How to solve ride-sharing auto insurance disputes if all apps are open?

Published: December 22, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Insurance companies are likely to treat ridesharing-related collisions and claims under the same model as priority disputes, an Ontario-based regulator.

Disputed cases arising from collisions involving vehicles from several ride-sharing vehicles are challenging insurers. When Aviva Canada backed Lyft on its Canadian expansion earlier this month, the company questioned how the industry will cope with the situation.

Aviva asked how a claim will be covered if a ride-sharing driver works for multiple apps, has them all open without selecting a fare, and is in collision?

“At the present time, I think the industry is trying to resolve, ‘How do we handle accidents when multiple apps are open?’” David D’Arcy, Aviva Canada’s senior manager, initiative lead of Lyft, told Canadian Underwriter in an interview. “The interesting piece is that we have to, as an industry, come to grips with the Phase 1 coordination of coverages.”

“You’re going to be covered. It’s just, ‘How are we going to divvy it up among the different ridesharing companies if you have multiple apps on at the same time?’” D’Arcy asked. “That’s been the experience in the U.S.”

A likely scenario is the driver would claim from all three of the ride-sharing insurance companies in Ontario, Aviva, Intact, and Northbridge. Those companies cover the six ride-share firms currently in the province, something with exclusivity. Provided all apps are open simultaneously, it seems probable all insurers will contribute to the claim.

“For statutory accident benefits claims, the driver likely has a choice as to which insurer to make the claim against, since he or she is the named insured under more than one ridesharing policy when two apps are on at the same time,” FSCO said in its statement. “If there is a dispute about which insurer is liable to pay statutory accident benefits, the first insurer that receives a completed application for benefits is responsible for paying them pending the resolution of the dispute.”