Now that Uber has legal backing to move forward in Alberta, a flurry of insurers are coming to market with additional ride share coverage options. Pembridge Insurance Company is the latest to launch a specialized endorsement for Transportation Network Companies (TCNs), designed to extend coverage under a standard personal auto policy.
“Ride-for-hire is not going away; it’s growing,” says Bob Tisdale, president and COO of Pembridge Insurance Company. “The insurance industry needs to be flexible and forward thinking to address customers’ evolving needs.”
Aviva has also announced it will bring its existing endorsement, which covers TCN drivers for up to 20 hours per week, to the Alberta market, following success in the Ontario market.
New endorsements are also in addition to a first-of-its kind policy launched last week by Intact, which was developed in direct partnership with Uber, and designed to be purchased by the ride-share company directly, rather than by individual drivers, who must then prove their coverage to the TCN and regulators.
Such a move is a step in the right direction, says Adam Mitchell, president of Mitchell & Whale Insurance
, which currently carries the Aviva product.
However, he says, the abundance of choice in the marketplace should remain available to drivers.
“I’m a choice advocate – and I think that’s a cool way to have choice, so long as the drivers can choose to upload their proof of coverage, another way,” he says. “I don’t know if it’s an absolute win for choice if there is no other way… what options do they have to control their coverage?"
Regardless of whether it’s sold directly or via endorsement, it’s clear ride-share coverage will continue to evolve in Canadian markets – a victory in an area that has faced confusion and complications for drivers and passengers alike.
"We support any insurance product that provides appropriate coverage for the individual risk and additional protection for the consumer," said Julia Marshall, President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta.
Ride share coverage booms as Uber given green light by province
Just how good is Uber’s coverage?