Ontario drivers can now carry proof of their auto insurance on their mobile devices, instead of relying on the pink paper insurance slip that had previously been mandatory.
The government of Ontario put the policy into effect on Thursday, as part of a series of auto insurance reforms that were first unveiled in the Progressive Conservative government’s 2019 budget.
“Our Government has committed to making life easier for Ontario people,” said finance minister Rod Phillips, in a statement. “That is why this government is making auto insurance more convenient by giving drivers the option of showing their proof of auto insurance electronically so that drivers can access their insurance card in the way that best suits their needs.”
According to the PC government, the pink slip will not be immediately phased out: over the next year, insurance companies will be required to keep issuing pink slips when they are requested by drivers. Drivers will have the option of carrying either electronic or paper proof of their insurance during this period.
If drivers choose to carry electronic proof, they’ll be responsible for ensuring that their mobile device can properly display the paperwork — regardless of damaged screens, low batteries, or a poor signal.
To coincide with the province’s announcement, Intact Insurance announced on Thursday that it has now made an enhanced digital proof of insurance card available to Ontario policyholders. The digital card can be accessed through the Intact Insurance and belairdirect apps.
The feature was previously only available in Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia: provinces that had already allowed drivers to display proof of insurance electronically.
The government's news was met with approval by the insurance industry.
“We applaud the government’s decision to approve the use of eSlips because it’s a step in the right direction,” said Phil Gibson, managing director, personal insurance at Aviva Canada. “This is an example of stakeholders collaborating effectively to meet the evolving needs of customers on choice and convenience.”
“Ontario's auto insurers welcome the government's decision to allow electronic proof of insurance for Ontario drivers,” said Kim Donaldson, vice president, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada.
“Being able to provide digital documents to today's tech-savvy consumer is a baseline expectation of service we are thrilled to now be able to provide. This marks another step is making insurance easier and more accessible for Ontarians.”