Slow Pace of Regulatory Change Putting Industry at Risk?

As reported in Canadian Underwriter, the insurance industry is at risk if regulators don’t recognize that consumer expectations are changing and allow consumers the choice of receiving their policy documents electronically.

Speaking at Gore Mutual’s Fast Forward event in Toronto on Thursday, June 14, CSIO President and CEO Catherine Smola cited a survey from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) in April that found that nearly six in 10 polled Canadians (58% of 1,200 polled) who pay for auto insurance indicate that they would choose to receive their insurance documents online or electronically if it were available to them (that number rises to 71% among millenials).

“It’s really, really important for regulators to recognize that consumer expectations are changing. Regulators have been difficult in recognizing that consumer change, and I would consider that a risk to us if they don’t get on board.” - Catherine Smola

Consumers don’t realize that there is a regulation roadblock, and may think it’s the industry’s inability to deliver the technology. “We do have the technology; we’re just not able to use it in some cases,” Smola added.

So far, Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction that permits electronic proof of auto insurance. A spokesperson for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario told Canadian Underwriter Monday that “at this time, no timetable has been set for the approval of electronic proof of insurance in Ontario.”