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What's an UberX Canada Driver to do? How to get Uber Canada to admit their insurance doesn't exist

djino

Well-Known Member
Thought I'd repost the topic here since this is the only Canadian section of this forum hoping to get some advice/thoughts from other Canadians.....

-----

As you may or may not know, Uber Canada's insurance is always contingent and never primary, unlike our friends have it south of the border.

As per Uber Canada's "Transportation Provider Service Agreement" , it specifically states the following..

You acknowledge that it is your responsibility, prior to your commencement of the P2P transportation service, to: A) inform your insurer of the P2P transportation service you provide; and B) ensure that your insurance policy provides coverage for the P2P transportation service you provide. If you have any questions or concerns about the scope or applicability of your insurance coverage, it is your responsibility, not the Company’s, to resolve them. You acknowledge that failure to secure or maintain satisfactory insurance coverage shall be deemed a material breach of this Agreement and shall result in the immediate suspension of the Agreement and the loss of your right to receive Requests under this Agreement.
i. Coverage Specifications. To perform services under this Agreement, you must maintain automobile insurance with coverage of at least the minimum coverage required by national, state or local law.​

Uber Canada's insurance being contingent implies you must always make your claim on your existing policy. And since Uber's Transportation Provider Service agreement states you must let your insurer know about the Uber duties you perform prior to beginning this, leads me to assume that...

1) Uber Canada knows that there are no personal policies that include Peer 2 Peer transportation coverage and would like all its UberX drivers to obtain commercial coverage.
- If this is the case, they should NOT be approving personal insurance documents that are submitted by an applicant that is signing up to become an UberX Driver

2) Uber Canada is unable to provide a list of personal insurance carriers that DO cover peer 2 peer transportation on request.

I could probably assume that 99% of the UberX Drivers here in Canada are driving Uber under a personal policy that has an exclusion for livery / rideshare / peer 2 peer transportation activites. So if one were to get into an accident with a pax in the vehicle, they would either have to take steps to make sure their Insurance carrier is unaware of you driving for Uber/the PAX Or could face the likely chance that their insurance carrier deny's the claim and cancels their policy. Uber can also deny the claim since Uber can stand behind their agreement above and not provide any "contingent" coverage.

-------------------------------------

Most of you know that I have been involved in other threads on the topic, and so the information I posted above isn't news (but thought I'd post it above just in case there are some that are not aware of Uber Canada's Insurance conflict).

After a month since my initial application to become an UberX driver, last week my driver's app was finally activated (I have yet to begin taking any Uber Requests).

My plan now is to get Uber to admit most all their drivers are driving for them in breach of their own agreement and/or to see if they have been working with any insurance carriers that can provide this coverage so that one can actually be in compliance with Uber's own agreement and with a carriers personal policy.

The following is my current email conversation with Uber Ottawa. I am likely being ignored at this point, but I am also looking for advice/people's thoughts on to get an actual response (and not the typical canned one as in the original reply in the following post)......
 
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djino

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
From: djino
Date: Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 8:32 AM
Subject: Insurance Questions
To: Uber Partner Support <partners.ottawa@uber.com>


Hello Uber,

Thank you for activating my account yesterday. It appears that I am all set to begin driving as I confirmed this by launching the Uber Partners application after finally receiving "Your Account is now Active" email.

Now before I begin picking up my first passenger, I would like to ask a few insurance related questions, as I have a few concerns after reading the "Transportation Provider Service Agreement (I attached a copy to this email)

My understanding is that Uber's Insurance provides coverage on a contingent basis. Meaning, any driver who happens to have an accident with a passenger in the vehicle is required to make a claim with their existing insurance policy and that any amounts of a claim that are insufficient on the Driver's policy can then be claimed with Uber's Insurance. Is this a fair assessment?

If I am correct, then I assume most of your UberX drivers carry commercial insurance?

If you do have UberX Drivers with a personal policy (such as my personal insurance document in which you approved), are you able to provide any recommended personal Insurance carriers that provide coverage for Uber activities?

