An Update on Rideshare Insurance in Ontario and Alberta
Alberta and Ontario have both 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. It’s a commercial insurance policy purchased by Uber, that came into effect on July 1. 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. According to an Uber statement on the day the policy was approved, “As of July 7, 2016, Uber will be purchasing this new ridesharing insurance covering all ridesharing rides in Ontario.”
What’s this mean for the throngs of Uber passengers?
From a passenger standpoint, riders can sit back and buckle up knowing they’re covered should something happen during the trip by Uber’s commercial insurance policy. Uber’s policy provides coverage from the time you enter the vehicle through to until you leave it when you arrive at your destination.
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, 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 the 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.
In both provinces, the commercial coverage does not apply when the vehicle is being used for personal purposes.
What’s included in Uber’s commercial insurance policy?
The commercial ridesharing policy purchased by Uber has two different sets of coverage levels.
- Driver is logged into the app waiting for a ride upDuring 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.
- Driver accepts a tripOnce 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.)
Uber drivers must still let their personal auto insurance provider know they drive for Uber
— FSCO Tweets (@FSCOTweets) July 13, 2016
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. 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.