Uber is a mobile platform enable by GPS and is used by drivers who wish to use their personal car for transporting passengers. The Uber app allows drivers to get ready for transporting passengers who wish to get a ride to their destination in return for payment. The insurance coverage during the passenger transit in the Uber serviced car had been a gray area until Alberta province and Intact Insurance came up with a practical solution. Now FSCO regulation has passed the insurance policy to cover Uber drivers effective July 2016.
Ridesharing has not been a joy welcomed by the taxi groups. Since 2014 Uber has offered affordable easy ride options to paying passengers in Ontario. This has definitely affected a lion’s share of the taxi industry. Uber fares cost less compared to taxi and so there is stiff opposition to any regulation supporting ride-sharing by taxis. So, as a result, taxis had to lower their fares to match competition. Ride-sharing insurance has offered insurance protection to the part-time drivers who do not have to worry about the insurance of their passengers and vehicles while transporting them from one point to another point.
How Does Uber Ride-sharing App Work
Uber uses GPS technology to connect passengers who wish to obtain a ride and book one through the Uber mobile app. This ride-sharing app is supported by many android and IOS based mobile devices. The passenger gets the details of the vehicle including the car’s rating, plate number, and model, driver name etc. to ensure identification and safety during the trip. Passengers can track the driver approaching them to pick up. When dropped off at their destination, payment is done securely with credit card account stored in ride-share. It is all very quick and convenient for passengers who don’t drive. And for drivers who wish to work part-time.
Intact Insurance is the first company that has been approved by FSCO for selling ride-sharing insurance policies. (FSCO) has regulated that the ride-sharing policy is in effect from the time the Uber app is turned on until the time the passenger is dropped off at their destination. This policy is not in effect when the app is turned off. The personal auto insurance policy takes over at that time.
What Are The Benefits Of Ridesharing Insurance
The ride-sharing insurance policy offered by Intact has helped to bridge the gap between the personal auto insurance policy and the Uber service. This coverage helps drivers who transport passengers knowing that they have adequate insurance protection. This is a separate coverage that could be added as an endorsement to the existing auto policy. The driver can choose to pay for this from Intact in addition to personal auto insurance. The personal auto policy may not be sufficient to provide coverage for transporting passengers. When the driver is not ride-sharing for work, the personal auto policy takes effect.
Some of the benefits of ride-sharing insurance are:
- Easy quotes and underwriting process
- The claims process is digitalized and more streamlined.
All drivers and passengers using ride-sharing are covered when insured by such a policy. It does not matter who is the personal auto insurer.
When Does Ride-Sharing Insurance Apply
A personal auto policy may not cover drivers for transporting paying passengers. But a ride-sharing insurance will cover in such situations. The ride-sharing insurance is applicable in 3 phases as mentioned below:
- The time since the driver logs on the app and is ready for allocation of the passenger.
- During driving to the designated location for picking up the passenger.
- While driving to transport the passenger to their destination.
Who Can Apply For Ride-Sharing Insurance
In order to be eligible to apply for ride-sharing insurance, drivers may have to meet the following conditions. Certain exclusions may apply:
- Part-time drivers can work for ride-sharing up to 20 hours maximum per week
- Drivers are required to be contracted by a transportation network company such as Uber
- The driver must have at least 6 years driving experience in Canada or the US with at least G2 or G level license.
- The vehicle used for ridesharing could transport up to maximum 7 passengers excluding the driver.
- The vehicle may not be used for commercial purposes. It cannot be used to deliver goods, food items, or for courier services.
- The vehicle may not have legal registration as limousine or taxi.
- Only listed drivers on the ride-sharing policy may transport passengers.
- The policy by Intact only covers ride-sharing using Uber app. No other companies.
- If the driver uses other ride-sharing platforms, there may be no coverage through personal auto policy. The driver is then liable for the damages in the event of a loss.
How Much Is Covered Under Ride-Sharing Insurance
It is always advised to inform your auto insurance provider if you intend to take up ride-sharing as a part-time job. It is up to the insurer to decide whether to offer you a ride-sharing policy. Or refuse renewal of your existing auto policy. By disclosing true information at all times, you may have adequate protection. For your passengers, vehicle, owners, and others on the road through ride-sharing insurance. Uber is not the only ride-sharing platform. There are similar services offered in the market and could be covered by ride-sharing insurance policies.
The ride-sharing policy by Intact covers the following per incident:
Statutory accident benefits, third party liability and uninsured motorist coverage up to $1,000,000 prior to accepting a ride through Uber app that is logged on.
- The policies cover up to $2,000,000 limit after acceptance of ride for third party liability. This is primarily in effect over the personal auto insurance policy.
- Policies will have a ride-sharing cover up to $2,000,000 for passengers who may be injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver or a hit and run accident. Any damage to the vehicle by an uninsured identified motorist will also be covered.
- Other optional coverage such as comprehensive and collision will apply as per the limits under the personal auto insurance policy. The deductible will be $1,000.
Aviva, Jevco, Novex and Belairdirect also offer ride-sharing insurance in Ontario.