Update: see previous posts – July 4, 2015 Toronto: City loses Application for Injunction against UBER, May 12, 2015 City of Toronto v. Uber Canada Court Case Delayed Until June, May 5, 2015 Uber Canada to Apply for Toronto Taxi Licence
It turns out Uber Canada’s $5-million insurance policy, which it asked a judge to seal, is a standard, common agreement, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Uber Canada did not need to keep secret its auto insurance policy because it is a standard agreement used by many corporations for their fleets, says a spokesman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
A copy of Uber’s “standard non-owned automobile policy” with AIG Insurance Company of Canada, filed in its court battle with the city of Toronto, shows it is, as the name implies, a standard, common policy, IBC’s Pete Karageorgos said Friday.
“I was taken aback when they claimed this was proprietary,” Karageorgos said. “You can Google this and see the form online.”
Philomena Comerford, CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP, said Friday the policy, which has been around for decades, “protects the corporation that buys the coverage, it’s not intended to protect the drivers,” she said.
“So it does not fill the void that exists in the personal auto policies that UberX drivers are relying upon (which) and those policies exclude the carrying of paying passengers.”
Earlier this year, Uber Canada asked a judge for a sealing order on its $5-million supplementary insurance policy, saying the secrecy was needed to protect its smartphone ride-booking business from competition.
Uber made the request — which a judge rejected — during the city of Toronto’s unsuccessful application for a court injunction to block Uber’s operations here. The city argued Uber does not have adequate insurance coverage that would protect drivers and passengers.
Uber Canada spokeswoman Susie Heath said the company has always been “very clear that every Uber ride is insured.”
“Every ride on the UberX platform in Canada is backed by $5 million of contingent auto liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage,” she wrote in email.
“In the event of an accident during an UberX trip, passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, and the community at large can rest assured knowing that ridesharing partners are well covered by commercial auto insurance in addition to any insurance coverage maintained by the driver.”
This week, the Alberta government concluded Uber’s insurance policies don’t meet that province’s requirements, Canadian Press reported.
“Drivers using Uber ride-sharing services may believe that Uber’s supplemental insurance provides the necessary coverage,” the office of the Superintendent of Insurance said in a statement. “This is currently not the case in Alberta.
“That could leave riders at risk if they are riding in a vehicle that doesn’t have its own coverage,” the agency said.
In Toronto, city staff are attempting to craft a new bylaw that will bring new technologies such as Uber and traditional taxi services under one legal umbrella.
Mayor John Tory has called for a single law that would regulate all ground transportation. Staff are expected to report back on proposed bylaw changes in September.