I have made contact with about a dozen carriers, asking if they provide "Peer 2 Peer transportation" coverage, and every one of them have said not under a personal policy. So if you could please provide any recommended carriers that would provide this coverage, so that I can be sufficiently covered and at the same time, be in compliance with your Transportation Provider Service Agreement which states the following....

"You acknowledge that it is your responsibility, prior to your
commencement of the P2P transportation service, to: A) inform your insurer of the P2P
transportation service you provide; and B) ensure that your insurance policy provides coverage
for the P2P transportation service you provide.
"

Thank you very much in advance for answering my questions above.
Received a reply a few hours later....

From: UBER (Uber Partner Support)<partners.ottawa@uber.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 1:56 PM
Subject: [Uber] Re: Insurance Questions
To: djino





##- Please type your reply above this line -##


Your request (########) has been updated. To add additional comments, reply to this email.


UBER (Uber)

Apr 17, 10:56

Hello djino,

I do appreciate your interest in Uber and would like to help bring you onboard as an active driver partner.

Every ride on the uberX platform in Canada is backed by auto liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage. And, while our insurance policy is proprietary and it is not publicly released to partners, we are confident our insurance model will provide coverage as it does in every jurisdiction where we operate. We aim to offer access to the safest ride on the road and that wouldn’t come without ensuring coverage.

Our insurance policy is a contingent auto liability policy and begins from the moment a partner accepts the request for a ride to the moment they drop the rider off. Uber covers all documented rider damage to your property (with proof being provided within 48 hours of the damage occurring). Should a mugging occur, we cooperate with the authorities to ensure our partner’s security.

Regarding legal suits, this is not a situation that we expect our partners to experience. Should it occur, Uber will provide the support necessary to ensure the authorities can get to the bottom of what occurred.

Also, as we have already mentioned, Uber is not in a position to make recommendations for driver partner insurance providers.

Again, should you want to discuss our claims processes please feel free to come in and see us. In the event of an accident we advise our partners to inform their personal insurance providers and we also reach out to both partners and riders to get the required information.

As our business model is new, we have to work on an ongoing basis with regulators and insurers to make sure auto liability models account for new services such as Uber. Any media inquiries on this subject can be set to us via our online press form at uber.com.

Thanks,

Leon

Community Operations Manager

UBER
Typical canned response from the Ops Manager. I then sent the following reply...

From: djino
Date: Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Uber] Re: Insurance Questions
To: Uber Partner Support <partners.ottawa@uber.com>


Thank you very much for your reply Leon,

I appreciate the information you provided in your email, but I am still left with concerns should I get into an accident between the moment I accept a ride until the moment I end the trip.

You mention "Uber is not in a position to make recommendations for driver partner insurance providers.", am I correct in assuming there are no carriers at all that provide personal insurance coverage for peer 2 peer transportation services?

If Uber is not able to provide any recommendations, I was hoping Uber could then point me in the direction of someone that could. Uber's "Transportation Service Provider Agreement" specifically says that I must let my Insurer know that I am providing "Peer 2 Peer transportation services". But the dozens insurers I have contacted thus far, do not provide this coverage under a personal policy.

How am I and any of your current UberX drivers, able to become compliant with Uber's Transportation Service Provider Agreement, without first being insured by an insurance carrier that provides coverage for Uber's peer 2 peer transportation services?

I am sure it would not be in Uber's and my own interest (as an UberX Driver) to begin picking up passengers under an UberX request, when I am in breach of Uber's "Transportation Service Provider Agreement" on top of not being covered by Uber or my Insurance carrier should I get into an accident, for not having proper insurance.

Is it a far reach to assume that Uber could provid me a list of at least 1 insurance carrier that will provide coverage for "Peer 2 Peer transportation" services so that I can then be compliant with Uber's agreement?

Thank you in advance again, for answering my concerns above. I look forward to beginning my first Uber trip with sufficient insurance coverage so that I am in compliance with the Transportation Service Provider Agreement.
That last email was sent on Friday, and have not received a reply as of yet. Around noon today, I even resent the same email.

