- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

In the Spring, Do Canadian Insurers’ Thoughts Turn to … Telematics?

With apologies to Lord Tennyson,  it appears that insurers might be putting telematics slightly ahead of other fancies in Spring 2013.  Part of the evidence is a mysterious ad campaign.  Are you feeling the pull?

Rumblings In The Wind

We have been noting the progress of telematics-based insurance offerings  in various geographies, such as the US, UK, Europe.  However, with the notable exception of Industrial Alliance’s Mobiliz programme, there has been a paucity of action  in Canada since Aviva’s Autograph programme was withdrawn in 2010.

According to our sources, that is about to change.  We are hearing that at least 10 insurers are conducting serious feasibility analyses on telematics-based initiatives and that there could be three to five insurers launching programs this year.

A Discount Guage and a Countdown Clock

The first might be as soon as this month.  There is an ad campaign that is being run on television, radio, the internet, and social media for ‘Ajusto’, with the tag line ‘On May 13, Take Control with Ajusto.’  The Visual on offers something that looks like a tachometer with its needle swinging between 0% and 25%.  Underneath, there is a countdown clock to May 13th.

There has been discussion on LinkedIn groups and in a vendor newsletter that the sponsoring company is Desjardins Insurance, and that Ajusto will be the next usage-based insurance (UBI) offering, but Desjardins has been silent on the issue, and the @AjustoProgram twitter handle has only suggested everyone wait until May 13.

What Do You Think?

Is Telematics finally going to get some additional momentum in Canada?  We’d like you opinions.  There is a very short survey on at  If you’d like to expand further on the topic, feel free to leave a comment below.

After that, please feel free to return your fancies lightly to other thoughts.




Blair Currie

The Insurance Telematics market is indeed accelerating in Canada and the United States.


Ajusto is indeed the second Usage based insurance (UBI) program to launch north of the border, run by Desjardins. It will start Monday, May 13th with a behaviour based program that runs off a Telematics device that plugs into your vehicle’s OBD2 port. The Program allows good drivers to save up to 25% off their auto insurance rates through a combination of factors:

1. Mileage (Kilometers) – up to 10% savings off your total bill
2. Acceleration and Braking – up to a further 10% off your total bill
3. Travel time – up to 15% more off your total bill.

It’s interesting to note that the program does not take into account speed at this time. Perhaps this will come at a later stage when they are able to figure out how to calculate actual speed vs. posted speed limits, that’s possible with exiting technology.

So far we can see Desjardins supporting this campaign with a teaser that started during the week of May 6th using radio, digital media and social media. It will be interesting to see how they communicate it over the coming weeks. This is a big issue because there is no company like “Progressive” building the UBI category in Canada. Marketing communications will be a key to success.

To learn more about Ajusto, visit the following webpage:

B. United States

This past week was also an exciting time for UBI in the United States because Travelers launched the second only program to use television to support its Intellidrive campaign in the key States where it is supported. Up until now Progressive has been the only television advertiser and it has enjoyed the benefit of controlling the dialogue around price.

To see the new Travelers commercial, please visit:
To learn more about Intellidrive please visit:

C. Implications and Indicated action

These two initiatives will spark a lot of discussion and action on both sides of the border. For Canadian insurance carriers the Desjardins campaign will likely accelerate and potentially advance their plans to enter the UBI space with trial and pilot programs.

For American insurance carriers, Travelers move to take its pilot programs, upgrade these to commercial rollouts and to do so by segmenting low mileage drivers, will initiate a segmentation discussion south of the border. The big brands will increasingly move to define territories they can own and I think you’ll see programs for Young Driver, Mature Drivers, Small Fleets, and potentially “Non standard” campaigns emerging. BlogEditor

Interesting stuff, Blair. We haven’t heard directly from Desjardins, but there has been a lot of speculation that it is the company behind the Ajusto campaign.
We have also seen the Ajusto campaign on Television.
The marketing bar is going up, for sure!

Blair Currie

I also like the name “Ajusto” as it communicates that one can take control over ones insurance costs.


The countdown has started for higher premiums to those who will not allow “Big Brother Insurer” into their wiring harness. Long live the sports car experience.


The Insurance Telematics Summit in March 2013 brought together leaders in the UK motor insurance market to discuss the next steps for usage-based insurance – from dynamic pricing to effective marketing strategies.

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