Are You Insured While Taking Uber? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Are You Insured While Taking Uber?


Ridesharing has become a popular form of “public” transportation in Ontario and other cities around the world. We say “public” because most people equate ridesharing with taxis, buses, or other forms of public transportation. However, this parallel is not completely accurate.

A rideshare service is actually more of a private hire through a public app on your smartphone. The driver is a person using his or her private automobile to provide rides in exchange for money. Because an individual can use a smartphone app to schedule the ride and ridesharing is often less expensive than a traditional taxi, ridesharing has grown very quickly.

Uber was founded in 2009 as another way to hire a black luxury car. The first Ubers were tested in San Francisco. After a beta test in that market, the company officially launched Uber services in other markets in 2011. Uber now operates in 45 countries. However, Uber does not operate in all cities. Some cities have not authorized Uber drivers to operate with the city limits.

While Uber has become one of the most popular ridesharing services, insurance issues have plagued the company for many years. The question of insurance coverage is still problematic for Uber drivers and passengers in many locations.

Insurance Coverage for Uber Drivers

Because Uber drivers are using their private vehicles to offer ridesharing services, many drivers assumed their private automobile insurance coverage applied. However, most insurance policies have clauses voiding coverage if the vehicle is used “for hire.” In other words, if a passenger is paying for a ride, private insurance coverage does not apply. Passengers and others soon found that their claims were denied if the accident involved an Uber driver.

Uber and its drivers continue to struggle with insurance questions in many locations, but for drivers in Ontario and Alberta, government officials have addressed the issue of insurance.

In July 2016, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario took steps to ensure Uber drivers and passengers would have insurance coverage in the event of an accident. The commission approved an automobile insurance policy with Intact Insurance Company to cover all Uber drivers, passengers, and vehicle owners in the event of an accident.

A detailed summary of the insurance coverage can be found on Uber’s website. Below are a few of the highlights from the website:

  • Statutory Ontario accident benefits
  • $2 million of Uninsured Automobile Coverage
  • Property Damage Coverage
  • Contingent Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • Limited Coverage between trips

While the approval of an insurance policy that covers Uber drivers and passengers is a step in the right direction, it should be noted that this is not a perfect solution. For example, there are still questions regarding whether Uber drivers must notify their personal insurance provider of their Uber activities to maintain private insurance. We also are not sure how providers of private auto insurance will react to the notification.

Furthermore, Uber drivers, passengers, and others are limited by the limits contained in the insurance policy provided to Uber by Intact Insurance Company. To protect yourself, you may want to discuss purchasing underinsured coverage from your insurance provider.  Underinsured coverage gives you an extra layer of protection if you are involved in an accident involving an Uber driver.

Do I Need an Ontario Lawyer for An Uber Insurance Claim?

As with any other insurance claim, the insurance company may try to deny a valid claim. Hiring an experienced lawyer can protect your right to receive compensation for your injuries.

The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have experience handling insurance claims. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations for Uber accident victims.

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