Canadian Underwriter

Why Uber Canada dropped Intact as its insurance provider

September 16, 2020   by Greg Meckbach

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Ride sharing firm Uber Canada chose Economical as its insurance provider because Uber would not agree to Intact’s pricing, a senior Intact executive said Tuesday.

“We had a very good relationship, we just couldn’t agree on the price,” Intact CFO Louis Marcotte said during a virtual fireside chat with Barclays analyst John Aiken.

Waterloo, Ont.-based Economical Insurance announced Aug. 18 it has a new relationship with Uber Canada, effective Sept. 1.

Intact told Canadian Underwriter earlier its relationship with Uber Canada ended Aug. 31. Intact and Uber had been working together since 2015 to develop ride-sharing insurance for drivers and passengers.

“They had the freedom to go and they took that opportunity,” Marcotte said of Uber Canada Tuesday during the Barclays Global Financial Services Virtual Conference. Aiken asked Marcotte why Intact is no longer insuring Uber Canada.

Economical now provides insurance coverage for every Uber Rides and Uber Eats trip in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Related: Economical to take over commercial ridesharing insurance coverage from Intact

When Intact first started providing insurance for Uber Canada, the firms “changed the regulatory environment for the sharing economy,” Marcotte said Tuesday. “We are very proud of that record. But over time, as these commercial relationships do evolve, I think we came to a point where we did not agree on them with price and they chose to move the book to somewhere else.”

Intact advises Uber drivers with questions about their insurance to contact their broker or insurance advisor.

In Ontario, the auto insurance regulator has approved ride-sharing insurance for several companies.

All drivers, passengers and vehicle owners are covered from the moment the driver turns their  app on until the moment passengers exit the vehicle, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority says. When an Uber driver turns their app off and is no longer transporting passengers, on their way to pick up passengers, or available to pick up passengers, the vehicle owner’s personal auto insurance policy applies.

FSRA warns Ontario motorists that insurers are not required to permit their vehicle to be used for ride-sharing or car-sharing activities under personal auto insurance policies. Insurers may attempt to cancel or not renew policies if they learn the clients are ride-sharing drivers.

Motorists who are leasing their vehicles might not be able to participate in ride-sharing as a driver, notes FSRA.

The Ontario insurance regulator advises motorists to check the terms of their lease or financing and consider getting independent legal advice before signing on with a ride-sharing or car-sharing service.

When it was offering ride-sharing insurance for Uber Canada, Intact had four phases of coverage. In Phase 0, the driver was only using their vehicle for personal use. In Phase 1, the driver was available to pick up passengers and had $1 million in liability coverage. In Phase 2, the driver was en route to pick up a passenger. In Phase 3, after the passenger had been picked up, the driver had $2 million in liability coverage.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada defines a “transportation network company” as one that arranges transportation in privately-owned vehicles for financial compensation that is paid to the driver and to the TNC. A TNC uses an online-enabled platform to connect passengers with drivers willing to use their vehicle to drive paying passengers.

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