For a few years, drivers in some Canadian provinces have been able to earn discounts on their auto insurance premiums by driving safely — or not driving much — thanks to apps or telematics devices that track their behaviour behind the wheel.
But recent rules changes mean that in a growing number of jurisdictions drivers could also see their premium increase if the tracking in so-called pay-as-you-drive programs reveals risky behaviour like speeding, abrupt braking or accelerating, or texting and handheld calls while the vehicle is in motion. Similarly, with pay-per-kilometre insurance, drivers could see surcharges for exceeding a certain number of kilometres driven in a certain period of time.
In November, Ontario’s insurance regulator announced insurers would be allowed to charge more for risky driving and high kilometres revealed by apps and telematics devices. In Quebec, where private insurance covers property damage caused or incurred by drivers, insurers are also allowed to adjust premiums.
Alberta approved the ability to increase premiums for insurance programs that rely on tracking in December as part of a broad auto insurance reform, with the new rules expected to come into effect in early 2022.
And some form of telematics insurance are also available in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.