Canadian Underwriter

FSCO approves Aviva Canada’s ridesharing coverage

February 3, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Aviva Canada confirmed on Tuesday that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has approved its ‘first of a kind’ coverage for drivers that carry paying passengers in their own vehicles.

Aviva Canada said that it will be “working with regulators across the country to make the solution available in other provinces in the coming months.”

The coverage, now available for Ontario drivers, is a simple addition to an Aviva-insured policy, said Aviva Canada, a provider of home, auto, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance, in a statement. Aviva Canada added that it will be “working with regulators across the country to make the solution available in other provinces in the coming months.”

Aviva Canada initially announced the coverage on Jan. 6, estimating that there are more than 16,000 ridesharing drivers in the Greater Toronto Area.

“We’re excited to offer a simple and affordable solution within a driver’s existing personal auto policy, thereby providing drivers and passengers with absolute peace of mind that they have insurance coverage while ridesharing,” said Greg Somerville, president & CEO of Aviva Canada, in the statement. “We have had significant interest from brokers who are getting contacted by their customers asking for the Aviva ride-sharing solution.”

This new coverage, available within an existing Aviva policy, is “changing the face of ridesharing” in Ontario, the statement said, adding that the coverage will protect ridesharing drivers from the moment they initiate looking for passengers through to collecting and dropping off those passengers. Eligibility for coverage will be based on some simple underwriting criteria that will include, for example, maximum of eight occupants (including driver), driver licensed for a minimum of six years, no other commercial use, and other requirements.

The coverage will be available for part-time drivers who spend up to 20 hours a week participating in ridesharing. The cost for the additional coverage will be calculated using factors such as time spent ridesharing, area driven and driving record.

In a letter dated Jan. 29, the Toronto Taxi Alliance and the Canadian Taxicab Association called on Aviva to, among other things: release the number of such endorsements sold and make “this new hybrid endorsement… available to licensed, regulated taxi drivers who meet the same conditions being set out for UberX drivers.”

Aviva Canada’s announcement follows Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Tim Hudak’s call in December for Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa to develop “affordable, comprehensive insurance” specific to ridesharing services like Uber.

Intact Insurance said last September that it intends to offer “tailored insurance products” for Uber, but has yet to announce a product release.

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