Thoughts??

djino
 

TomP

Active Member
It seems that you are asking a rhetorical question in terms of asking Uber to provide a list of at least one insurance carrier that will provide coverage for "Peer 2 Peer transportation" services. There will be no providers in Ontario because in Ontario all insurance providers are required to offer the same standard policy for personal insurance (with various optional coverages) and this standard policy prohibits carrying paying passengers. The policy can only be changed with the agreement of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

It seems to be a Catch 22 kind of situation: until the legality of peer to peer transportation services is established insurance providers are unlikely to want to apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to offer a different kind of policy and yet without the insurance issue being resolved cities may be reluctant to approve peer to peer transportation services.

What I would like to see Uber do is change its insurance in Canada so that it is primacy and kicks in as soon as a driver turns on the app, similar as it now it partly does in the US as per https://blog.uber.com/uberXridesharinginsurance. As per the link to the US website, the insurance is primary from when the driver accepts but secondary to the driver’s personal insurance policy while the driver has the app on but no accepted ride. I’d like to see the Uber insurance as primary anytime the app is on and have higher values for insurance for the period when the app is on but the driver has not yet accepted a ride than these limits that are offered in the US: $50,000/individual/incident for bodily injury, $100,000 total/incident for bodily injury and $25,000/incident for property damage since an accident can easily go over these limits. Specifically I’d like to see limits that match what is covered by the driver’s personal insurance policy. So if the driver gets into an accident when the app is on then the driver would claim through Uber’s insurance and if the app was not on would claim though his or her personal insurance. Uber would report any accidents to the driver's personal insurance company. Insurance companies would see that they do not have to pay out for accidents related to drivers carrying passengers for compensation. With that in place, if the other legal issues relating to peer to peer transportation are resolved then you might see the standard policy being revised to cover carrying passengers for payment, provided that separate insurance used for this activity.

Edited on May 12: I've updated the above paragraph to reflect the fact that Uber’s insurance is not primary when the app is on but the driver has not accepted a ride and expanded my comments. I've also provided the link to the US description of the insurance.

I am surprised that Uber is getting so many drivers to sign up with the following risks:
  • The insurance policy that supposedly covers them is a secret.
  • Those drivers that do use their personal insurance are committing insurance fraud and are exposed to losing their personal insurance if their carrier finds out, or having to pay much higher rates with another provider to get insurance (even if the driver stops driving for Uber) or not being covered at all if the accident occurs during the insurance gap period. Fraud includes both explicit lying and also a failure to notify the insurance carrier of a material change in usage.
  • Potentially not being covered at all due to violation of Uber’s requirements: A) inform your insurer of the P2P transportation service you provide; and B) ensure that your insurance policy provides coverage for the P2P transportation service you provide.
  • Having damage to their personal vehicle not covered
  • Having non-professional health care services (such as personal support and homemaking services, attendant care services, and community support services) not covered
Thanks, djino for bringing these topics to the attention of drivers and the public.
 
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djino

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for your reply TomP and I agree with everything you wrote. After even discussing this issue in person with the Uber reps at the Ottawa office, they also agree that its bit of a grey area and that Uber is still trying to work with regulators /insurance companies to improve the situation. In the meantime, they require that all claims be first submitted to one's personal insurance before contacting Uber.

Do you think we'll see things change here in Canada anytime soon?

It seems that you are asking a rhetorical question in terms of asking Uber to provide a list of at least one insurance carrier that will provide coverage for "Peer 2 Peer transportation" services. There will be no providers in Ontario because in Ontario all insurance providers are required to offer the same standard policy for personal insurance (with various optional coverages) and this standard policy prohibits carrying paying passengers. The policy can only be changed with the agreement of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

It seems to be a Catch 22 kind of situation: until the legality of peer to peer transportation services is established insurance providers are unlikely to want to apply to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario to offer a different kind of policy and yet without the insurance issue being resolved cities may be reluctant to approve peer to peer transportation services.

