Auto Insurance coming soon for ride-sharing Ontarians

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Ontgario has approved a regulatory change under the Insurance Act

There will now  be better protection for drivers and consumers in the province’s burgeoning ride-sharing services sector.

Intact Financial Corp. has already announced that it will now provide automatic insurance coverage for Uber drivers and  passengers.  Coverage will begin from the time the driver accepts a ride request till the passenger exits the vehicle.  Ontario is the second province after Alberta to create a special insurance policy for Uber. Approved by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) on Thursday, this  takes effect immediately.

The Ontario government said on July 7 that it is modernizing the auto insurance system to allow fors such coverage. It has has approved a regulatory change under the Insurance Act to allow commercial fleet insurance to be offered for vehicles that can be hired through an online application.

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Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, said, “When it comes to car insurance for ride-sharing, our top concern is for the safety of consumers and drivers. By modernizing Ontario’s auto insurance system, Ontario is allowing insurers to provide greater peace of mind to ride-sharing passengers and their drivers. The sharing economy has the potential to promote economic growth, productivity and support innovation. The Ontario government is committed to supporting the development of new and emerging service sectors while ensuring a level playing field for businesses and proper protection for consumers. ”

With the regulatory change, insurance companies can now develop insurance policies for purchase by ride-share companies. This closes the gap in auto insurance coverage for those drivers carrying paying passengers through ride-sharing services.

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This change puts the protection of Ontarians first and is part of the government’s 2016 Budget commitment to support the sharing economy.  The province is working with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the insurance industry to modernize the auto insurance system to develop a permanent solution for emerging transportation services.

In the interim, auto insurance companies will be able to come forward and use this regulatory change as the basis for auto insurance coverage for sharing economy businesses.

  • In Ontario, municipalities have jurisdiction to decide on local approaches to ride-sharing.
  • FSCO is responsible for approving auto insurance policies.

A government statement said that Ontario is fostering innovation by allowing companies to create various types of insurance products for emerging transportation services, such as ride-sharing. Moving forward, Ontario is committed to working with insurance stakeholders and the public to develop the legislative and regulatory changes necessary to fully integrate sharing economy business models into Ontario’s auto insurance system. – CINEWS

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