Canadian carrier to offer ride-sharing coverage

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Responding to the growing use of ride-sharing services and the need to protect both passengers and drivers, Aviva Canada has announced the launch of coverage for drivers that carry paying passengers in their own vehicles.

The coverage will become available for Ontario drivers in early February, and is a simple addition to an Aviva-insured personal auto policy.  Aviva will be working with regulators across the country to make the solution available in other provinces in the coming months.

"With ride-sharing on the rise, consumers have new options available to them, however there is a gap in insurance coverage which potentially leaves them without appropriate protection and benefits,” said Greg Somerville, President and CEO of Aviva Canada. “When consumer needs change, we must evolve our insurance solutions to respond."

The coverage will protect ride-sharing drivers (such as those contracted with UberX and the like) from the moment they initiate looking for passengers through to collecting and dropping off those passengers. Eligibility for coverage will be based on some simple underwriting criteria (eg, maximum of eight passengers, licensed for a minimum of six years, no other commercial use, etc.).

The coverage will be available for drivers that spend up to 20 hours a week participating in ride-sharing. The cost for the additional coverage will equate to a small portion of the income earned by the driver, calculated using factors such as time spent ride-sharing, area driven and driving record.

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is supportive of the offering.

"IBAO is pleased to see an insurance company taking a proactive stance in the ride-sharing space,” said President Doug Heaman. “Aviva’s approach and coverage options are welcome as many of our members are struggling to provide clear insurance options for their customers to ensure they are properly covered.”
  • Shelley Sutton on 2016-01-06 11:54:22 AM

    Kudos to Aviva!

  • Reg Bateman on 2016-01-06 11:57:05 AM

    I don't see how they can properly underwrite this. The insured may (may not) give an honest indication of the number of hours that he or she is going to be "on duty" and the area of operation BUT what if these are exceeded (maybe vastly)? What, for example, if someone wants to get a ride from Toronto to London or Hamilton or Ottawa, etc. If the agreed upon fee is enticing, what is to stop them?

  • Bill Mather on 2016-01-06 11:57:11 AM

    Is anyone surprised.? These services and more like them are here to stay. It has always been up to our industry to keep abreast of changes & to introduce new coverages.
    Like the buggy whip manufacturers taxi drivers need to move on.

  • Bill Mather on 2016-01-06 12:03:30 PM

    Is anyone surprised? These services are here to stay. It has always been up to our industry to keep abreast of changes & to introduce new coverages.
    Like the buggy whip manufacturers it is time for taxi drivers to move on.

  • Dave on 2016-01-06 12:05:08 PM

    Interesting that an insurance is company is responding to a coverage need. But how is it possible without legislation to overcome the Statutory Condition contained in the OAP1 :
    The insured shall not use or permit the use of the automobile in a race or speed test or for any illicit or prohibited trade or transportation.

  • Bill Mather on 2016-01-06 12:06:50 PM

    Is anyone surprised? These services are here to stay. It has always been up to our industry to keep abreast of changes & to introduce new coverages.
    Like the buggy whip manufacturers it is time for taxi drivers to move on.

  • jennifer condie on 2016-01-06 1:11:48 PM

    #sharingeconomy COMERCIAL/PERSONAL INSURANCE biz model OBSOLETE. everyone is transporting goods or people today. This proposed 20 hours of Uber driving coverage is a SMOKE & MIIRRORS PR POLICY.It is neither a legitimate solution nor does it address how uber driver can prove he works less than 20 hours in a week if he has an accident. Uber wont release info as its "proprietary info" aka B.S. Aviva is just giving Uber more BS ammo to say "look see there is rideshare ins now" though it wont cover a majority of Uber driver rideshare activity. 20 hours of coverage is APP ON 3 hours a day. Any calls driver gets in last hour can easily put that driver over 20 hours. We need a NON TRANSPORTER or TRANSPORTER POLICY:Covers: taxi carpool delivery limo rideshare LIMITED LIABILITY LOW MAX CAP PAYOUTS. People want cheap transport they agree to lower insurance coverage. High inflated commercial insurance req keeps the price of a cab high, that model is obsolete. We dont need 18 policies we need 2: NON TRANSPORTER or TRANSPORTER POLICY: Driver can add PIP Collision UM Gap to low cost low underwriter risk TRANSPORTER POLICY

  • Scott Meadwell on 2016-01-06 4:21:44 PM

    The Aviva CEO has stated that the product must evolve to address the gap in coverage. This so-called "gap" is intentionally allowed to exist due to the fact that UBER and it's drivers refuse to purchase the 6A which grants permission to carry paying passengers. The reason they reject doing things the correct way is that it costs too much in their opinion.