What I would like to see Uber do is change its insurance in Canada so that it is primary and kicks in as soon as a driver turns on the app, just as it now does in the US as per the Uber website at blog dottie uber dottie com slashed uberXridesharinginsurance (sorry that I can't post the link, but it is not allowed on my first post). But I’d like to see higher values for insurance for the period when the app is on but the driver has not yet accepted a ride than these limits that are offered in the US: $50,000/individual/incident for bodily injury, $100,000 total/incident for bodily injury and $25,000/incident for property damage since an accident can easily go over these limits. Specifically I’d like to see limits that match what is covered by the driver’s personal insurance policy. So if the driver gets into an accident when the app is on then the driver would claim through Uber’s insurance and if the app was not on would claim though his or her personal insurance. Uber would report any accidents to the driver's personal insurance company. I'd like to see Uber drivers given a pink insurance slip for their Uber driving, to be shown to the other parties in the case of an accident. With these provisions in place, if the other legal issues relating to peer to peer transportation are resolved then you might see the standard policy being revised to permit carrying passengers for payment, provided that separate insurance is used for this activity and all claims for accidents related to peer to peer transportation are made to the other insurance company.

I am surprised that Uber is getting so many drivers to sign up with the following risks:
  • The insurance policy that supposedly covers them is a secret.
  • Those drivers that do use their personal insurance are committing insurance fraud and are exposed to losing their personal insurance if their carrier finds out, or having to pay much higher rates with another provider to get insurance (even if the driver stops driving for Uber) or not being covered at all if the accident occurs during the insurance gap period. Fraud includes both explicit lying and also a failure to notify the insurance carrier of a material change in usage.
  • Potentially not being covered at all due to violation of Uber’s requirements: A) inform your insurer of the P2P transportation service you provide; and B) ensure that your insurance policy provides coverage for the P2P transportation service you provide.
  • Having damage to their personal vehicle not covered
  • Having non-professional health care services (such as personal support and homemaking services, attendant care services, and community support services) not covered
Thanks, djino for bringing these topics to the attention of drivers and the public.
 

djino

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Hi, I new here, but last week I saw an UberX driver involved in a horrible accident at Ave. Rd/St. Clair with PAX on board, how do you think that will turn out.
If there are no injuries to the PAX, then its likely the driver will keep the Uber details out of it and just seek a claim as the driver normally would through existing personal insurance.

If there are injuries to the PAX, then anything can happen and up to the driver's insurance carrer on whether or not they will satisfy the claim and if they will cancel the existing policy. The situation is just up in the air and the driver will need to cross his fingers for a positive outcome.

djino
 

chi1cabby

Well-Known Member
If there are injuries to the PAX, then anything can happen and up to the driver's insurance carrer on whether or not they will satisfy the claim and if they will cancel the existing policy. The situation is just up in the air and the driver will need to cross his fingers for a positive outcome.
This a recording I'd made of an UberX sign-up session for UberTaxi drivers held in Chicago in Feb 2014. At that time, UberX Insurance in the U.S. was Contingent & Secondary to the Drivers' personal car insurance, as is currently the case in Canada & Australia (& everywhere else for UberX/ UberPOP except U.K. & U.S.)
So even an injured passenger would have to FIRST file a claim with the Driver's personal car insurance! The presenter is Birju Kadakia, Uber_CHI Operations Manager. He also wouldn't provide names of any Insurance Companies that would provide coverage for UberX Drivers.

Screenshot_2015-05-04-07-05-06.png


The insurance talk starts 15:00. Pay special attention at 22:00 mark.
The recording is pertinent to UberX insurance situation in Canada.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f1v4t794pfonc9u/UberX infosignup for Chicago UberTAXI drivers..wav?dl=0
 

djino

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
This a recording I'd made of an UberX sign-up session for UberTaxi drivers held in Chicago in Feb 2014. At that time, UberX Insurance in the U.S. was Contingent & Secondary to the Drivers' personal car insurance, as is currently the case in Canada & Australia (& everywhere else for UberX/ UberPOP except U.K. & U.S.)
So even an injured passenger would have to FIRST file a claim with the Driver's personal car insurance! The presenter is Birju Kadakia, Uber_CHI Operations Manager. He also wouldn't provide names of any Insurance Companies that would provide coverage for UberX Drivers.

