Considering Uber? You should read this first.

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

The PDF document can be downloaded here.
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Top 5 Travel Insurance Tips for Hurricane Season

Travel Underwriters provides out of province/country health coverage for Consolidated clients and their visitorsTravel Underwriters provides out of province/country health coverage for Consolidated clients and their visitors. The following article about travelling during hurricane season has been used with their permission.



If you’re anything like me, you’ve been planning your trip for quite a while. But hurricane season can be a wild card that changes your plans in a second.

The Atlantic hurricane season starts in early June and can run as late as November. This raises a lot of questions for Canadians travelling to hurricane hot spots like the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and the East and Gulf coasts of the United States—in particular Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Here are our top 5 tips for staying covered while travelling to at-risk hurricane zones:

1. What if there’s a storm, but it hasn’t yet been named a hurricane?

You still have time to purchase travel insurance, and more importantly, trip cancellation and interruption. But once a hurricane has been named, it becomes a “known peril” and you won’t be covered under an existing policy.

It’s similar to trying to buy home insurance while your house is on fire. As soon as the hurricane is named, you can’t get your trip covered by travel insurance.

2. What if there’s a hurricane warning for my travel destination?

Only you can decide if you want to take the risk, but checking for travel advisories specific to hurricanes is a good start.

Before you travel, monitor local news and weather reports and register online with the Canadian government office abroad. Leave all phone numbers and a detailed itinerary with your family and friends if you do go. Lastly, you can always cancel your trip, and if you’ve purchased trip cancellation or interruption you won’t lose out.

3. What if I can’t get to my travel destination, due to a hurricane?

This happens a lot, especially for cruise-goers. Check the travel advisories for your destination and contact your local broker for details about your plan.

4. What if I’m on vacation and a hurricane starts?

Most insurance policies will cover you for mandatory evacuations due to unforeseeable events. It’s best in these situations to contact your insurance provider and the Canadians abroad office.

5. What if there’s a hurricane in my hometown, and I can’t leave for my trip?

A “ripple effect” can happen if you can’t leave your hometown to get to the first leg of your trip. Make sure you’ve purchased travel insurance that will cover you for situations like these. At Travel Underwriters, for instance, our Freedom policy covers you for natural disasters or “unforeseeable events” or delays in connecting flights due to weather conditions.



Stay safe this hurricane season and make informed decisions. At the end of the day, purchasing travel insurance and trip cancellation and interruption as early as possible is your safest bet.
Information provided by Travel Underwriters


International Driving Permits (The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles)

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has suspended the enforcement of a state law that required Canadian drivers to carry an International Driving Permit in addition to their drivers license. The initial law was quietly introduced on January 1st, 2013 and was found to violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949), an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Treaties to which the United States is a party preempt state laws in conflict with them.

From the moment IBAO learned about this new Florida legislation early yesterday morning and how it was affecting Ontario consumers, the association responded immediately, initiating phone calls and discussions with our political and industry partners to work on a resolve as quickly and effectively as possible. We were on and off conference calls all day yesterday and learned around 3:30 p.m. that the Florida legislation had been suspended, and vehicles remain insured.

We compliment the Canadian government on taking action quickly. Keep in mind that this immediate response is a suspension only, and the Florida legislation has not been entirely revoked. The suspension eliminates the need for an International Drivers Permit at this time. IBAO will continue our discussions with our political partners and will keep you informed as to any updates as we learn of them.

In the meantime, you can read more about the government’s response on the following links.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles release

Toronto Star Article

CBC News Story


Information provided by IBAO WWW.IBAO.ORG