Uber rejects Manitoba’s unique time band auto insurance model

Published: January 28, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Manitoba Public Inusrance (MPI) earlier this month debuted a unique “time band” approach to insuring ride-share drivers in the province. However, Uber, the largest ridesharing company in the industry has flatly rejected the proposal.

Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board (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. Judging Uber’s response to the model, it was not the US-based company, even though Manitoba has been clear it is trying to attract Uber and Lyft.

“This product structure 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,” Uber stated in a submission to the Manitoba Public Utilities Board.

Uber describes “deficiencies” in MPI’s time band model and said it will be “unable to consider expansion of services to Winnipeg on Mar. 1, 2018.”

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman is pushing for regulators to find a solution so companies like Uber will begin operations in the city. MPI’s model works on a system of categorizing drivers under four different levels.

“The insurance policies will be based on time bands permitting vehicles for hire operation,” MPI said in its submission to the regulator. “Each of the four sub-categories (passenger, taxi, etc.) will have the same time bands available to them. Customers can self-select any combination of time bands and premiums will be based on the number of time bands selected.”

The time bands include:

  • Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Nightly 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
  • Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday 6:00 p.m. through Sunday 11:00 p.m.