TORONTO — Ontario drivers can now carry electronic proof of their auto insurance on their smartphones or other devices, and that will speed up the delivery process of new vehicles, dealers say.
Finance Minister Rod Phillips says the pink paper insurance slip isn't being eliminated yet, but being able to display the information on a phone can save drivers from rummaging through their glove compartments.
He says there will be a one-year phase-in period, when insurers will have to issue a paper card in addition to the electronic option if it is requested.
Phillips says the electronic cards will feature safeguards that won't allow them to be altered or edited, and privacy concerns are top of mind.
Drivers will be responsible for making sure their phone can display the proof of insurance, even with a poor signal, drained battery or damaged screen.
The Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA), which represents more than 1,100 new-vehicle dealers in Ontario, applauds the technical advancement.
“Allowing for electronic proof of auto insurance provides the opportunity for drivers to have a copy of their insurance before driving off the dealership lot in their new car,” TADA Director of Government Relations Frank Notte said in a statement. “Today’s announcement by Finance Minister Rod Phillips to allow drivers the choice to use electronic proof of automobile insurance makes life more convenient and cuts red tape.”
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says consumers have digital options in other sectors such as banking and retail, so auto insurers are pleased their customers will have the same choice.