Here’s the latest and greatest on insurance issues around services like Uber . . .
Aviva Canada, a provider of home, auto, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance, announced the coverage for drivers that carry paying passengers in their own vehicles.
The coverage will become available for Ontario drivers in early February, and is a simple addition to an Aviva-insured personal auto policy, the insurer said in a press release, adding that Aviva will be “working with regulators across the country to make the solution available in other provinces in the coming months.”
There are more than 16,000 ridesharing drivers in the Greater Toronto Area, the insurer estimated.
The coverage will protect ridesharing drivers (such as those contracted with UberX and similar drivers) from the moment they initiate looking for passengers through to collecting and dropping off those passengers, Aviva Canada explained. Eligibility for coverage will be based on some simple underwriting criteria (for example, a maximum of eight passengers, licensed for a minimum of six years, no other commercial use, etc.).
Aviva Canada’s coverage will be available for drivers that spend up to 20 hours a week participating in ridesharing. The cost for the additional coverage will equate to a small portion of the income earned by the driver, calculated using factors such as time spent ridesharing, area driven and driving record, the insurer said.
“With ridesharing on the rise, consumers have new options available to them, however there is a gap in insurance coverage which potentially leaves them without appropriate protection and benefits,” said Greg Somerville, president and CEO of Aviva Canada, in the release. “When consumer needs change, we must evolve our insurance solutions to respond. We’re excited to offer a simple and affordable solution within a driver’s existing personal auto policy, thereby providing drivers and passengers with absolute peace of mind that they have insurance coverage while ridesharing.”
Doug Heaman, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, added that the association is pleased to see an insurance company taking a “proactive stance in the ridesharing space. Aviva’s approach and coverage options are welcome as many of our members are struggling to provide clear insurance options for their customers to ensure they are properly covered.”
Another insurer, Intact Financial Corp., announced last September that it intends to offer “tailored insurance products” for Uber. “The intention is to offer and market these products under IFC’s two largest brands – Intact Insurance and belairdirect,” Intact said at the time, adding the company is “working closely with insurance regulators and different levels of government in provinces where the ridesharing service currently exists.”