Driving the future of the auto industry

Driving the future of the auto industry | Insurance Business

Driving the future of the auto industry
As awareness about the impacts of climate change continues to grow, organizations in all industries are under increasing pressure to adapt their operating processes and cut carbon emissions. As one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, the auto industry has a larger role to play than most.

Several car manufacturers are now committed to creating electric vehicles, and Volvo recently announced that from 2019 every new model it builds will run at least partly on electricity. But, for electric vehicles to have any chance of displacing traditional cars, they need to be fully embraced by consumers.  Aviva Canada’s sponsorship of the Electric Vehicle Conference 2017 highlights how the insurance industry is playing a crucial role in promoting the benefits of buying electric vehicles to Canadian consumers. 

“We are intimately familiar with the impacts of climate change and we want to do our part to help shape the future and help our customers defy any uncertainties this might create,” says Greg Somerville, President and CEO, Aviva Canada. “In Canada, where renewables are such an important part of our grids, it makes sense to power our vehicles with electricity.”

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With more investment put into developing electric vehicles, Canadian consumers will have more options to choose from. To support these investments, the Government in Canada announced it is developing a national strategy to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles by 2018. There are currently 30,000 electric vehicles in Canada and Somerville expects that, as battery prices decline and performance improves, the pace of adoption will increase further.

“We also believe these types of vehicles will include technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) that make it safer to be on the road,” Somerville says. “We currently offer both AEB and green vehicle discounts as incentives for consumers to drive safer and more environmentally friendly vehicles.”

Somerville firmly believes insurance should not be a pain point in new mobility and property and casualty insurers should be actively building partnerships with auto manufacturers and regulatory bodies to help facilitate the auto industry’s efforts to cut carbon emissions. The insurance industry needs to develop new propositions and innovative insurance products to meet drivers’ needs and expectations without burdening them with high premiums.

As the first global insurer to go ‘carbon neutral’ in 2006 and with a target to achieve a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, and 70% by 2030, Aviva is at the forefront of the insurance industry’s efforts. But for true change to happen, all insurance companies need to start operating in a more conscientious, forward-thinking way.  

“We understand the trend toward automation of transportation and the need to create greater collaboration and partnerships in the market in order to meet the mobility needs of consumers,” Somerville says. “Aviva is open to such collaborations with vehicle, technology and mobility service providers, as well as governments. By working together, we can better understand the technologies, serve consumers better, and provide Canadians with the insurance they need and deserve.”

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