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.”