    A few years ago the news of the day was that many Ontario insurers had decided that the taxi and limo business was unprofitable and even in the face of rates as high as $9,000 to $12,000 per vehicle this class of business was no longer desirable to underwrite. Let us not confuse the fact that "ride sharing" means taxi for all useful purposes and the rates should reflect that.

    Aviva is ultimately responsible to its shareholders. If they come up with a rate that is widely accepted by UBER drivers they will lose their shirts financially. Other companies have suggested low rate arrangements that UBER flat out rejected as being too expensive. Aviva may experience the same reaction when they publish their rates. If they don't, that should be a HUGE warning flag to all shareholders.

    As far as rating the drivers based on their declared usage, well I left that for last to comment on so I could stop laughing. What is next from Aviva? Maybe tomorrows headline will read: Aviva has announced that bars and taverns will no longer be charged liability premiums based on sales but rather on the tips that the wait staff report to Revenue Canada.

    Bill, you say "our industry" but your comments sound like standard UBER troll nonsense. What is your role in our industry?

  • Bill Chan on 2016-01-06 8:24:01 PM

    It looks like Aviva's proposed product will fail.
    It seems that Aviva will base the premium when the UberX driver is logged in, distance traveled and and will take a certain percentage of the premium. That method is flawed. Perfect example:

    UberX driver picks up a passenger on a Saturday night. The passenger says take me to Vaughan. The UberX driver drops off the passenger in Vaughan. He will instantly log off the Uber app until he's back in the Toronto downtown core. In essence, the UberX driver worked 1.5 hours (Toronto to Vaughan 45 mins, and Vaughan to Toronto 45 mins), but Uber will state 45 mins in terms of pricing.

    The article is further flawed by calling Uber 'ride-sharing'. It is not part of the sharing economy. They don't share. Sharing a vehicle means borrowing a vehicle for per km usage.

    It seems to me that Aviva will want to insure the illegal Native cigarette industry next.

  • Jordan Manzer on 2016-01-10 12:01:36 PM

    As an Aviva broker partner, I see the need for an insurance company to address this enormous gap in the landscape in the insurance landscape this service has created. But, I will be curious to see what the long term sustainability of this program will be. If telematics or GPS were use to tracks rides, then I would agree it could work. But basing it off a figure the insured will give you? As a broker we all know many will understate to save in premiums and as a result not enough premium will collected to cover the losses. I will be monitoring this product very carefully but as a broker we should welcome this as opportunity to service the marketplace.

  • Bill Leiver on 2016-01-11 9:38:07 AM

    It is a response for sure. However many projects Aviva takes on are not that successful. How is that President's Choice auto insurance working out for them? If you are an UBER, grab it now, it likely won't be around that long.

  • jennifer condie on 2016-01-11 12:20:26 PM

    1. Insurance is only as effective as a Condom. If uber drivers a. Are not forced to buy it and/or b. The coverage is so minimal with gaps the uber driver & the public are still exposed to risky behavior, Aviva AND uber are false advertising "FINIALLY UBER DRIVERS HAVE INSURANCE"

    ON Aviva's part I dont know if they are choosing to be willfully ignorant or if they really are just completely out of touch with the real driver logistics in the "sharing economy"

    Uber was not looking for Aviva to advertise a product that would actually cover Uber drivers. No.
    All Uber needed was Insurance PR Spin. "Look Canadian government, you dont have to write legislation making UBER cover Uber drivers app on as AVIVA has an Uberx policy(that no one will buy & covers nothing anyway)
    Uber knew as soon as Aviva made tbe press release gullible public would start tweeting "ha ha Taxi Cabs, UBER HAS INSURANCE NOW"

    Regulators & underwriters, until you throw out Commercial/Personal insurance semantics and produce an across the board LIMITED LIABILITY, low max cap payout TRANSPORTER POLICY for taxi delivery carpool rideshare limo drivers that they can add collision, Gap, UM & PIP to
    AND a NONTRANSPORTER POLICY that driver signs a notorized statement for

    You have no solution.

    FYI: Not direct screening for rideshare activity is Insurance Fraud

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