Canadian taxi drivers ask Aviva to release Uber insurance numbers

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Canada’s taxi drivers have called on Aviva to release numbers of the rideshare insurance policies it has sold, in order to quantify how many Uber drivers are now operating legally, with commercial insurance.

In a letter to Aviva CEO Greg Sommerville, Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) president Gail Souter and Canadian Taxicab Association (CTA) president Marc Andre Way, requested that Aviva release the number of such endorsements actually sold: "As we have been informed by a number of insurance professionals, the fact that a commercial endorsement is available does not mean any UberX drivers will purchase it.

"We are very concerned that an Aviva announcement that 'an approved product exists and is available for purchase' will be misconstrued by politicians to mean '20,000 illegal UberX drivers are now insured,” the letter said.

The TTA and CTA argue that the fact that a product is available does not mean that thousands of UberX drivers are going to announce that they are picking up paying passengers, and purchase Aviva insurance with the new endorsement.

"More likely, they will continue to do what they are doing now: carry only a personal policy and refrain from notifying their insurance company they are carrying passengers for compensation,” the organizations said.

Yet in the same letter, the TTA and CTA also requested that when the hybrid endorsement is actually launched, Aviva also make it available to licensed, regulated taxi drivers who meet the same conditions being set out for UberX drivers. A request that at face value appears to be a compromise.
  • Denise Hancock on 2016-02-02 10:18:51 AM

    Having insured taxi fleets for many years, I do not find that this endorsement on the vehicle policy is sufficient protection. Taxi vehicles need a Commercial General Liability policy as well and Uber drivers should also carry this policy. What happens when a driver is helping a passenger out of the vehicle and they slip on ice and sue the driver? CGL required.

  • Insurance Broker on 2016-02-02 10:23:10 AM

    Haven't yet seen the Aviva wording for the endorsement. Is the Uber model still not illegal? Does that void any coverage?

  • Insurance Broker on 2016-02-02 10:25:22 AM

    - meant to say "still not legal"

  • Cathy Wright on 2016-02-02 1:26:56 PM

    The new Endorsement would NOT be eligible for Taxi's because it is called ( NPCF - 6TN - Permission to Carry Paying Passengers for a Transportation Network ) . . . Taxi cabs do not operate under a Network. The endorsement is on Personal Lines vehicles and maximum 20 hours per week - Insured must sign endorsement attesting to this - if they go over 20 hours, the policy will be null and void.

  • Another Insurance Broker on 2016-02-02 1:51:31 PM

    How do you regulate 20 hours? I think Aviva wanted to be the 1st one out of the gate on this and didn't put the thought into it that should have been. I do believe it's unfair to the taxi drivers given the rates they are forced to pay. Just my humble opinion.

  • Denise Hancock on 2016-02-02 1:52:08 PM

    That all seems very grey to me - can't understand the difference between and "network" and a "taxi". I have fleets not licensed by any municipality - no meters - that likely don't driver 20 hours a week - this could be a network rather than a fleet. And how the heck do you monitor not going over 20 hours per week!

  • Karen Smith on 2016-02-02 2:29:33 PM

    Networking is an online forum where you request a driver. Taxi is still phone into the company and the company dispatches a driver. The ride share driver also has to have 6 years driving experience as well

  • Insurance God on 2016-02-02 6:29:10 PM

    There is no Santa Claus in insurance. The drivers will still be subject to MVRs, Autoplus, etc. and most importantly Aviva's appetite for the risk. Also, what do the leasing and automobile financing companies think - are they going to support it and charge "competitive lending rates"? Chances are the credit profile of the part time taxi drivers (let's call a spade a spade) are going to make things very challenging in terms of financial survival thus creating a vacuum that black markets and corruption thrive in.

    One could view Uber X as a pyramid scheme with driver longevity questionable. If you have not done so go to the Uber X web-site and sign up to drive, its easier than buying a TTC token.

  • Guila on 2016-02-03 11:42:04 AM

    Aviva is leaving the responsibility of ensuring the Uber driver does not exceed the 20 hour maximum to the driver. Utmost good faith and all. However the following wording exists in the endorsement: "You are required upon our request to provide us evidence of the precise times that the driver(s) of the described Transportation network automobile logged on and off the Transportation network."

    I am sure that Uber drives must have an electronic way to track their driving times. They would need to show this to Aviva when requested.

  • Denise Hancock on 2016-02-03 2:07:08 PM

    By being stuck in traffic, one could exceed the 20 hours limit accidentally exceed the 20 hour limit and then policy is void. If there is no governing body - who the heck will even know how many or which cars are insured?

  • Guila on 2016-02-03 2:32:20 PM

    Aviva understands that weekly usage may fluctuate. But if you are going over the 20 hours on more than an exception basis then this endorsement is not for you. In this case if you can't meet the requirements a commercial policy would be best suited for you.

  • Denise Hancock on 2016-02-03 2:36:54 PM

    Will AVIVA be offering that commercial policy through all brokers I wonder or just an exclusive program similar to their taxis??

  • Guila on 2016-02-03 10:13:36 PM

    Any broker that has an agreement to submit commercial business with Aviva can offer a commercial policy. In fact you can purchase commercial insurance with any broker/brokerage that offers commercial policies. Commercial policies are available today.

  • Peter Lee on 2016-04-22 11:34:25 PM

    I think the 20 hours refers to the time you have a rider in your car not when you are online. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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