Canadian Underwriter

Rideshare Redux

January 17, 2018   by Jason Contant, Online Editor

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California-based Lyft is preparing to enter the Canadian ridesharing market, announcing its first stop will be in Toronto by the end of the year. Preparing for Lyft’s arrival, Canadian insurance professionals are once again looking back at the insurance issues associated with Uber’s marketplace entrance a few years ago.

Only this time, questions surrounding coverages, endorsements, legal concerns, underwriting and adjusting have all been explored and, in some cases, addressed. But have all the ridesharing questions been answered?

Lyft is in a similar situation now as Uber was a few years ago. Private auto policies still generally preclude a vehicle from being operated for hire, although some endorsements exist. And so, Lyft’s pending arrival once again begs the question: is Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry any further ahead in figuring out how to insure the risks of ridesharing drivers? “Transporting paying passengers opens drivers up to all kinds of liability issues, costs and claims,” said Marie Gallagher, branch manager at Kernaghan Adjusters in St. Catharines, Ont.

“The financial risk to a driver in not taking out additional insurance, or concealing that the vehicle is being used for ridesharing, far outweighs any potential ridesharing revenue. As such, I think there is going to be an onus on a broker or direct writer to clearly note on the application of insurance that such things (use of vehicle) have been explained in detail to the insured to protect the broker in future.”

An underwriter will accept a risk or price a policy based on many factors, Gallagher said.

Read the full article in the Digital Edition of the December 2017 Canadian Underwriter.

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