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An update on rideshare insurance in Ontario and Alberta

Uber may have made ridesharing popular, but it’s no longer the only player in the game—at least not in Ontario 

Alberta and Ontario first approved a new ridesharing insurance policy in the summer of 2016 that provides some clarity for Uber drivers and passengers on their auto insurance needs. Alberta led the way when the Superintendent of Insurance of Alberta approved Canada’s first ridesharing insurance policy. Ontario quickly followed when the Superintendent of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) approved a commercial auto insurance policy that covers all Uber drivers and passengers too. 


Since then, FSCO has approved policies for additional ridesharing services in Ontario including: RideCo (December 1, 2016), InstaRyde (October 1, 2017), Facedrive (October 1, 2017), ecoRIDES (November 21, 2017) and Lyft (November 10, 2017). Ridesharing services not listed here are not approved in Ontario as of February 2, 2018. View FSCO’s list of approved and insured rideshare platforms here.  

  

In Alberta, Uber remains the only insured ridesharing platform at this time. 

Frequently asked questions about ridesharing insurance 

What you need to know about car insurance when it comes to driving for Uber or Lyft, or riding as a passenger in Uber or Lyft. 

What does Uber’s commercial insurance policy mean for Uber drivers?

Uber’s Ontario policy provides coverage once the driver logs into the Uber app; it spans the time from when the driver logs into the app, waits for a trip, accepts a trip, picks up a ride and drops off the ride at their destination. 

In Alberta, it’s a little different. Uber’s Alberta policy commences coverage when the driver accepts a ride, not when the driver logs into the app. Once a ride is accepted, the coverage starts and stays in place through to when the passenger leaves the vehicle at their destination. 

So which policy applies when, as an Alberta-based Uber driver, you are logged into the Uber app and waiting for a trip—your personal auto insurance coverage or Uber’s commercial policy? 

Basically, Uber’s commercial insurer has said it will provide coverage during this time, but only when your personal auto insurer says they won’t and they deny a claim.

Please note: In both provinces, the commercial coverage does not apply when the vehicle is being used for personal purposes, which is why a personal auto insurance policy is also required by law. 


What’s included in Uber’s commercial insurance policy?

The commercial ridesharing policy purchased by Uber has two different sets of coverage levels.

1. Driver is logged into the app waiting for a ride up 


During this time, the commercial insurance policy provides the following initial coverages:

  • $1 million third party liability
  • Standard Accident Benefits
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible. This is only available to Ontario Uber drivers and only if these optional coverages are in the driver’s personal policy.

If you live in Alberta and drive for Uber, remember the first two points apply only after your personal auto insurance provider has denied a claim.

2. Driver accepts a trip 


Once a trip is accepted, and the driver is in transit to pick up the passenger, the coverages change to the following and stays at these levels until the passenger arrives at their destination and leaves the vehicle:

  • $2 million third party liability
  • Standard Accident Benefits
  • Comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible. (In Ontario, this is only available if these optional coverages are in the driver’s personal policy as well.)

How are Ontario Uber & Lyft passengers protected?

Passengers can sit back and buckle up knowing they’re covered under Uber and Lyft’s commercial insurance policies should something happen during the trip. In both cases, the policies provide coverage from the time you enter the vehicle through to until you exit upon arrival at your destination.

If an accident occurs while you’re in the vehicle, you have two options: 

  • 1. Go through your auto insurance provider - If you have your own auto insurance, you would go through your provider as you would any other auto-related claim in Ontario.
  • 2. Go through Uber or Lyft -  If you do not have your own auto insurance policy, you would have to file a claim through your driver’s commercial insurance. Uber and Lyft drivers are required to carry insurance and must provide these details to you. Legal counsel is often recommended in these cases, especially if you are injured in the accident.

To file an accident or safety report with Uber click here and for Lyft click here

Why compare rates on my personal auto insurance if Uber/Lyft already covers me?

It is illegal to operate a vehicle without insurance. Since rideshare insurance does not provide coverage for usage outside of ridesharing, it’s imperative you get a personal car insurance policy. 

Not all personal auto insurers cover drivers that use their vehicles for commercial ridesharing purposes and some might even charge an extra premium for it. By comparing rates, you can find a better deal without sacrificing your coverage. 

As a reminder, if you do decide to use your personal vehicle for ridesharing, talk to your insurance company about it first. You’ll want to make sure you’re covered before you accept your first trip. 

Uber drivers must still let their personal auto insurance provider know they drive for Uber

Whether you live in Alberta or Ontario, if you’re an Uber driver you must still let your personal auto insurance provider know that you’re driving for Uber in your spare time to ensure you have the coverage you need for times when you are using your vehicle for personal use. The same applies to Lyft drivers and drivers of other ridesharing platforms. 

This is important, because even though Uber’s commercial insurance policy has been approved by the provinces, your personal auto insurer is not required to insure ridesharing vehicles and may cancel your policy or decide not to renew it if you’re driving for Uber on the side. Don’t risk it, let your auto insurer know.

If your personal auto insurer does not want to insure your vehicle because you drive for Uber, you’ll need to shop around for one that does. That’s where InsuranceHotline.com may be able to help. Shop around for an auto insurance policy that allows ridesharing, by comparing auto insurance quotes today.

To see the details of Uber’s Alberta ridesharing policy coverages, click here. For Uber’s Ontario policy details, click here. For Lyft’s Ontario policy details, click here