivers are hungry for it.
According to an IBC survey from January 2018, which polled more than 1,200 Ontarians, 74% said they wanted the option of EPAI.
Newfoundland and Labrador has received praise from the industry for adopting EPAI, including IBC and the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO).
“This is a good step,” IBC's Atlantic Vice-President, Amanda Dean, said in a press release on Tuesday. “IBC supports any changes that help make insurance more accessible for consumers. Clearly, the government understands that consumers deserve, and are looking for a modern insurance product. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to bring more choice and innovation to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Catherine Smola, president and CEO of the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO), said Monday in a press release:
“Electronic proof of auto insurance is an example of the industry collaborating effectively to provide a solution for a consumer pain point. We are continuing to work with stakeholders across Canada and expect regulatory approval in other provinces to follow.”