Vehicle Insurance in Ontario is often referred to as proof of vehicle insurance for Ontario drivers. If stopped by a police officer they will normally ask for the driver to provide proof of insurance. This is a small slip of paper that is pink in colour. It contains a variety of information as it pertains to the vehicle. This includes the make, model, and year of the vehicle as well as the VIN number. Along with the address of the insured, as well as the coverage date for the insurance. This is proof that the vehicle is insured and the driver of that vehicle is insured.
What Is Insurance Pink Slip?
This is the common referral to proof of insurance for drivers in Ontario. It is proof that the driver of a specific vehicle is properly insured to be driving that vehicle on roads and highways in Ontario.
Why Do They Call It A Pink Slip?
Every insurance company no matter what province they are operating in provides proof of insurance. This is so they can prove that the vehicle is insured if they are stopped by the police or are in an accident. For Ontario and Alberta, this is done with a pink slip. The colour allows the police officers a way of identifying where a driver is from.
Is Electronic Proof Of Insurance Legal In Ontario?
Originally the hard copy of the proof of insurance had to be produced when asked by authorities. Most drivers would keep the pink slip in the vehicle in a safe spot. Now with insurance companies wanting to make insurance as easy as possible. they have come up with the option of providing electronic proof of auto insurance. In order to do this, they had to have approval from the financial services regulatory authority of Ontario. (FRSA).
This approval which came into effect in 2019it allows insured drivers to produce an electronic version of their proof of insurance by using their electronic device. This is not the only way of providing proof of insurance, as the pink slip will still be issued and is still valid. This electronic version of proof of vehicle insurance is optional. The rule set by FRSA Insurance companies who are making the transition to electronic must still provide a pink slip without the insured being charged an extra cost for this.
The Pros And Cons Of The Electronic Version
As with anything to do with modern technology there can be some pros and cons. Which is true of electronic proof of insurance.
- There are no worries about the pink slip not being available when a driver is asked to produce it. Normally a pink slip is issued each time the insurance is renewed. Often drivers forget to remove the old one from the vehicle if it is being stored in the car. Then when they get stopped and asked for proof of insurance they have an expired pink slip. With the proof of insurance being on their electronic device, they will not have this problem. The provinces of Alberta, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia were the first provinces to accept electronic proof of insurance.
- Lock screen capabilities must be provided by the insurance providers that are allowing the electronic option. This is a security measure so others cannot access the personal information that is contained on the insurance card. One of the concerns was that the police would be able to extract additional information for the electronic device. However, with this lock screen security, this is not possible.
- The insured does not have to wait for proof of insurance to arrive by mail. Although most insurance companies mail these out well in advance of the expiry of the current insurance. Although mail does get lost from time to time. The electronic version will eliminate this problem. The electronic version is accessed via an app that is applicable to the insurance Company
- The insured has to be sure that they carry their electronic device with them at all times they are driving the vehicle. Otherwise, they will not be able to provide proof of insurance when required. Although a hard copy can be kept in the vehicle as well just in case.
- The insured has to be able to open the screen lock when producing the proof of electronic insurance.
- The device where the insurance proof is being stored has to be a reliable one. The insured has to be able to get access to a signal that will allow them to produce the insurance proof.
- For those who are going to be driving outside of Ontario, they need to know this electronic proof of insurance will be accepted. To determine this they should ask their Insurance company.
Although the lock screen device is built-in for protection, there could be some other security issues. Some insurance companies are asking for consent for third parties to incorporate tracking and advertising. This means an insured may not be able to utilize electronic proof unless they consent to this. This may be written into the electronic policy agreement which the insured may not pay attention to or have a full understanding of it.
Does A Picture Of An Insurance Card Work?
If this is in reference to providing electronic proof of valid insurance then yes it will work. However, if it is in reference to a photocopy of your proof of insurance it could be questionable. It probably would depend on the police officer requesting this information. They are used to receiving the actual pink copy of the proof of insurance. Which is the valid copy. The problem with a photocopy is that the information could be altered whereas there is less risk of this with the actual pink slip. To be safe if an electronic version is not being used then the original pink slip should be provided as proof of insurance.
What it comes down to is your choice. If you like the conveniences of the electronic proof of insurance then it is an option you can take advantage of.