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New Tracking App for Your Auto-Insurance

person driving with navigation app on steering wheel

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, many Ontario citizens’ driving habits have changed significantly. With many people now working from home, you may be driving a lot less or not at all. This pushes many people to find ways to reduce their auto insurance payments.

Insurance companies, such as Allstate have now developed new apps like Drivewise that track your driving habits to potentially reward you with discounts on their premiums and/or insurance rates, for driving less or for consistently demonstrating safe-driving habits. These apps can monitor whether you obey the speed limit, are distracted by your phone, accelerating too quickly, stopping too suddenly, turning corners gently and rarely driving late at night. These factors contribute to calculating whether your insurance company will reward you with reduced insurance bills.

Similar to the tracking apps, insurance companies use technology called Usage-Based Insurance (“UBI”), that uses real-time data to make decisions about an individual’s insurance pricing, in addition to standard information, such as the individual’s driving record.

These tracking apps can also use telematics to monitor a driver’s driving habits through a driver’s smartphone and other telematic devices, such as mobile applications. The tracking apps connect a user’s smartphone, and built-in features including time of day, and GPS to measure a range of driving behaviours, as listed above. The collected data is then sent to insurers, to assess the driver’s risk profile and determine whether a driver is considered a safe driver and if they are able to be rewarded with discounts on their insurance rates.

Through these apps, insurance companies will track your driving habits over a period of time, ranging anywhere from two weeks to two months, following which they will provide you with an insurance quote based on your most recent driving history. Drivers are able to turn off the tracking following the initial trial period but are encouraged to continue tracking to better build their profile.

On the other hand, the apps also track whether a driver is considered high-risk through their driving habits. If you are considered to be a high-risk driver, you may face an increase in your insurance rates.

According to Insurance Business Canada, a 2018 report reveals that approximately 74% of surveyed Canadians said they would agree to use a tracking app if it means they can receive personalized car insurance premiums.

The overall goal of these tracking apps is to ensure drivers are being more conscious while driving and reduce the rates of accidents and reckless driving.

The following are various tracking apps different insurance companies are currently using:

  • MyPace – CAA
  • My Drive – Intact Insurance Company
  • Drivewise – Allstate Insurance Company
  • Ajusto – Desjardin Insurance Company
  • IntelliDrive – Travelers Canada
  • TD MyAdvantage – TD General Insurance Company
  • Snapshot – Progressive Corporation Insurance Company

With the increase of more and more Ontario citizens using tracking apps, the data recorded may or may not assist in supporting legal proceedings following a motor vehicle accident. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, your insurance company may now use the tracking data to assign fault, where fault is not due. Insurance companies, such as Progressive Corporation Insurance Company can use the data they obtain through Snapshot without limitation, including to determine when and where your motor vehicle accident occurred.

Although the potential for lower insurance rates sounds like music to your ears, there is a real concern for how these tracking apps may affect a motor vehicle accident claim. For example, the tracking apps do not take into consideration the driving habits of other vehicles. This can play a factor if you slam on the brakes to avoid an accident, causing a rear-ended collision. The app will not be able to detect that you are driving defensively, to avoid a collision. This can in hand result in your insurance company unfairly assigning fault.

Like all new advancements, there are ups and downs with the availability of insurance tracking apps. Call us at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LL.P, to speak with our team of experienced personal injury lawyers, for a free consultation.

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