July 8, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has approved a commercial ridesharing insurance policy offered by Intact Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with Uber Canada.
Effective July 7, 2016, IFC reports in a statement that the product will provide protection to all drivers and passengers who participate in ridesharing with Uber in the province. “Every ridesharing driver operating on the Uber platform in Ontario will automatically be covered under the commercial policy provided by Intact Insurance Company, a subsidiary of IFC, and purchased by Uber.”
The coverage will “apply from the moment drivers make themselves available to accept a ride request until passengers have exited the vehicle,” the statement notes. IFC’s Intact Insurance and belairdirect “have modified their underwriting guidelines to allow customers to participate in ridesharing at no additional cost for drivers. Customers simply have to call their broker or agent before participating.”
This is the same approach currently being used by IFC in Alberta.
That province became the first in the country, as of July 1, to offer a new insurance policy for transportation network companies (TNCs) to insurance companies licensed in Alberta. Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance has approved the policy for TNCs and their drivers.
Related: Aviva Canada, Pembridge Insurance offer personal coverage for ridesharing drivers in Alberta
Of Intact’s latest offering in Ontario, “this unique product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers,” says Karim Hirji, IFC’s senior vice president, International & Ventures.
“It will also now be easier for other personal lines insurers to permit drivers to participate in ridesharing using their personal automobile given that the commercial portion of rides are covered by Intact,” Hirji continues.
Aon Risk Solutions explains that as Uber’s insurance broker, it has “developed a comprehensive understanding of the business, driver tendencies and coverage requirements, resulting in a personal insurance product unlike others available in the marketplace.”
Developed in partnership with Intact, the solution is not restricted by driver age, years licensed or number of weekly ridesharing hours, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc, notes in a statement.
It points out that the company created an online quoting tool for Uber drivers, which allows drivers of the ridesharing company to receive a quote in seconds by taking a photo of their licence or entering their driver’s licence number.
“Ridesharing continues to grow at a rapid pace and is changing how we travel,” Caroline Mills-White, senior vice president of personal lines for Aon Risk Solutions in Canada, says in the statement. “As a result, insurance must evolve to meet the changing needs of drivers and passengers alike in Ontario.”
Both IFC and Uber “remain engaged with regulators across Canada to bring new ridesharing insurance policies that offer a smart, seamless and simple solution for driver-partners,” notes Uber Canada general manager Ian Black.
“As the Ontario government introduces legislation related to the sharing economy in the coming months, this product will continue to evolve,” the statement adds.
Effective Thursday, the Ontario government approved a regulatory change allowing “commercial fleet insurance to be offered for vehicles that can be hired through an online application.”
Ontario auto insurers “can now develop insurance policies for purchase by ride-share companies,” notes a statement from the provincial government. “This closes the gap in auto insurance coverage for those drivers carrying paying passengers through ridesharing services.”
Among other things, the definition of “fleet” has been changed to a “group of not fewer than five automobiles” that meets the several requirements.