It’s the official game-changer.
Aviva Canada has announced that they have created an insurance policy for ride-sharing drivers in Ontario. This could possibly end the on-going scrutiny Uber has been under for their drivers not being properly insured.
Currently, each Uber car remains under the driver’s personal insurance policies, which do not cover vehicles for commercial use. This means that if a driver gets in a car accident and the insurance company finds out they work for Uber, the company can deny coverages due to misrepresentation. In fact, Aviva has cancelled policies when they found out a driver worked for Uber; hence the idea for this new endorsement.
This is a game-changer for the taxi versus Uber debacle in Toronto, where cabs not only pay close to $700.00 just to apply for a taxicab license, but then have to rent the actual commercial license off of an owner and pay a fee for it – often causing the driver to make a mediocre profit after a shift of work. For almost a year, Toronto cab drivers have been pressuring the City of Toronto to regulate Uber and make it pay the same commercial livery fees that cabs are expected to pay. This was a fair argument as long as Uber drivers are transporting passengers without proper insurance coverage. In December, Mayor John Tory said that he will release a plan to regulate Uber in Toronto sometime this winter.
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If the Aviva endorsement is approved by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, ride-share drivers will be able to sign up with Aviva as early as February. This would make Uber a completely legal livery service. Aviva says they will cover drivers working up to 20 hours per week and additional coverage will be a small percentage of the driver’s income calculated with time, location and driving record. Regardless of the cost, it is still much less than what a taxi would pay for insurance. Although this is an extra expense for an Uber driver, they can now legally insure themselves and customers, and drive with ease knowing Aviva has them covered.
Now, the question is: are Uber drivers are going to jump to pay an extra expense when they have spent years earning money in an uninsured vehicle? We’re not sure, but as a passenger, it would be an important question to ask for your personal safety and coverage whenever you get in one of those vehicles.
As for taxicabs; Uber vehicles could be legally insured for commercial use in less than one month. This innovative app may have changed the transportation industry in Toronto permanently, but that’s for Mayor Tory to decide.