Ontario Adopts Digital Insurance Certificates

An annual tradition in Ontario is an insured driver opening a letter from their insurer with their new or renewed automobile insurance policy, which includes their new “pink card” certificate evidencing their automobile insurance.  This certificate is often requested by police officers during a roadside stop, and shown to other drivers in the event of an automobile accident.

The Ontario government recently approved changes to the “pink card” process which acknowledges the reality of 21st century data storage and sets the stage for further changes to automobile insurance. 

What are the changes?

Motorists now have the option of carrying proof of automobile insurance on their smart phones or other mobile devices and this electronic certificate is required to have the same data fields, text, and overall appearance as the paper certificate.

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Lack of Signature Block in Emails Fatal to Debt Enforcement

If you find work-related emails to be ubiquitous, you will likely find the same of signature “blocks”, setting out the sender’s name, position and contact information. Block signatures, however, have real legal impact. A recent British Columbia decision (Lesko v. Solhjell, 2019 BCCRT 941) on this point is instructive for any sender or recipient of electronic messaging related to a transaction.

The decision arose from a personal debt matter. At issue was whether emails and texts from the debtor contained an acknowledgment of liability. If not, the claim was statute-barred for tardiness since it was filed (just) over two years after the original demand for payment.

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