SMA Report on Telematics/UBI: Where is Canada?

Feb. 22, 2013 – Strategy Meets Action conducted a survey on usage-based insurance (UBI) in 4Q12, with 110 insurance professionals from North America participating. Over half of the insurers that currently have active programs in the market took part in the survey. In addition, over 25 interviews with insurers, IT solution providers, and other industry participants were conducted.

In a new report, it was noted by SMA guest author Richard Welch that “2012 was a breakthrough year for UBI as Progressive brought it to the mass market in the US. 2013 is likely to be characterized by a rapid expansion of the number of companies offering UBI options to their customers.”

The SMA analysis, headed by Mark Breading, notes that “Seventy percent of auto insurers in North America are in some stage of execution, development, or planning for UBI programs.”

There are obviously a number of actions which auto insurers could and should be be taking in considerations of their current market share, with possible objectives of increasing or protecting share, or even considering exit. Some of the actions and recommendations, along with further analysis of the current situation are outlined in the report, available for purchase from SMA.

Recent the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) presented “an educational, non-partisan symposium in Toronto about Usage-Based Insurance (UBI). Usage-based insurance is a “pay-as-you-drive” insurance option being implemented in many jurisdictions in the U.S. In Canada, provincial governments, insurers and other stakeholders have expressed interest. “

A range of presentations provided many perspectives about the different aspects of the UBI approach and what it might mean. One of the presenters, Blair Currie from IMS from Waterloo ON participated in a panel which discussed a number of issues and challenges that insurers face as they consider their programs: devices, data, the various value propositions etc.

The main focus of a presentation by Donald Light of Celent was described by the title “Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance.” Although this goes beyond the thrust of UBI, telematics will be instrumental in the evolution of automobile transportation and infrastructure towards the self-drive car (SDC), law enforcement etc.

These same themes – UBI, telematics, SDC, etc. – are the basic components of a half-day stream of sessions at the 2013 Annual Technology Conference, “The Engaged Insurance Environment: Agile, Mobile, Analytic, Collaborative,” on March 18/19 in Toronto.
The stream “UBI and Telematics in Canada” will include featured sessions “UBI/Telematics boot camp by IMS” (Blair Currie noted above) and “Is the Industry at a Tipping Point?” (Mark Breading and Dick Welch). Register here for the two-day conference or just for Day One and the UBI/Telematics sessions.

Enjoy the Telematics/UBI ride.

About SMA Strategy Meets Action

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action blends unbiased research findings with expertise and experience to deliver business and technology insights, research, and advice to insurers and IT solution providers. By leveraging best practices from both the management consulting and research advisory disciplines, SMA’s services are actionable, business-driven, and research-based — where strategy meets action — enabling companies to achieve business success. For more information, please visit the SMA website at

Source: Strategy Meets Action