Telematics/UBI Move Ahead in Canada and USA

May 13, 2013 – The Insurance Telematics market is indeed accelerating in Canada and the United States.

In Canada

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 existing 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

In the United States

This past week was also an exciting time for UBI in the United States because Travelers launched only the second 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 learn more about Intellidrive please visit

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.

About IMS

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc., based in Waterloo, Canada, is a global leader in Telematics and Infotainment, including the convergence of both technologies in delivering the ultimate Connected Car experience. For more information, please visit

Source: Commentary by Blair Currie, IMS, at The Intersection: “In the Spring, Do Canadian Insurers’ Thoughts Turn to … Telematics?”