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FSCO issues warning on ride-sharing programs


March 31, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter


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Ontario’s financial regulator has released an infographic to its website warning about the insurance risks related to ride-sharing programs.

Ride-sharing services may affect insurance coverage

Ride-sharing services use an online app to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles. The infographic, released last week by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), noted that “the services may signicantly impact your insurance coverage.”

The infographic noted that standard auto insurance policy excludes coverage when the vehicle is used to carry paying passengers or used as a taxi.

“You may not be protected against certain damages, losses and liabilities,” the infographic warns. “Know if you’re covered – ask your driver.”

Related: Cities should consider bans on ride sharing apps carefully, regulator says

The FSCO recommends that “if you are intending to participate in a ride-sharing service as a driver, you should check with your auto insurance representative to ensure you have proper insurance that protects the driver, passenger and others. It’s also a good idea to seek independent legal advice before you sign on.” [click image below to enlarge]

Ride-sharing may majorly impact insurance coverage, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario warns

Ride-sharing programs have gained national attention recently, as companies like Uber have expanded, or proposed expanding, into cities across Canada. For example, last November, undercover agents in British Columbia with the authority to hand out fines of up to $5,000 announced that they would look for operators of unlicensed, alternative taxi services in the province.

Related: California prosecutors sue Uber over driver checks in ride hailing company’s latest legal woe

Last October, bylaw officers in Ottawa conducted a sting and fined two UberX drivers, and the city said at the time that more charges were expected. The City of Toronto also issued a statement saying that UberX violated municipal bylaws and “may pose a serious safety risk.”