July 28, 2015 by Canadian Underwriter
Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance has reviewed Uber’s insurance policies and found “significant issues with regulatory compliance.”
On Monday, the Superintendent issued an advisory notice on ride sharing services and the “insurance risk they currently pose to Albertans.”
“The Superintendent of Insurance is of the view that Uber’s supplemental insurance policies do not currently meet the requirements of Alberta’s Insurance Act and regulations,” Superintendent Mark Prefontaine wrote in the advisory, noting that the regulations are in place to ensure Albertans have access to insurance protection and accident benefits, including timely injury treatments, in the event of a collision or loss.
“The Superintendent is committed to working with Uber and other ride sharing services, to ensure that Albertans using ride sharing services have access to insurance protection and accident benefits under Alberta law,” Prefontaine added.
The Superintendent warned that owners and drivers participating in ride sharing services with Uber are at risk of not having access to coverage provided by the Automobile Policy, Section B – Accident Benefits, which provides coverage mainly for medical expenses incurred due to a collision. “Owners and drivers are at risk of having limited or no third party liability coverage to pay for a potential legal claim if the driver is responsible for a collision that causes injury or damage to a passenger, pedestrian, or other party,” the advisory said. “Owners and drivers are also at risk of not having access to collision coverage to fix any damage to the vehicle.”
Prefontaine suggested that vehicle owners and drivers participating in ride sharing services should speak to their insurance agent, broker or company to ensure adequate coverage for themselves and others.
Passengers participating in ride sharing services should always ask for proof of commercial insurance coverage from their driver. If a passenger is riding with a driver who does not have adequate insurance, the passenger is at risk of not having access to auto insurance protection, including accident benefits or any compensation for injuries they may suffer in the event of a collision, the Superintendent warned.
The Alberta government has established a working group, including the Superintendent of Insurance, along with officials from the departments of Transportation, Service Alberta, Justice and Solicitor General, and Municipal Affairs to develop appropriate regulatory approaches for ride-for-hire companies in Alberta, including ride sharing services. This regulatory regime will “address issues of public safety and consumer protection, ensuring all ride-for-hire companies can operate on a level playing field.”