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Home » Industry & Business » Is Pay-As-You-Go Auto Insurance the Way of the Future?
Matthew Turack

Matthew Turack

President, CAA Insurance

The pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other, the way we get around, and the way we use our vehicles.

As people continue to drive less, it’s no coincidence that pay-as-you-go auto insurance has been growing in popularity. CAA Insurance has seen 250% year-over-year growth for CAA MyPaceTM, which is Canada’s only pay-as-you-go insurance option (currently only available in Ontario with plans to expand to other provinces in the coming months). 

According to CAA data, driving is down 50% compared to last year, and on average, pay-as-you-go drivers are saving 40–60% on their auto insurance costs due to their lower mileage.

While the kilometres driven are expected to increase as restrictions loosen, people will continue to commute less as workplaces implement more flexible work-from-home options. Does this suggest that pay-as-you-go auto insurance may be the way of the future?

What the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is that customers want more flexibility when it comes to auto insurance. Over the past few months, many customers have had to call their insurers to change their coverage for financial savings. They’ll have to call back as their driving behaviours increase once again. 

“While drivers have been able to adapt their coverage, there’s increased risk that people will be left without the appropriate coverage, as the onus is on drivers to call back when their driving behaviours change,” says Matthew Turack, President of CAA Insurance. “A pay-as-you-go model puts the control into the hands of customers while alleviating the inconvenience and manual labour involved with changing coverage.”

Regulators are encouraging innovation, and more insurance companies need to take advantage of this to deliver products and services that customers are asking for.

Matthew Turack, President of CAA Insurance

CAA Insurance took a different approach, being the only Canadian insurer to date to offer an automatic 10% rate reduction and a $100 relief benefit for policyholders during the pandemic, valid for the duration of a full policy term.

When CAA first launched CAA MyPace in 2018, the model predicted that people who drive less would get into fewer collisions. Subsequent data has shown that those predictions were accurate. This allows customers who enrol to benefit by paying a lower premium. Simply put, they’re driving less and getting into fewer collisions.

“We designed this program by first asking what customers would like to see and benefit from and then created a solution that revolved around that,” says Turack. “Traditionally, companies create a product and figure out the math, the profit margin, and the rating structure and then figure out how to sell it to customers and convince them it was right for them.”

Based on a recent survey conducted by CAA South Central Ontario, 6 out of 10 CAA members would consider exploring a pay-as-you-go insurance product that would allow them to buy auto insurance only for the kilometres they drive. Seventy-eight percent of CAA members stated that they’ll now likely drive only 10,000 kilometres or less annually, compared to only 45% pre-pandemic.

“We hope that more insurance companies will look at offering more flexible options for auto insurance like pay-as-you-go,” says Turack. “Regulators are encouraging innovation, and more insurance companies need to take advantage of this to deliver products and services that customers are asking for.”

CAA Insurance expects to see continued growth of CAA MyPace in the months and years ahead.

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