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How smart tech can save you money on insurance

This post is sponsored by Onlia insurance

Whether you started working from home, were furloughed, or laid-off, COVID-19 is making us rethink our budgets – the cost of insurance being a significant factor. If we’re driving less, spending more time at home, or simply tightening our purse strings, we want the price to reflect our new normal.  

This shift in our thinking sent the industry clamouring for digital solutions to offer immediate relief to drivers across Canada. The Insurance Bureau of Canada expected providers to offer discounts, deferrals, and rebates estimated at over $600 million to help drivers adjust at the start of the pandemic. Insurance companies responded with savings ranging from 15 – 75% on your premiums over a 30–90 day period. One provider, Onlia insurance, made it simple by waiving all premiums for existing customers for a month.

Since the onset of COVID, Ratehub has seen an 58% increase in the number of online insurance-policy shoppers. Insurance and technology, or what the industry calls “Insuretech,” is here. It’s time to get in the driver’s seat.

Digital auto insurance apps to make your life easier

You can now forgo rummaging through your glove box to uncover your insurance slip.  Digital insurance pink slips are now available in Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. So, if you reside in one of those provinces, you can download the app and pull up the slip on your smartphone anytime. For the privacy conscious, keep the phone in your hand whenyou need to display your pink slip to anyone.

You can also use your smartphone for usage-based insurance (UBI). UBI measures your driving behaviours like acceleration, turn handling, braking intensity, and distance travelled. It can save up to 30% on your insurance premiums, which is especially helpful for young drivers who face notoriously high costs due to lack of experience. By law, UBI does not penalize poor driving.

How to earn rewards with safe driving

If you’re not sold on the idea of UBI, consider the Onlia Sense App. You don’t need an insurance policy with them to use it, and you can still earn gift cards or Cashback for safe driving. It mimics a personalized driving coach. Every time you drive it reminds you to not be distracted, brake earlier, and obey the speed limit. It gamifies the driving experience, providing you with stats to monitor your progress and compares your record with other Onlia Sense™ drivers. 

Home insurance tools to reduce your risk

Investing in smart home devices can reduce your insurance costs by mitigating risk and reducing the chance of making a claim.

Doorbell cameras and keyless smart locks can deter thieves, preventing burglary attempts or vandalism like a broken window. Smart lighting and window coverings can make it look like you’re at home, even when you’re not. Because they’re “smart,” they can go on and off, in different rooms, at different times each evening, further deterring the wannabe thieves. 

There are leak detectors you can pair with intelligent shut-off valves, which can prevent flooding from a burst pipe. A smart fire alarm can send notifications to your phone, so you can remotely dispatch emergency services.

Get smart about protecting your home

There’s a slew of smart home devices including options from big players like Google and Amazon. If you’re unsure how to start, check out Onlia’s marketplace of insurance approved smart home devices, curated by their home experts.

In fact, if you’re an Onlia home insurance client, they’ll perform a home maintenance checkup, virtually, on your smartphone. For a reasonable $175 (free if you bundle with auto insurance), you get a home score report and a personalized home care plan, so you know if your roof needs repairs or your foundation is cracking. From there, it connects you with reputable home maintenance professionals through their partnership with Setter.

Your home score helps you prioritize your home’s shortcomings and allows you to budget for any upcoming repairs. It helps you accomplish all those home maintenance tasks you’re trying to fit into an already hectic schedule.

Through smart home automation and car insurance apps, you can make smarter decisions that save you money. Instead of worrying about what could happen, be proactive. Insurance is for the sudden and unexpected – it’s not meant to be a maintenance plan.

The bottom line

Technology can help make our lives easier and safer. Get started with the Onlia Sense™ app for free and become a better driver. If you’re ever worried about your home, but don’t know where to start, or have the time to do it, check out Onlia’s home insurance offerings, lose the anxiety and save some money.