11 August 2020

Everything you need to know about digital insurance certificates

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In Canada, Québec was the first province to rethink the way it handles insurance certificates. In August 2019, the Québec car insurance industry updated its practices to allow motorists to use digital insurance certificates as legal proof of car insurance.

Because they’re accessible via smartphones, digital insurance certificates make it quicker and to access this document, which is mandatory for all drivers.

Want to learn more about digital insurance certificates and how to use them? Then you’ve come to the right place! Promutuel Insurance has embraced this new technology and now offers this digital proof of insurance to its car insurance clients. Here’s everything you need to know so you can get the most out of this new tool.

What is a digital insurance certificate?

Also known as electronic proof of auto insurance (EPAI), the digital insurance certificate enables motorists to keep proof that they hold the legally required car insurance right on their mobile device. Québec authorities now even consider this digital format to be just as valid as the conventional paper certificates (pink cards). So now both formats are accepted.

Moreover, EPAIs are now available for all vehicles covered by basic third-party liability and registered in Promutuel Insurance Online Policy. More specifically, this refers to personal vehicles, business vehicles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, trailers, RVs, and any other motorized vehicles. Digital certificates are also available for utility vehicles covered by a business insurance policy.

Promutuel Insurance digital certificates include all of the following information: phone number of local police, vehicle model, VIN, insured’s full name, policy start and end dates, and summary of insurance coverage for the vehicle.

What are the benefits of a digital certificate?

Have you ever misplaced your paper insurance certificate? If so, you know it can take at least a few days to get an official copy of a new or revised certificate. Well, the digital certificate saves you that headache—and many others! Here are the main advantages of EPAI:

  • 24/7 access: Should you ever misplace or lose your pink card, it’s always at your fingertips via your smartphone.
  • Valid throughout Québec (and beyond): Plus, you can also use it in four other Canadian provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Alberta) and in certain U.S. states.
  • Automatic updates: With digital certificates, your information is automatically updated when you make a change to a vehicle that’s already insured (does not apply to new eligible vehicles added to your policy).
  • Readily shareable: You can share it via Apple AirDrop, text, or email.

Is the digital certificate valid everywhere?

Electronic car insurance certificates are now recognized as valid proof of insurance by all Québec law enforcement departments. And as of the time of writing, EPAIs are valid proof in five Canadian provinces: Nova Scotia (since January 2019), Newfoundland and Labrador (since July 2019), Alberta (since July 2019), Ontario (since August 2019), and Québec (since July 2019).

So the digital certificate is not valid everywhere in Canada. Some, but not all, U.S. states accept them as well. That’s why it’s important to always keep a hard copy with you, especially when driving outside Québec.

How do I download my digital certificate onto my mobile device?

Downloading your Promutuel Insurance digital insurance certificate is super easy! Here’s how to quickly and safely save it to your smartphone, in 5 easy steps:

  • If you haven’t already, download Wallet (iPhone) or WalletPasses (Android).
  • Go to your Promutuel Insurance Client Space and log into your account. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for Client Spacesign up for Client Space and link it to your car insurance policy.
  • Click “Documents and Details” then go to the “Available Documents” section.
  • Then, under “Insurance Certificates,” click “Install on Mobile,” and follow the instructions.
  • Finally, follow the installation instructions for your Apple or Android device.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to download a digital insurance certificate for each eligible vehicle you have insured. In other words, if you add a new vehicle to your policy, the associated EPAI will not automatically appear in your Wallet or WalletPasses app.

Pro tips for using your digital certificate

Even though EPAIs are a great leap forward for car insurance, they’re not infallible. For instance, your mobile device could run out of battery or you might travel somewhere outside Québec where the digital certificate isn’t accepted. So here are some important things to keep in mind to avoid problems:

  • Always keep your hard copy: It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always have the paper copy on hand. Certain situations could unfortunately keep you from accessing your digital insurance certificate (e.g., dead battery, broken phone, etc.). So unfortunately, it’s not a complete replacement for the paper version.
  • Sharing your digital certificate: Your digital insurance certificate can be shared via AirDrop (Apple devices only), text, or email with any temporary driver of your vehicle.

WARNING: Your digital insurance certificate contains certain personal information. By sharing it with a third party, you are effectively waiving the confidentiality of your information because anyone you share a digital certificate with will also receive updates about it, unless they delete it from their phone once they no longer need it.

Promutuel Insurance: THERE to help you

Have questions about your car insurance or your digital certificate? We’re there to help you get the most out of this new tool to make your life easier. Feel free to contact us any time.