Technology & societal changes driving unprecedented customization for consumers

Welcome to the era of ultra-personalized insurance.

CONTENT FROM INSURANCE TRENDS REPORT

New types of products and services are available to Canadians through a growing number of channels and, increasingly, consumers are purchasing insurance tailor-made for their personal needs.

While traditional policy categories and annual commitments still exist, insurers are launching innovative forms of insurance that break the historic mould, such as insurance that you activate and deactivate as warranted or premiums based on your behaviour – demonstrated by data – instead of your demographic risk profile.

Digital monitoring technologies and connectivity are fuelling much of the transformation. “All the sensors and connected devices in our homes, vehicles and fitness devices are generating tremendous amounts of data, and data is the new gold,” says Doug Grant, partner at Insurance-Canada.ca Inc., an organization that provides independent information about technology and the business of insurance. “Using analytics and AI, you can understand your customer much better and make them offers or add products they tell you they want.”

This wealth of data is allowing insurance companies to be more proactive in risk management, says Mr. Grant. Examples include vehicle telematics that reward safe drivers and premium reductions for homeowners who install sensors that warn of dangerous water leaks.

“The traditional model was based on the understanding that if something goes wrong, I will indemnify you for the loss,” he says. “With this shift, the insurer is giving you tools to reduce your risk, and both parties benefit when insurance claims are reduced.”

Personalization of insurance is enabling new forms of usage-based policies. That principle motivated CAA Insurance to take a non-traditional approach with the launch of Canada’s first pay-as-you-go auto policy, CAA MyPace.

“Our goal is to give the motorists who rely on our insurance choice and control over how they benefit, based on their lifestyle and their stage of life,” says Matthew Turack, president, CAA Insurance. “MyPace is most beneficial for people who don’t drive very much maybe because they use public transit for work or are retired. Motorists pay in increments of 1,000 kilometres driven.”

Low-mileage drivers with this policy are saving an average of 40 per cent in premiums, says Mr. Turack.

CAA is also a big provider of travel insurance via its Orion Travel Insurance Company, and innovation is happening in that sphere as well. For example, the company’s emergency medical travel insurance now offers policyholders virtual health-care services. “We’re providing the opportunity for people who get a minor ailment while travelling to get telemedicine, linking with a physician through a secure video link. It is another customized offering that responds to consumer needs.”

In addition to technology changes, insurance providers are also responding to significant societal change. As VP of Emerging Business Models at The Co-operators, Peter Primdahl works to identify opportunities for new types of policies and delivery channels.

“The nature of work is changing with the ‘gig economy,’ and consuming is changing – moving away from ownership to access,” says Mr. Primdahl. “Changes in the ways we live are creating new risks, and by addressing these and facilitating participation in this economy, we hope to help people improve their financial security in this new era.”

We’re providing the opportunity for people who get a minor ailment while travelling to get telemedicine, linking with a physician through a secure video link. It is another customized offering that responds to consumer needs.

— Matthew Turack president, CAA Insurance

The other shift is the fact that consumers are always connected and expect their insurance providers to be the same, he says. “We are now focusing more than ever on how our clients interact with us. While we continue to manage our core business, we are exploring a ‘test and learn’ approach to new products – releasing them to clients and inviting their feedback, making improvements as requested.”

This more experimental approach led to creation of a suite of digital products called Duuo by The Co-operators, he says. “We developed the first digital on-demand policy in Canada for short-term rental housing, an activity typically not covered by regular homeowner’s insurance. Users can pop in and out of the coverage – turning it on before their guests arrive and having it automatically turn off when they leave.”

The Co-operators responded to client requests with another novel product: on demand Rent My Stuff insurance for people renting out their equipment. “We’re encouraging our customers to continue to tell us how we can refine more of our products and client experiences to align with their lives,” says Mr. Primdahl.

Source:

The Globe and Mail

More than just the valet was keeping an eye on Kerry Charbonneau’s truck while he was away on vacation.

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DYK: Nearly half of Canadian drivers think vehicle safety technology poses a risk to road safety

DYK: Nearly half of Canadian drivers think vehicle safety technology poses a risk to road safety

Over-reliance on technology and lack of education cited as main factors

Toronto, ON, November 27, 2019 – Your vehicle brakes automatically to avoid a collision. It beeps to warn you if there is a car in your blind spot. The steering wheel vibrates if you unintentionally drift out of your lane or start crossing lanes without signalling. A light flashes to warn you of a risk of a frontal collision. These features are all designed to make driving safer, but nearly half of Canadian drivers also think they pose a risk to road safety, according to a recent survey released by Desjardins Insurance.Increasingly, vehicles on our roads are equipped with highly sophisticated safety features to prevent crashes or warn drivers of unsafe conditions. While a majority of drivers agree that these safety features are needed to make our roads safer (51%), the survey data suggests more needs to be done to ensure drivers not only understand what these features are meant to do, but also what they don’t guard against.

