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What’s Going on with Uber?

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Majority of Edmontonians have had to rely on taxi companies to transport them from point A to point B. There are many different taxi companies within the city, however, they all operate the same way for the most part. Uber has offered an alternative to consumers and many consumers are loving it!

There has been a lot of hype in the news about Uber and its new rules around operating in specific cities and provinces. Is it allowed, is it not allowed, can I do it? These are questions many people are asking.

Unless you follow the news frequently or do a quick google search to find out what’s going on, it seems like this is an issue with a lot of questions around it. Although this is a developing situation, let’s see if we can answer some of them for you based on progress so far!

So what’s going on with Uber particularly in our capital city?

Recently in the news, it had been reported that Uber operations are going to be suspended in Edmonton until summer 2016 once the appropriate insurance is available to drivers.

In Alberta, we have a few different classes for automobile insurance. Most people are familiar with the personal auto insurance that we have on our privately owned vehicles which we use for pleasure and going to and from work. However, in addition to personal insurance, things can get a bit more complex.

Once a driver starts transporting their passengers for hire, they are entering a different class of automobile insurance. This insurance is similar to personal insurance, but there are added coverages included in this type of insurance that offer further protection for you, your passengers, and their belongings.

Many people may not see the harm in using their personally insured vehicle to drive a person from point A to point B and make a couple of bucks doing so. In most cases there is no harm. However, should luck not be in your favor and you are involved in a loss which results in damage or injury to your passenger and/or their belongings, if your vehicle is not properly insured, you could be in a lot of trouble with your insurance company and financially.

It is important to disclose to your insurance company/broker what you intend on doing with your vehicle. For example, someone who uses their vehicle strictly for pleasure use may pay different premiums than if they drove the same vehicle for pleasure use and commuting to and from work. The same applies if they transport passengers for hire. Because there are added risks, premiums and ratings are determined differently. This is to ensure that you are properly covered for all of the  reasons you are using your vehicle.

This is an area where Uber is facing some challenges. The drivers of Uber need to be accountable and held responsible for carrying the appropriate insurance coverages to protect everyone involved.

An insurance program for Uber drivers has been developed, however, the program will not be ready until Summer of 2016 as mentioned above.

In addition to an appropriately designed insurance program for Uber drivers, it is also being considered to require drivers to carry a class 4 license in order to operate as an Uber driver.

These processes are being set forth to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers alike. This is something that Uber, the Transportation Minister, and Insurance Companies and Brokerages have in common! We all want drivers on the road to be safe and properly insured.

For more information or to keep up to date on Uber’s progress in the city of Edmonton, check out the following links:

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