Digital Proof of Insurance: How Does It Work
Remember that time you rummaged through your glove box looking for that little pink slip? So easy to misplace yet so crucial! Given that we are now living in an advanced technological age in all economic sectors, it is only fair that we embrace digital options in the insurance industry. Digital proof of insurance is now an acceptable way to show proof of insurance in some provinces in Canada. However, you will be responsible for making sure that the phone can display the electronic proof of auto insurance regardless of drained phone battery, damaged screen or even poor signal. But how exactly does digital proof of insurance work in Canada?
What is digital proof of insurance?
This is a digital version of the physical pink insurance card. It replaces the pink paper and can be stored in your smartphone and other digital devices. However, the availability of digital proof of insurance does not mean that the pink piece of paper is being eliminated. Rather, it offers an easier way to show proof of insurance. Drivers are encouraged to keep both the pink paper and the digital certificate in the vehicle. This ensures the availability of proof of insurance even in instances where the mobile device is unavailable.
In Canada, the electronic proof of auto insurance can be used by drivers in Ontario, Newfoundland, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Labrador. In Ontario, drivers are required to carry physical proof of insurance for the first year. Once added to the digital wallet, the digital proof of insurance can be used even when a device is not connected to the internet.
What are the terms of digital proof of insurance in Canada?
Drivers can still use physical insurance slip
Digital proof of insurance is not mandatory. As such, drivers get to choose between the physical insurance slip or the digital proof. Keeping physical insurance in the car is vital when travelling to areas where digital auto insurance is not accepted. Similarly, you may experience issues such as low batteries or your smartphone could even act up just when you are required to show proof of insurance.
Drivers must ensure that the smartphone or mobile device works properly
Devices that have auto insurance slips must work properly. For instance, if using a smartphone, it must have a full charge, no cracked screen that obstructs the proof of insurance and adequate phone service when driving. This means that the proof of insurance must be available upon request. If a driver is unable to show proof of insurance, they could face penalties. As such, it is vital to have a physical copy ready as a backup.
Privacy is key
Experts have expressed valid privacy concerns regarding the use of electronic proof of auto insurance (EPAI). When asked for proof of insurance, it is prudent to show it via the auto insurance company app. This may lead to violations of the driver’s privacy. To counter this, insurers are required to have a lock-screen capability as a built-in feature. The feature allows drivers to show the proof of insurance from a locked screen, meaning that the police officers only get access to the insurance slip and nothing else.
iPhone users can access the digital slip from the locked screen or add it to the wallet app. Android users can add the insurance app as a widget or pin, which gives them access to the screen when locked. While auto insurance companies should ensure that the digital proof of insurance cannot be edited or altered, users are responsible for their privacy by ensuring that the lock-screen feature is enabled.
What are the benefits of digital proof of insurance?
- Traceability and accountability of insurance certificates- With digital proof of insurance, you no longer have to worry about the traceability of the little pink slip. The rummaging of documents and even worse, forgetting the physical proof of insurance documents at home can not only lead to incessant worry but also get you in trouble with the lawmakers.
- Curbing motor insurance fraud- The digital proof of insurance works to ensure that only one motor insurance is issued per vehicle. This eliminates the headache that comes with being involved in an accident with uninsured drivers.
- Eliminates cases of lost insurance certificates- The fact that you can retrieve your proof of insurance from your mobile phone eliminates the chances of losing your insurance certificate. And even if you lost your mobile phone, you can always retrieve it from your digital records.
- Eliminates cases of fake certificates and double insurance- Unscrupulous persons can no longer partake in double or fake insurance certification. This is a win for insurers and even other road users.
- Eases insurance validation for law enforcement
- It’s shareable- If you have other members in your household who drive your car, you can share the digital proof of insurance with them. This also applies to persons listed as secondary drivers in your policy.
- Automatic updates- Digital insurance certificates allow for the automatic information update when changes are made to an insured vehicle.
Here are some pro tips that will ensure you have seamless use of your digital insurance certificate
- Always keep a copy of the electronic certificate or your paper auto insurance slip elsewhere apart from your smartphone. This ensures that you have proof of insurance whether your mobile phone lost the signal, is low on charge or the phone is not functioning.
- Ensure that all drivers listed in your policy have proof of insurance whether in e-format or paper. If you are an iPhone user, adding the digital proof of insurance to your wallet app ensures that you can share it with other drivers of your car. You can also share the insurance certificate via email or AirDrop, depending on the features offered by your insurer.
- Ensure that the electronic insurance certificate is accepted in the province where you’re driving. As we mentioned, not all provinces in Canada accept the electronic certificate of insurance. For instance, if driving outside Ontario to a province where the digital insurance proof is not accepted, ensure you have the physical proof of insurance.
- Safeguard your privacy by choosing a lock screen app that allows other persons to view the proof of insurance from a locked screen.