Technology

  • Peter Morris

    The launch of Sonnet Insurance. A game changer?

    May 10, 2016 by

    Economical Insurance has now launched its direct digital brand, Sonnet. I was privileged to attend a meeting with the senior executive team at Economical to preview Sonnet’s product offering. Based on what I was shown, this new product offering could

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  • Christian Bieck

    Sneak Peek: Cyberrisk and Cyberinsurance

    May 9, 2016 by

    The release of our upcoming study on the risks of digital interconnectedness, a.k.a. cyberrisks, is just 5 weeks away; time to give our readers a first peek at some of the data and/or conclusions. For the study, we surveyed 800 insurers and 1,000 non-insurance companies, Continue reading

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  • Catherine Smola

    Too Good to Be True? Life in the Gig Economy

    February 23, 2016 by

    Just how much has the sharing, or gig economy changed our world? A cursory Google search on the topic will usually turn up this common description: The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most valuable retailer,

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  • insBlogs Auto Legal Technology

    Electronic Proof…Still Not in Canada

    February 19, 2016 by

    Three years ago, I wrote an article about the status of electronic insurance cards.  Despite the fact that smartphones, tablets and other technological gadgets are now part of everyday life, providing proof of auto insurance coverage is like a nos…

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  • Christian Bieck

    Random Thoughts: Things to Read by IBV

    February 15, 2016 by

    For our Random Thoughts post today, I thought I’d summarize interesting reads my colleagues at IBV published over the last year (and some of mine, too ). Let’s start cross-industry: About a year ago, Carolyn Baird showed the “Myths, exaggerations and uncomfortable truths” about millennials Continue reading

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  • Christian Bieck
    insBlogs Fraud Technology

    Random Thoughts: The Blockchain

    January 25, 2016 by

    For those who are not sure what a blockchain is: simply put, it is a distributed electronic ledger based on cryptographic principles. While is was developed as the ledger for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it is really separate from any currency – for example, it can Continue reading

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  • Andrew Lo

    Driverless Cars: Canadians Want It, Technology Makers Building It

    January 12, 2016 by

    The results of a survey released by Kanetix.ca last week revealed that one in four Canadians are ready and cannot wait for the arrival of the driverless car. In addition, Canadians felt that driverless cars would improve safety and greatly

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  • Catherine Smola

    Cyber Still a Risk in 2016

    January 11, 2016 by

    Even as 2015 drew to a close, one of the year’s most pressing business risks – cyber security – made a headline-worthy splash. Well, at least it would have made headlines if the target hadn’t been the British Broadcasting Corporation

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  • Christian Bieck

    Is the Personality of Insurance Changing?

    January 11, 2016 by

    One of my favorite anecdotes on the culture or personality of insurance in general and insurance executives specifically is from when I was invited to talk to a group of students about digital communities in FSS.[1] The audience was a group from a specialized elite Continue reading

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  • Patrick Vice

    In 2016, Digital, Analytics, and Mother Earth will not be Ignored

    January 7, 2016 by

    There’s a lot going on, and when the present is so busy it’s hard to look long-term. That said, I believe there are three trends we will not be able to ignore in 2016: Digital, Analytics, and Mother Earth. I

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  • Christian Bieck

    The Risks of Digital Interconnectedness

    December 28, 2015 by

    I hope all readers had a quiet Xmas, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Presentmas or whatever else you happened to be celebrating. This year, I started out wanting to write the usual overview post, but quickly discovered that the Random Thoughts posts I had been putting out over Continue reading

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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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  • Andrew Lo
    insBlogs Auto Technology

    Autopilot: Driver Education Disrupted

    December 4, 2015 by

    There have been huge changes in technology for the automobile. Evidence of this is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where car manufacturers including Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Audi dominated last year’s keynote agenda. They boasted their vision of computers as an

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  • Catherine Smola
    insBlogs Technology

    The Smart Home and Telematics – A Disruptor On the Cusp

    December 1, 2015 by

    Clap on… clap off. Do you remember the Clapper? An early example of the potential of today’s smart home, the device plugged into any electrical outlet and connected to household devices, usually a lamp or stereo, enabling people to turn

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