Interested in becoming an Uber driver? Check your insurance first.

October 21st, 2014

Uber is making its way to Alberta. “Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 200 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.”

What is Uber? A ridesharing service that involves regular individuals, as well as professional drivers, by matching them with passengers through a mobile app.

There are two ways to become an uber driver:  “uberX” or “UberBLACK.”

To be an “uberX” driver, you must be 21 years old, have a personal license and personal automobile insurance. You do not need any previous experience or a special license (just your own mid or full-size vehicle.) If you plan to become an “UberBLACK” driver you must be a professional chauffeur with a commercial license and commercial insurance.

Seems easy enough, right?

Wrong.

What Uber fails to mention is the scope of insurance needed to participate if you plan on becoming an uberX driver. And even though the uberX platform is backed by $5 million of contingent auto liability insurance, drivers must make sure their own coverage is adequate.

As a regular driver (not a commercial driver) your personal auto insurance is not purchased on the basis of being compensated; if it were, the expectation is full-disclosure to your insurer. Therefore, if anything should happen while taxiing someone as an uberX driver, there are two major questions to keep in mind:

(1) Is your insurance valid or void?
(2) And, if the insurance is not void (despite failing to disclose the use of your own personal vehicle for compensation) do you have adequate insurance coverage? (a minimum of $2 million liability)

Each day we drive people around using our own personal vehicles. The difference in the Uber case is that your personal insurance could become void as a result of non-disclosure to your insurer. To read more about exclusions according to the Alberta Auto Policy, click here and see section 8.

Still interested in becoming an uberX driver? Here are two steps we recommend you take:

(1) Consult an insurance expert.
(2) Ensure full disclosure to your insurer, to guarantee you have adequate insurance in place if you plan to taxi people around for compensation.
(3) Add a “S.E.F. 6 – Permission to Carry Passengers for Compensation” endorsement to your policy (this would give you protection in case you have an accident involving a “guest” passenger.)

*Minimum premium for ridesharing is estimated around $5000 

If you plan to become an Uber driver in Alberta, make sure to contact your insurer or you can always ask Rogers!

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