• Peter Morris

    When is a road-building machine not a road-building machine? Ontario brokers need to know.

    May 2, 2017 by

    For Ontario brokers who thought they could rest easy after a year of dealing with the changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, I’m afraid your prayers have not entirely been answered. Effective July 1st, the Highway Traffic Act in

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  • insBlogs Auto Technology

    Competition Bureau Supports Ride-Sharing Services

    December 8, 2015 by
    The emergence of Uber and other ride-sharing services has created increased competition for the Canadian taxi industry.  This has created a source of friction for the industry because of what they see is an “uneven playing field.”  Taxi operators are required to follow regulatory rules while ride-sharing services largely operate unregulated.  The Canadian Competition Bureau recently weighed in on the subject.

    The Competition Bureau recently released a study, Modernizing Regulation in The Canadian Taxi Industry, which concluded that the competition in the sector has benefited consumers.  However, there needs to be a balance between increased competition and the need for regulation.

    The taxi industry has operated largely unchanged for decades.  Regulators have created rules to govern price, vehicle safety and insurance requirements.  But the regulatory rules often restrict entry into the sector by limiting the number of taxi licences.  The number of plates usually does not keep up with demand for services which creates artificial scarcity, but also higher prices, poor service and long wait times.

    Ride-sharing companies have changed the landscape by offering consumers lower prices, variable pricing (higher fares when demand is high), shorter wait times, and convenience.  The software application used by ride-sharing companies provides automatic payment and the ability to track the number of vehicles available in the local area.  The software also allows consumers to rate drivers which creates an incentive to provide better service.  Low rated drivers receive fewer ride requests.

    The innovations introduced by Uber and other similar service providers have benefited consumers.  There is a need for updated regulatory rules so that traditional taxi operators can respond to the competition.  But the one aspect not addressed by the Competition Bureau study is the insurance issue. 

    In September 2015, Intact Financial announced plans to work with Uber to create products tailored for the ride-hailing service, after concerns emerged that person auto insurance policies may not cover drivers using their personal vehicles for commercial gain.   In the meantime, Uber claims it has adequate insurance coverage and that every ride on the UberX platform is backed by $5 million of commercial auto insurance, which covers both bodily injuries and property damage stemming from a crash.  However, Alberta government said in July that it had determined the policies do not meet the requirements of the province’s Insurance Act.  It’s all very confusing.  

    Ride-sharing services are here to stay.  Consumers will benefit but only if the regulatory rules and updated and the insurance issues are addressed.

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  • Christian Bieck

    Redefining Boundaries: The Global C-Suite Study

    November 9, 2015 by

    My colleagues in the IBM Institute for Business Value have been hard at work over the past few months, analyzing the responses of more than 5,200 interviews with C-Suite executives in 21 industries and more than 70 countries globally on the threats and opportunities facing Continue reading

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  • Peter Morris

    Demutualization: Proposed regulations don’t please everyone

    March 30, 2015 by

    Almost four years after launching public consultations, the federal government has published proposed regulations governing the demutualization of property and casualty insurance companies. The regulations will come into force on the day they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part

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  • Peter Morris

    Meeting regulatory requirements: Sometimes size matters

    December 22, 2014 by

    As insurers face the challenges of legislative and regulatory compliance, there is an argument to be made that large insurers will be in a better position to meet these challenges. As a means of meeting the regulatory requirements they face

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  • A Look at New Auto Insurance Regulations in Ontario

    December 2, 2014 by

    Several new auto insurance regulations have now been approved by the Ontario Cabinet.

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  • Christian Bieck

    Can insurers break the innovation barrier?

    April 14, 2014 by

    I was at a workshop last week with several high-ranking insurance executives where we talked about interesting developments for the future of our industry. Invariably, the topics of innovation, regulation and the conservative nature of the industry came up. I’ve blogged about this on this…

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  • Catherine Smola

    Leverage eSignatures to Keep Up with a Tech-Savvy Consumer

    March 7, 2014 by

    Rapid advances in technology have brought a new level of convenience to customers.  Communication channels such as e-mail, mobile web and social media are now in active use for conducting insurance business.  More than ever, brokers will need to market

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