“While studies clearly show that crash avoidance and other safety systems in newer cars are reducing collisions and saving lives, the survey’s findings are enough to give us pause. They are an important reminder that no matter how sophisticated the safety systems, the driver’s vigilance and attention are essential to ensure safe driving, both for the people in the vehicle and those who share the road with motorists,” said Alain Hade, Vice-President, Marketing and Member Client Experience at Desjardins Insurance.

Among the survey’s highlights, it was found that:
  • 48% of drivers think vehicle safety technologies pose a risk to road safety
  • 46% of drivers think Canadian drivers are over-reliant on vehicle safety technologies
  • 80% think there should be more education on how to use safety features in vehicles
  • 63% of Canadians, drivers or not, feel advanced safety technology can contribute to distraction among drivers
However, the survey did reveal some positive points, including:
  • 52% of drivers believe vehicle safety features help reduce the number of collisions
  • 51% of drivers feel vehicle safety features are needed to keep our roads safer

“It’s important that driver knowledge of safety features and confidence in them is on the rise, particularly as they are exposed to features that are increasingly standard on new vehicles,” said Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. “Caution is warranted in the promotion of safety features and their benefits to ensure Canadians understand the functionality and limitations of them, and to discourage drivers from relying on them in situations for which they were not designed.”

Are we ready for autonomous vehicles?
With most car manufacturers expected to unveil semi- or fully autonomous vehicles in the not-too-distant future, it is clear Canadians are somewhat reluctant to fully embrace the technology. According to survey results, less than a third of Canadians who expressed an opinion on that matter (28%) say they would trust being driven in a fully autonomous vehicle.

“These results lead us to believe that people experienced with the technology have confidence in vehicle safety systems, but not blindly,” added Hade. “Drivers need to be well informed about the car they’re driving before getting behind the wheel. This means knowing what the features and technology can and cannot do. Safety technologies are important to prevent injuries and fatalities, but they also have limitations.”

Impact on insurance
Half (52%) believe the safety systems help reduce the number of crashes; however, they rely on costly electronic components and sensors that also have a direct impact on the cost of repairing a vehicle. Between 2009 and 2016, the average cost of a two-vehicle collision (at-fault and not-at-fault) jumped 30%.

Insurance offered in Elliot Lake for water-sewer problems

The excerpted article was written by Brent Sleightholm | Elliot Lake Today

For the second year running, the City of Elliot Lake has offered residents a way to be insured against water and sewer issues.

“The City of Elliot Lake has partnered with Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) to offer protection to city homeowners with Service Line Warranties of Canada to offer protection to city homeowners for the water and sewer service lines that connect their homes to the city’s systems,” Elliot Lake CAO Daniel Gagnon, explained in an email.

“The coverage is voluntary and available at affordable monthly prices. Since 2015, SLWC has partnered with over 50 leading cities in Ontario to provide repair service plans that offer homeowners peace of mind and convenience,” said Gagnon.

“Many homeowners do not know that damage to the service lines on their property is their responsibility to repair. In the event of a service line repair emergency, the homeowner is responsible for scheduling the repair and covering the associated cost. The SLWC Service Line Warranty Program protects against repairs needed to pipes on homeowners’ property,” Gagnon added. “Repairs to these pipes are not often covered by basic homeowners insurance. If a customer’s service line is in need of repair, a simple call to the SLWC 24-hour hotline will dispatch a local, licensed contractor familiar with local code. There are no service fees or deductibles.”

“A recent mail-out was done by SLWC to homeowners in Elliot Lake and is completely voluntary. The city is not delivering the service but is simply facilitating the offer,” Gagnon concluded.

‘Insurance companies are fighting everything, every step of the way’

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‘London’ officially out as insurance giant completes rebranding

NORMAN DE BONO | The London Free Press

The final hurdles have been cleared for the end of an iconic London brand.

London Life and its sister firm Great West Life will be no more in 2020 with the insurer getting final approval from government and its board of directors to rebrand as Canada Life.

“This has been a massive amount of work for the entire organization,” said Canada Life President Jeff Macoun “I’m relieved and so excited about Jan. 1, 2020.”

The insurer announced in April it will drop its London Life and Great West Assurance Co. names and become Canada Life. It recently got approval from its board and the federal finance ministry to make it happen in the new year.

The rebranding is needed to streamline and simplify the marketing of the business, said Macoun.

“We are doing this to be bigger and stronger to better serve Canadians . . . it’s a growth play to be a bigger player in the market. It allows us to simplify our brand.”

There will be no changes to policies or the more than 3,000 staff now working in London under the London Life banner, he added.

“What you will see from a customer standpoint, nothing will change,” Macoun said.

“London Life has deep roots in the city. Our only our intent is to carry that forward and underline our strong new London brand” under the new name.

London Life was founded in London in 1874. It now has about 13 million customers. It has been headquartered at its stately Dufferin Avenue offices since 1927.


ABOUT LONDON LIFE:

1874: Founded

Early 1900s to 1951: Permanent headquarters built and expanded

1963: Staff of 1,600 in London

1971: Maple leaf logo introduced

1984: Freedom 55 brand launched

1996: Acquired most of Canadian operations of Prudential Insurance Co. of America

1997: Became a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco

2020: Rebranded as Canada Life, more than 3,000 staff in London.

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