Aviva Canada announced this week that it has created a new auto insurance policy that is specific for those working for ride-sharing companies such as Uber. The product is a first for Aviva globally and a first for the Ontario market, where the policy will be making its debut in early February if the insurance provider has its way.
Here’s all you need to know about Aviva Canada’s policy:
It is for UberX drivers
While the ride-sharing coverage will bring protection to drivers of most ride-sharing services, there is little doubt that Uber was the inspiration behind Aviva’s plans. Those driving for the UberX service (there are around 24,000 in Ontario) are for the most part doing so without sufficient auto insurance, using their personal policies that are not designed to allow a vehicle to be used as a business tool.
The Aviva Canada policy means that drivers working for UberX will now be able to have protection that is added to their personal policy.
But it is not Uber specific
In October Uber and Ontario based Intact Financial said they were working together to create an auto insurance policy that would be specifically for UberX drivers. No details have been offered since then and potentially the company stopped the collaboration. Aviva Canada is going a different route and is offering its product to drivers of all ride-sharing services and in fact the insurer had not direct contact with Uber at all while developing the new policy:
Uber spokeswoman Susie Heath said her company hasn’t seen any details of Aviva’s policy but is “encouraged to see a growing number of Canada’s insurers show interest in innovation in the transportation space.” Adding that the company will work with anyone who wants to offer something similar, she said.
How much does it cost?
Aviva said that the new policy will cost “small portion of the income earned by the driver, calculated using factors such as time spent ride-sharing, area driven in and driver record.”
Expanding on that and adding more detail, Aviva Canada spokesman Glenn Cooper said, “This can be had for as low as $600 a year. Yes, it goes up from there. It goes up depending on your driving record, where you live, and all those factors that go into your regular policy.”
When will it launch?
Aviva Canada says that it hopes to launch its ride-sharing policy in February, but at the moment the company has yet to get regulatory approval from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Cooper said. “The details aren’t finalized yet. We’re working with FSCO. The regulator wants this to happen. There’s a gap in the market.”
Will it solve the Uber problem?
Not quite. It is true that one of the major obstacles for Uber has been that its drivers are not sufficiently covered and Aviva Canada’s new product will help ease those worries. However, Uber still faces problems because it is effectively operating in Canada without regulatory approval, meaning drivers are being targeted by courts. Toronto is the only city to have voted favorably to regulate UberX, but those regulations are not in place yet and until other cities join Toronto’s lead Uber is likely to face opposition.
What do I need for a policy?
- Maximum 8 passengers
- No more than 20 hours work per week driving for the ride-sharing service
- Licensed for at least six years
- No other commercial use