Source: Mondaq

Everyone already knows what Uber is. What many riders and drivers need to understand, however, is that there can be some issues regarding coverage related to car accidents while in or involving an Uber car.

Prior to July 2016, if a rider or a driver had a car accident with an Uber driver in which the Uber driver was at fault, the insurer of the Uber driver could have denied third-
party liability coverage. That could happen because, under the standard policy of insurance that is provided to individual drivers in Ontario, there is an exclusion clause thatstates thatif the automobile is being used to carry passengers for remuneration coverage may not be extended to the driver. In the situation, the Uber driver could be personally exposed to a claim for damages resulting from a personal injury.

Also, if the Uber driver is also injured in thecar accident, he or she would be restricted as to what no-fault Accident Benefits they would be able to receive under their policy of insurance. Should the insurer find a breach of the policy, the available Accident Benefits would be restricted to medical rehabilitation benefits only and no income replacement benefitsor compensation for other expenses.

But it has changed, at least for Uber drivers who are also Intact Insurance clients.They are now covered under the Uber commercial policy that is offered through Intact Insurance.

This policy of insurance is offered in phases which have different corresponding insurance coverages.The first phase is when the app is turned on and before the driver accepts a trip. During this stage, the Uber driver is covered for a maximum of $1,000,000 third party liability coverage. The second phase is from when the driver accepts the trip, through when the passenger is in the vehicle and ends when the passenger exits the vehicle. Under the commercial policy for this stage, Uber drivers are covered for a maximum of $2,000,000 third party liability coverage. After the trip ends and the Uber application is switched off, the insurance coverage is not applicable anymore.Because of that, drivers must also carry a personal auto policy.

With Uber becoming more and more popular, it is expected that more insurers will offer this coverage or a similar type of coverage in the near future. This insurance is important because it not only allows the Uber driver to be protected from being personally exposed should they be sued but also protects individuals injured when involved in a collision with an Uber car.

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