Uber Ridesharing: Are You Adequately Insured?

As Uber begins to gain popularity in many provinces across Canada, people have started to question whether adequate insurance coverage is being provided to drivers and passengers using this ridesharing service. 

Uber, a ridesharing service which connects ride seekers with amateur drivers, launched in 2009 in San Francisco, California. Uber first appeared in Canada in 2014. The popular ridesharing business launched its first Canadian branch in Toronto and quickly spread to other Canadian cities, such as Edmonton and Vancouver. At that time, individuals were required to meet certain criteria in order to become qualified Uber drivers. Such requirements included being at least 21 years of age, passing a background check, and operating a vehicle that was no more than 10 years old. Obtaining ridesharing insurance and providing proof of such to authorities was not one of these requirements.  

In September 2015, the city of Edmonton proposed new regulations that required Uber drivers to have “proper” insurance. They did not specify what they meant by “proper”. Shortly thereafter, insurance superintendents in the province of Ontario specified that Uber drivers within their jurisdiction needed to have commercial policies with liability limits of at least two million dollars. It wasn’t until a year or so later that insurance providers would roll out what we now know as “ridesharing” insurance policies. 

“RIDESHARING” INSURANCE POLICIES

After much controversy, Uber began feeling the heat from legal and insurance professionals regarding the necessity to rectify their flimsy rules surrounding their drivers’ insurance coverages.

In 2016, Aviva Insurance Company rolled out a new endorsement that would allow drivers to offer ridesharing services when operating their vehicles. Eventually, many concluded that this coverage was substandard in fully addressing the gap in insurance that existed between drivers and ride seekers. 

In July 2017, Uber purchased a new ridesharing insurance policy that covers all rides operating through the Uber platform. This coverage is offered through Intact Insurance and covers both the driver and the ride seeker in Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario, under the following circumstances:

  1. The driver and the passenger are covered between the acceptance and termination of each trip, as mapped by the driver’s application.

  2. The driver is covered from the time they are logged into the application prior to accepting a trip.  

Intact’s ridesharing coverage offers the following: 

  1. Up to two million dollars in liability coverage

  2. Accident benefits coverage

  3. Uninsured motorist coverage

  4. Direct compensation property damage coverage

  5. Collision and comprehensive coverages

When an Uber driver is offline from the Uber application, he or she cannot benefit from this coverage, but rather solely from the coverage provided through his or her personal automobile insurance policy. 

Needless to say, this coverage is a step forward for the ridesharing business. Previously, Uber drivers were mix and matching personal and commercial liability policies in an attempt to gain adequate insurance, which often led to gaps in coverage and ambiguity. This new coverage will provide both the passenger and the driver with a new-found sense of confidence when both are using and providing ridesharing services. An individual who happens to be involved in a motor vehicle accident when using Uber’s ridesharing service will now benefit from coverage extending from the driver’s policy.  

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

If you were injured in an accident where the driver was inadequately insured or simply at fault, you have the right to be compensated. At MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law, we’ve represented car accident injury victims for over 20 years. Our compassionate team will fight for the compensation you deserve and help get your life back on track after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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