Uber arrival in B.C. could mean “reduction in insurance standards”

Councillor expresses concern as ride-hailing services are given the go-ahead in new province

Uber arrival in B.C. could mean “reduction in insurance standards”

Motor & Fleet

By Lucy Hook

A Vancouver councillor has expressed concern over a potential “lowering of insurance standards,” following the news that ride-hailing services, including Uber and Lyft, have been given the go-ahead in B.C.

Councillor Geoff Meggs warned that the province was “lowering our standards to make it possible — in the case of Uber — for a foreign corporation to have a piece of the market.”

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Meggs said that he was worried the move would lead to a “reduction in the insurance standards and reduction in oversight of the drivers,” during an interview with CBC News.

He said that while he knew ride-hailing services would eventually come to Metro Vancouver, he believed the province had moved without proper consideration.

The green-light for the services was announced yesterday by Todd Stone, minister of transportation and infrastructure.

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Stone said the government hopes to introduce the services in December, after British Columbians “made it very clear that there is a demand for services that ride-hailing companies provide.”

He also told Postmedia News that ride-hailing companies would be able to buy distance-based auto insurance from public insurer ICBC, which would see them pay extra when a passenger is in the vehicle – similar to schemes currently available in Alberta and Ontario.

“The insurance will kick in when that app is turned on and kick off when the app is turned off,” Stone said.

“It’s distance based, based on kilometres travelled, it’s not an insurance approach that is just attached to your vehicle. That’s the only way it works with the ride (hailing) model. There’s a bit more work to refine that but we’re making some good progress there.”

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