Usage-based insurance is expanding rapidly in Canada, and is becoming increasingly available via the broker channel; Alberta-based Pembridge Insurance Company is the first broker-distribution insurer in the province to join the movement with the launch of the My_Bridge product.
The new telematics solution, which will monitor drivers’ habits including the time of day they drive, speed, distance and braking, will offer users discounts of up to 30% following a six-month data collection and analysis period. Users will be able to access their driving results via an online portal, giving them the ability to change their behaviour – and any bad habits – behind the wheel during the data collection phase.
Bob Tisdale, president and COO of Pembridge Insurance Canada, says growing consumer demand for premium control means insurance products must continuously evolve. “Customer buying habits are changing,” he stated in a release. “Consumers are sophisticated and educated. They want more control of their lives, including their auto insurance premiums.”
Usage-based insurance has been available in Canada since 2005, but it has suffered from slow consumer uptake, and early iterations were cost prohibitive. Now the market is growing, though still relatively small compared to the U.S. and Europe. Globally, telematics use is set to surge to 142 million users globally over the next seven years.
According to Pembridge, gaining consumer interest across the country has been boosted by the potential for such programs to help improve driving habits and road safety while reducing insurance costs.
“The outcome is that driving behaviours tend to improve, creating safer roads and providing greater discount savings to customers,” states Tisdale.