Would you take your Uber driver’s word that they’re properly insured? The Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) is arguing the ride-share company can’t be relied on to use the honour system, and should be required to prove their insurance coverage to the city before being allowed to operate.
The TTA is arguing that a new committee proposal is too lax on Uber’s insurance requirements which would require that drivers only provide proof of insurance to their ride-share employers while taxi drivers must provide proof to the city in order to have their plates renewed.
Whether the proposal from Toronto’s Licencing and Standards Committee will be passed will be determined this week, as council begins today on whether Uber will be legalized to operate in the city. The proposal, which Uber argues is too stringent, would also require drivers to pay a non-refundable $20,000 licencing fee, as well as take out a $2-million personal liability policy and $5-million commercial policy.
However, the ride-share insurance market is fairly non-competitive in Canada. Aviva is the only existing provider of coverage, and only up to a maximum of 20 hours per week. The TTA argues drivers are failing to take out any additional coverage at all – a fear Adam Mitchell, President of Mitchell & Whale Insurance
, says isn’t likely unfounded.
“(Aviva’s product), it’s really only for the part-time Uber driver. For someone who is a full-time UberX – and I got driven home last night by a full-time UberX driver – unless they’re paying for a facilities policy at a ridiculous cost of $8,000 - $10,000 a year, there’s no likelihood (they have full coverage).”
Uber has threated to exit the city altogether should the proposal pass into a bylaw. Currently, 20,000 UberX drivers operate in Toronto.