Ridesharing firm interested in Manitoba’s unique time band auto insurance

Published: January 24, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) says its unique approach to use a “time band” for insuring ridesharing vehicles in Winnipeg has not been met with any appeals.

“My guess is that the applicant [Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI)] and the one intervenor we had (Consumers Association of Canada) will not be applying to change the time bands,” Darren Christle told Canadian Underwriter. He says so far the order is an interim rate and will be assessed more closely once MPI files a general rate application. That is scheduled to happen in June.

PUB says it has been contacted by a ridesharing company interested in entering the Manitoba market. The insurance regulator was not willing to say which company that was. However, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman’s press team said ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are wanted in the city:

“Winnipeggers want ridesharing, and Mayor Bowman has consistently supported the introduction of ridesharing to Winnipeg. He continues to believe greater competition and choice within the vehicle for hire marketplace will improve overall service quality for consumers.”

However, MPI needs to work with ridesharing firms to create an auto insurance solutions argues Davis and Winnipeg should look to other Canadian cities to see how ridesharing regulations can be successfully implemented:

“A focus for Mayor Bowman has been to ensure a balanced, respectful and reasonable approach is taken in how the administrative framework was structured for Winnipeg.”

Uber, the largest ridesharing company has said Manitoba’s time band auto insurance model is different. While the company did not rule out moving to the province, it suggested the proposed insurance model is unlikely to be enticing.

The company said the time band model “differs greatly from insurance models in place across North America (including Ontario, Alberta and Quebec) and deviates in several important ways from the type of insurance that Uber has found to be effective in North America.”