When Uber transformed the Canadian taxi industry in 2014, many people turned to the ride-sharing company as an opportunity to earn some extra part-time cash. While the revolutionary new service used hyper-modern technology to connect drivers to passengers, the insurance industry wasn’t quite ready for it at the time. The result left drivers and passengers in an insurance no-man’s-land that placed everyone at risk. Personal car insurance policies weren’t designed to accommodate Uber drivers at the time.
Since then, the insurance industry has developed its own solutions to meet the growing demand for ride sharing services by providing Uber insurance in Ontario. The question remains, though: do you need uber insurance in Ontario?
How does Uber insurance work in Ontario?
The Uber insurance solution protects drivers as soon as they open the Uber App and signal that they are ready to accept a fare.
Uber’s own coverage kicks in to cover the vehicle during these times:
- Waiting for a fare
- Driving toward pickup points
- Driving toward destinations
When drivers sign off for the day, their personal auto insurance policy comes back into play, protecting the driver and the vehicle while they use it as a personal vehicle.
It should be noted that Uber’s own policy for its drivers only stays in force while the car is being used as an Uber taxi. Drivers need to maintain their own personal auto insurance policies in addition to this Uber coverage (we can help you with that here).
What’s covered under the Uber policy?
The insurance offered by Uber closely resembles the standard Ontario insurance policy, with a few important exceptions. The coverage includes:
- $1 million in third-party liability coverage when you have signed onto the app and are waiting for a fare.
- Liability protection increases to $2 million the moment the driver accepts an Uber trip, which stays in force until the passenger exits the vehicle.
- Statutory Ontario Accident Benefits coverage are included.
- $2 million in coverage for uninsured/underinsured in case you’re in an accident with a vehicle that is not properly insured, or a hit-and-run.
- Property damage coverage that pays to repair the vehicle if it is damaged in an accident and not entirely the driver’s fault.
- Contingent collision coverage and comprehensive auto coverage that pays for damage to the vehicle, subject to a $1,000 deductible.
Note that damage collision coverage only applies if the vehicle is also insured for collision and comprehensive coverage on the owner’s personal auto policy.
Do I need to tell my insurer I drive for Uber?
Yes, you need to contact your car insurance company before signing up to be an Uber driver. Section 1.8.1 of the Ontario Personal Automobile Policy Act includes a clause saying that your policy is not valid if you use your vehicle for hire.
While Uber provides its own direct insurance to its drivers, Ontario’s insurance companies will need to calculate their own assessments of risk for vehicles serving as part-time taxis. Some direct insurers might not insure Uber drivers at all (although we can cover you there), so double-check with your provider before hitting the road.
While the Uber insurance Ontario policy has come a long way in protecting ride sharing drivers and their vehicles, it is best to talk to your insurance advisor to ensure you and your vehicle are properly insured and protected and to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Want to see how a personal car insurance policy costs compared to your Uber insurance? Get a 3-minute quote to see all available discounts right here.