The rise of ridesharing is changing the face of urban transportation in municipalities across the world. While it’s presented people with more options for getting around, it’s also created headaches for legislators and insurance companies. Ridesharing services aren’t regulated the way the taxi industry is, and from the very beginning, there have been questions about insurance coverage. This has resulted in prominent ridesharing services being forced into hiatus in Edmonton and Calgary, among other municipalities.
The Alberta auto insurance industry has recently acted to close these insurance loopholes, paving the way for the possible return of ridesharing to the province’s major cities. This past June, Intact Insurance announced the creation of a new policy specifically created for Alberta’s ridesharing service providers.
How the New Insurance Programs Protect Passengers and Drivers
Intact’s new insurance policy program provides essential protections for drivers and passengers, with coverage that begins the moment a driver accepts an incoming passenger request. The coverage extends until the moment the passenger gets out of the driver’s vehicle, and it operates “on top of” the driver’s existing coverage, regardless of who provides it.
Intact’s innovative auto insurance products provide up to $2 million in third-party liability for rideshare drivers, along with optional comprehensive and/or collision coverage. The new policies include standard accident benefits and deductibles of up to $1,000, creating cost flexibility for drivers. They can also be added to existing policies, and drivers need only contact their current insurance providers to inform them of the added coverage. It’s a cost-effective, convenient solution that will help drive continued innovation in urban transportation.
Will Ridesharing Return to Calgary?
While Uber, TappCar and other ridesharing services are already operating in Edmonton, the situation in Calgary is a little more complicated. Calgary’s municipal government recently passed a bylaw that theoretically allows ridesharing services to resume their activities in the city, but major providers say that the bylaw, as currently written, makes it impossible for them to resume their services.
The contentious elements of Calgary’s new bylaw include a $220 annual licensing fee for rideshare drivers, as well as comprehensive vehicle inspection and background check requirements. Given the costs involved, these provisions make it difficult for rideshare drivers, especially those who work part-time, to meet all the necessary requirements.
At present, it’s unclear whether or not the bylaw will be amended to make it friendlier to rideshare providers, so there’s no firm timeline in place for ridesharing to make a legal return to the streets of Calgary.
Next Steps for Rideshare Drivers
As a rideshare driver, your next step should be to contact your auto insurance broker. Lane’s Insurance is pleased to include Intact Insurance on its list of providers, so you can also enjoy all the proven benefits of working with a broker by accessing these new policies through a service like Lane’s.
The key benefits of choosing an insurance broker include:
- Insurance brokers work for you, not for the insurance companies; you can always be assured that they will act in your best interests
- Because insurance brokers are expert negotiators with privileged access to insurance providers, they are often able to secure more advantageous rates than those that are directly available to consumers
- You can always count on an insurance broker to provide trustworthy advice and easy-to-understand explanations of important policy details
Rather than contacting an insurance provider directly, you can trust an insurance broker to handle all the details for you. Given the complexity of the new ridesharing insurance policies, it’s of added importance to have a qualified and knowledgeable professional on your side.
Auto Insurance Alberta: Lane’s Insurance Stays Ahead of Industry Trends
With technology leading the way to transportation innovations ranging from ridesharing to self-driving cars, it’s important for today’s auto insurance providers to stay on the cutting edge. Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage that always stays a step ahead of key developments that are shaping the province’s auto insurance industry, and you can count on Lane’s to provide complete resources, trustworthy advice, outstanding service and helpful claims support.
If you’d like to learn more about the new ridesharing-oriented auto insurance policies available in Alberta, or if you have any other questions about auto insurance in Alberta, please contact Lane’s Insurance today.