View attachment 7032

The insurance talk starts 15:00. Pay special attention at 22:00 mark.
The recording is pertinent to UberX insurance situation in Canada.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f1v4t794pfonc9u/UberX infosignup for Chicago UberTAXI drivers..wav?dl=0
Listening too it now.

djino
 

chi1cabby

Well-Known Member
Perhaps it would take cases like Sofia Liu, a 6 year old pedestrian killed in an accident involving an SF UberX Driver while he was logged in and rushing to a surge zone
http://webaccess.sftc.org/Scripts/Magic94/mgrqispi94.dll?APPNAME=WEB&PRGNAME=ValidateCaseNumberSHA1&ARGUMENTS=-ACGC14536979

Or a case like Jason Herrera, a gravely injured SF UberX passenger, to bring Uber_Canada's UberX Insurance Duplicity to the forefront.
http://webaccess.sftc.org/Scripts/Magic94/mgrqispi94.dll?APPNAME=WEB&PRGNAME=ValidateCaseNumberSHA1&ARGUMENTS=-ACGC13536211
 

chi1cabby

Well-Known Member
As you may or may not know, Uber Canada's insurance is always contingent and never primary, unlike our friends have it south of the border.
Here's Uber's Canadian Insurance Policy vs US Policy explained in Uber's own words:

Uber's US Insurance:
http://blog.uber.com/ridesharinginsurancepolicy
How does this policy work?
"From the moment a driver accepts a trip to conclusion, primary liability coverage is in place and applies up to $1 million coverage per incident. Specifically, this policy is primary to your personal auto insurance policy but remains excess to any commercial auto insurance you may have for the vehicle.1"
Uber's Canada Insurance:
http://blog.uber.com/CanadaXSafety
"Every ride on the uberX platform in Canada is backed by US $5,000,000 of contingent auto liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage.

Canada: Contingent
US: Primary
 

Actionjax

Well-Known Member
So in an interesting turn of events I had a guy I picked up who job it is to take big insurance companies to court. He and I had a very frank and open talk about insurance in Ontario and how it works for Uber drivers and how situations could play out. He did not want to be named here or his firm.

Here are the highlights.

1) Driving for Uber can be taken as material misrepresentation on you Auto insurance policy as you can be classified as a for hire vehicle. Your insurance claim can be denied and you can be found liable for fault in an accident claim.
2) Ubers contingent insurance coverage may never be enacted in Ontario as every passenger who holds Auto insurance their insurance coverage will cover any accidents they are involved with as a passenger. It is the primary coverage. Even if they are hit by an automobile in the street. The fact they have auto coverage they are covered by that first. The Drivers insurance becomes secondary and then Uber's. He said that's why you should never buy Car rental insurance when asked. Ontario insurance policy's cover rental cars as well. Or if someone loans you their car.
3) Some policies cover $1 million some $2 million. It's a good idea for a few $$$ more to get it bumped even more to $5 million. You run down a doctor your $2 Mill won't do much. It does not cost that much to get the extra coverage.
4) There is a very good case that Uber can be classified as car pooling and car sharing based on the type of driving you do. Very little hours and during the times during work commutes. But it's a gamble as the insurance companies can deny first for misrepresentation but there is a good chance this will get reversed. But you are the guy who needs to pay for a lawyer and go to court to fight it. You become the first case that will determine a ruling going forward.
5) FISCO are a bunch of burocratic idiots who will not help in this case as they have fallen behind the times.
6) What Uber has in writing on their website to ensure the public is safe and that it's wording will cover damages if all other avenues fail. Again drivers are at the highest risk.
7) There is an Ontario fund that deals with people who do not have insurance again if all other avenues fail.

What I have gathered is that Drivers ARE at risk with insurance companies. There are many layers of insurance that covers people in Ontario and all insurance companies will treat each situation different. Your greatest risk is while with a passenger. That's when things will get tricky.

His recommendation in the end is call all insurance companies and ask for a policy that will include Uber. Even if they don't accept you or want you to do it there will be a need identified. When you don't call back for insurance they will see a potential client lost. Then you may see change. In the meantime be aware of your risks. They may not be worth it.

Any clause that states you can take passengers for reasonable amount of money or compensation against expenses is a valid argument to do Uber. But you are fighting the battle on your own and if you are doing 40 Hours a week to drive. You have a harder time proving it compared to the person who is in it for 10 hours.

