Aviva Canada is the first insurance carrier in the world to propose a policy designed specifically for ride-sharing services like Uber.
As part of the sharing economy, services like Uber (particularly UberX which relies not on professional drivers, but on ordinary people, without any license or permit who simply own a car) or Lyft, are a full-blown successful situations, despite the protests of taxi drivers and the difficulties, even by administrations, to regulate this new industry.
Facing this huge spread of ride-sharing, the Canadian company Aviva is the world’s forerunner in solving an insurance-type problem that actually ride-sharing raises. Professional taxi drivers in fact, are required in most countries worldwide to sign “commercial” insurances, specifically made on particular professional activities. On the other hand, those who drive their own car have a personal insurance coverage, which does not provide coverage in case of transport of persons for remuneration. For those who, until now, has carried out ride-sharing services, the problem has been solved (if necessary) partly by Uber that offers partial coverage to its drivers; partially through the use of informal arrangement solutions.
Since the group of people who carry out ride-sharing is on the rise, and for many it is becoming a sort of second job, the need to be able to carry out these activities in a more quiet and proper manner even in respect of passengers, is increasingly urgent.
Just in the province of Toronto, Aviva reports that there are over 16,000 drivers in ride-sharing.
“By the ride-sharing services on the rise, consumers have new mobility options, but there is a gap in insurance coverage that potentially leaves them without adequate protection. When consumers are in need of change, we must evolve our insurance solutions to meet new needs”, said Greg Somerville, Chairman and CEO of Aviva Canada.
Aviva has created an ad hoc insurance product (currently intended for Ontario drivers, starting in February) for ride-sharing and there is no doubt that this opens a new business channel that soon will be emulated by many other companies.
The same Aviva, has just stolen a march on its rival Intact Financial Corp, which announced to be working with Uber and regulatory authorities on insurance products tailored for ride-sharing, last September.
The insurance cover will protect the drivers of ride-sharing (like those of UberX and the like) from the moment they start looking for the passengers, up to the end of the taxi ride. The eligibility of coverage will be based on some simple underwriting criteria (for example, up to eight passengers, with license for a minimum of six years, no other commercial use, etc.). The coverage will be available for drivers who spend up to 20 hours a week in ride-sharing activities.
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