Consumers urged to use caution when using ridesharing programs
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The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is raising awareness of the risks associated with ridesharing programs such as UberX for both drivers and passengers.
In a press release issued August 13, 2015, the IBAO said that “there are a number of myths that suggest insurance coverage would be recognized should an UberX driver or UberX passenger be involved in a collision.”
IBAO president Michael Brattman stated that “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 coverage or protection in the event of a collision during an UberX experience.”
If the driver is operating a ride sharing program under their standard/basic auto insurance policy, and have not informed their broker or insurer, there may be no coverage. IBAO advises that “UberX drivers would be properly covered through the Facility Association under their taxi commercial auto policy. This is what is available for drivers today.”
IBAO reminds Ontarians that “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 the grey zone between personal insurance and commercial insurance, the complexity compounds further.”
“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 ridesharing opportunists. We are also developing an education session for brokers to be released in September that focuses on communicating the risks to consumers – both passengers and drivers. We would like to work with UberX to further understand the coverage they say they provide their drivers,” concluded Brattman.
The IBAO is a non-profit association representing the interests of member insurance brokers in Ontario to government and industry stakeholders. The IBAO reviews legislation to ensure consumers and independent insurance brokers are protected.