There has been potential progress in the attempts to regulate drive sharing company Uber and clear up murky insurance rules surrounding the service today.
Toronto based Intact Financial Corp. is working with Uber to create a specifically tailored auto insurance package for drivers using the sharing model. In recent months Uber has come under fire for unclear insurance rules that leave its drivers uncovered in the event of an accident, with many of them using personal auto insurance instead of commercial insurance while driving for the company.
Intact, one of the leading insurance companies in Ontario and across Canada says that it is currently working with Uber, government, and insurance regulatory bodies across the country to come up with a policy that does not defy regulations.
Any new insurance coverage that can be taken out via Intact by Uber drivers would need to pass Canadian and provincial laws otherwise it would be a case of back to square one in terms of solving the Uber problem. Intact is coy on initial details and said it is too early to discuss the finer points of the plan that will also be sold under its Belairdirect brand.
"With the growing popularity of the sharing and on-demand economy, we are adapting our product range to offer innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of consumers," Louis Gagnon, president of service and distribution at Intact Financial Corp., said in a statement.
Uber allows customers to hail a car via a smartphone and has blurred the lines of what we think is a usual taxi service. This has led to widespread calls in Canada and worldwide for the company to be regulated more strictly, and in some cases shut down. The city of Toronto tried to shut the service down but failed, while other proposals have called for regulations that police Uber drivers.
Insurance has been a talking point around the company because Uber accepts driver one personal insurance claims even though the terms of service agreement states they must have commercial coverage.
"Uber is excited to be working with Intact Financial, the leading Canadian provider of auto insurance, to develop an innovative insurance plan specifically tailored for ridesharing in Canada," Ian Black, the general manager of Uber Canada, said in a statement.
Despite Intact currently working on a new Uber specific policy there is currently a gray area behind what insurance coverage drivers need. The Insurance Bureau of Canada says that anybody working for Uber drive sharing or thinking about doing so should contact their car insurance provider and see if they are covered to drive commercially.