Uber/UberX is now a fact in Ontario. They’ve been getting lots of media coverage lately – both positive and negative.
When you take public transportation, an accident is the last thing on your mind. That being said, the traditional methods of public transportation, buses, trains, taxis, etc. have insurance in place in case of an accident to protect their passengers. Do you know how protected you are if you use Uber/UberX to get from Point A to Point B?
You may have thought about driving for Uber to earn some extra money. It sounds really attractive and easy. But if you and your vehicle aren’t insured for commercial purposes, consider the implications:
- Your insurance company may refuse coverage in the event of an accident
- You may personally be sued by anyone involved in the accident
- Damage claims to your own and other involved vehicles may be denied.
Be informed, be safe, be protected.
If you would like to be kept aware of changes regarding insurance coverage and Uber/UberX, please contact Nick Homiak by email and he will keep you informed as changes occur.
IBAO August 12, 2015 Statement Concerning Uber / UberX
IBAO is working to raise awareness on the risks associated with ride sharing programs for both drivers and passengers. As an advocate for consumers and the conduit between the insurance company and the policyholder, brokers need to understand these risks and be prepared to answer clients’ questions correctly. UberX drivers and UberX passengers in Ontario should understand the reality of their choices when it comes to ride sharing and auto insurance coverage in Ontario.
There are a number of myths in the media that suggest that if an UberX driver or an UberX passenger are involved in a collision, their insurance coverage would be recognized. “The simple fact is that UberX is a new concept that Ontarians are embracing quickly, both as drivers and as passengers. At this time, drivers and passengers should know that there is no existing endorsement for a personal lines policy that is available today that would guarantee them coverage or protection in the event of a collision during an UberX experience. If the driver is working under a standard/basic personal auto insurance policy and they have not informed their insurer or broker that they were using their vehicle for commercial purposes, coverage would likely not be extended,” said Michael Brattman, President, IBAO. “UberX drivers would be properly covered through the Facility Association under their taxi commercial auto policy. This is what is available today for drivers.”
Auto insurance coverage is a complex product. When an injury occurs after a collision, it grows more complex. When you layer UberX on top of that (a grey zone between personal insurance and commercial insurance), the complexity compounds even more.
“Our position will always be to advocate for the protection of Ontario consumers. We are encouraging insurers and regulators to find coverage solutions that specifically protect ride sharing opportunists. We are also developing an education session for brokers to be released in September 2015 which focuses on how to communicate these risks to your consumers – both the passengers and the drivers. We would like to work with Uber to understand more about the coverage they say they provide to their drivers,” said Brattman.
As of today, the message you need to be telling UberX drivers and UberX passengers is this: use at your own risk. It is unlikely that UberX drivers are working under their own commercial lines policy and it is simply too early for anyone to say with confidence that the coverage