What Every Ridesharing Driver Should Know About Insurance in Alberta
Since arriving in Alberta, ridesharing services have taken off. In fact, last year in Calgary, ridesharing was used more frequently than traditional taxis. User-friendly apps and the ability to rate drivers and passengers alike have made services like Uber extremely popular as an alternative. On the other side of the equation, plenty of people see the opportunity to make some extra cash by using their vehicles to drive for ridesharing services.
For now, Uber is the only ridesharing service that’s available in Alberta. That’s mostly because it’s the only company with insurance agreements in place. Alberta has led the way for provinces in ridesharing insurance (also known as SPF 9 in Alberta). In August of 2016, Alberta accepted auto insurance policies for ridesharing services.
What is Ridesharing Insurance and How Does it Work?
Uber is an app-based company that allows people to use their personal vehicles to provide transport for others. It works much like a taxi cab, except that drivers use their own vehicles instead of dedicated commercially licensed vehicles.
The complications for insurance arise because, although Uber drivers are providing a commercial service, many drive part-time, which means getting a commercial vehicle policy would be out of range from a budget perspective. Still, it’s essential that drivers and passengers alike are covered in case of accidents or injuries.
To resolve this issue, ridesharing companies have insurance agreements that cover all of their drivers and passengers while the vehicle is being used for ridesharing purposes. These products are specifically tailored for rideshare drivers, designed with specific risks in mind. Drivers don’t pay for the policy, but they are responsible for having their own personal insurance on their vehicles at all times.
Insurance coverage for ridesharing in different provinces varies on some important points, so it’s vital to get information specifically for Albertans.
Insurance for Uber Drivers
Currently, Uber is the only ridesharing company that has insurance agreements in place in Alberta. There have been rumours of Lyft coming to Alberta for a few years now, but that hasn’t happened quite yet. As a result, the following details apply only to Uber drivers.
When Driving for Ridesharing
Uber ridesharing drivers are automatically covered under a policy provided by Uber through Intact Insurance. Coverage includes $2M in liability, standard accident benefits, and comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1000 deductible. However, this policy only covers the period from when the driver accepts the trip to the time he or she drops off the customer.
This type of insurance through Intact Insurance covers all major Uber services, including UberEATS, UberX, and Uber Select.
When Not Driving for Ridesharing, but Logged into the Uber App
The same policy Uber has in place with Intact also covers drivers while they are active on the Uber app and waiting for a trip to accept. However, only $1M in third party liability coverage and standard accident benefits are offered during these periods. What’s more, this policy only comes into effect if your personal vehicle insurer denies a claim. In other words, you’d have to submit a claim to your personal insurance company through your broker or agent, and if the claim is rejected, the Uber-Intact policy would provide the coverage listed above.
Protection for Riders
Rideshare drivers are only one party covered by insurance policies provided by ridesharing companies. Passengers are also covered from the time they’re picked up to the time they’re dropped off.
Important Details About Insurance for Ridesharing
Personal Vehicle Insurance is Still a Necessity
Ridesharing companies like Uber have their own policies that cover drivers while they’re working, but these policies won’t cover you while you’re driving for personal use. Law still requires you to have a personal auto insurance policy in place, even if you mostly drive your vehicle for ridesharing.
Personal Car Insurance Rates May be Affected
Personal auto insurance for rideshare drivers may be higher than for non-ridesharing drivers. Having an insurance broker compare rates and give you up to date information about premiums, coverage, and what to expect can help you in your search. At Cornerstone Insurance, our auto insurance experts can help you get the coverage you need for your specific situation.
Tell Your Insurance Company
If you drive for a ridesharing company, be sure to tell your broker or insurance company upfront as soon as you start using your car for ridesharing purposes. If you don’t, your insurer may not pay out any claims you make after an accident.
Some insurers won’t provide personal car insurance for Uber drivers. If your current personal insurer will no longer insure you due to your ridesharing position, head to an Edmonton insurance broker to easily find out which companies you can go through and compare rates.
Any Accidents May Count Against You
Although Uber’s rideshare policy through Intact Insurance will cover the cost of at-fault accidents for the rideshare driver according to the rules and coverage limits listed above, accidents can still impact the driver’s record. In turn, this could raise the cost of getting personal automobile insurance in the future.
Find Cost-Effective Personal Insurance for Your Vehicle
At Cornerstone Insurance, we’re dedicated to helping Albertans make money, stay safe, and keep people moving. We’re always happy to help explore your options for insurance, and our insurance brokers have a wide range of knowledge about insurance for Uber drivers.
If you have more questions about ridesharing insurance or you’d like to explore coverage options and rates, get in touch! Or, get a personalized car insurance quote online now.