Thought I would share what was said so you can make your own decision.
 

RusTO

Active Member
... And the most ridiculous aspect is that Uber still charges $1 safe ride fee (in addition to its 20% commission) from every single ride which [I believe and most likely] at the initial stage was [specifically] designed to be an insurance expense!
 

Actionjax

Well-Known Member
... And the most ridiculous aspect is that Uber still charges $1 safe ride fee (in addition to its 20% commission) from every single ride which [I believe and most likely] at the initial stage was [specifically] designed to be an insurance expense!
It also uses it to offset other costs like background checks and the costs incurred to do things like safety inspections on vehicles when they do the blitzes. Either way it's offloading it to the users. (Insurance is also a part of it)
 

RusTO

Active Member
Actionjax: hahaha with Uber plan's to make $10 billion profit this year (for comparison Facebook is only due to make the same amount after 10 years of operation) you really are going to feed me with that "background checks and inspection" expenses bs? Hahaha

Like how much is one background check cost on average (considering uber is getting a volume discount) and inspection check? $50-100?
How many rides on average one makes on usual busy shift? 10-20? So 5 nights, ie 2-3 weeks of works per year in total to cover such expense? And where the rest of the money goes?
 

Jeff Saloon

New Member
It also uses it to offset other costs like background checks and the costs incurred to do things like safety inspections on vehicles when they do the blitzes. Either way it's offloading it to the users. (Insurance is also a part of it)
Good information ActionJax. We need more people like you in our establishment. Attitude is the key.
 

Jeff Saloon

New Member
So in an interesting turn of events I had a guy I picked up who job it is to take big insurance companies to court. He and I had a very frank and open talk about insurance in Ontario and how it works for Uber drivers and how situations could play out. He did not want to be named here or his firm.

Here are the highlights.

1) Driving for Uber can be taken as material misrepresentation on you Auto insurance policy as you can be classified as a for hire vehicle. Your insurance claim can be denied and you can be found liable for fault in an accident claim.
2) Ubers contingent insurance coverage may never be enacted in Ontario as every passenger who holds Auto insurance their insurance coverage will cover any accidents they are involved with as a passenger. It is the primary coverage. Even if they are hit by an automobile in the street. The fact they have auto coverage they are covered by that first. The Drivers insurance becomes secondary and then Uber's. He said that's why you should never buy Car rental insurance when asked. Ontario insurance policy's cover rental cars as well. Or if someone loans you their car.
3) Some policies cover $1 million some $2 million. It's a good idea for a few $$$ more to get it bumped even more to $5 million. You run down a doctor your $2 Mill won't do much. It does not cost that much to get the extra coverage.
4) There is a very good case that Uber can be classified as car pooling and car sharing based on the type of driving you do. Very little hours and during the times during work commutes. But it's a gamble as the insurance companies can deny first for misrepresentation but there is a good chance this will get reversed. But you are the guy who needs to pay for a lawyer and go to court to fight it. You become the first case that will determine a ruling going forward.
5) FISCO are a bunch of burocratic idiots who will not help in this case as they have fallen behind the times.
6) What Uber has in writing on their website to ensure the public is safe and that it's wording will cover damages if all other avenues fail. Again drivers are at the highest risk.
7) There is an Ontario fund that deals with people who do not have insurance again if all other avenues fail.

What I have gathered is that Drivers ARE at risk with insurance companies. There are many layers of insurance that covers people in Ontario and all insurance companies will treat each situation different. Your greatest risk is while with a passenger. That's when things will get tricky.

His recommendation in the end is call all insurance companies and ask for a policy that will include Uber. Even if they don't accept you or want you to do it there will be a need identified. When you don't call back for insurance they will see a potential client lost. Then you may see change. In the meantime be aware of your risks. They may not be worth it.

Any clause that states you can take passengers for reasonable amount of money or compensation against expenses is a valid argument to do Uber. But you are fighting the battle on your own and if you are doing 40 Hours a week to drive. You have a harder time proving it compared to the person who is in it for 10 hours.

Thought I would share what was said so you can make your own decision.
That was very moving!! I am speechless!!
 
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