Allstate Canada launches telematics program in Alberta

Usage-based insurance is a way for insurers to get rid of risk proxies like age, gender and location

Allstate Canada has launched its telematics program in Alberta.

Drivewise will monitor policyholders’ driving habits for six months, and Allstate will apply discounts of up to 30 percent at renewal.

Drivers who don’t qualify for a discount won’t have their premiums increase.

Other insurers offering telematics programs include Desjardins, Industrial Alliance, Intact, IBAO’s IBRI and Ingenie, which is underwritten by Aviva subsidiary Pilot.

Desjardins’ telematics program is available as an app, and Ingenie hires psychologists to phone dangerous drivers and get them to change their habits.

Usage-based insurance is a way for insurers to get rid of risk proxies like age, gender and location.

“Fundamentally, in insurance, you don’t actually care how someone is or if they’re a man or a woman or what they drive or any of this stuff…,” Charlotte Halkett, the marketing actuary for UK telematics insurer Insure the Box told Top Broker in March. ”The only thing that’s important is ‘How much are these people going to cost me over the next year?’”

So telematics allows insurers to get rid of risk proxies and lets policyholders prove they’re a better risk than their average age group or gender.

Not all insurers agree telematics is the way to go, at least right now. At the IBAO convention in October, Economical’s president and CEO Karen Gavan pointed out tech changes so rapidly in the auto space, so her company is holding off on implementing usage-based insurance. And while installing telematics can help individual customers save on premiums, she argued, it’s not a magic fix to Ontario’s soaring auto rates, since it can’t catch all fraudulent claims.



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