As of today, most ride sharing drivers are not driving with adequate insurance in Ontario. This means that both the driver and passengers are not fully protected in the event of an accident.
Uber, the company, has it own insurance in Ontario protecting the commercial enterprise of Uber. Their insurance policy is not designed as primary coverage to be extended to their drivers or passengers of the UberX experience. The primary insurance coverage must come from the driver’s own automobile policy which is usually a personal policy. And here lies the heart of the problem. Current personal auto policy wordings in Ontario exclude coverage for when a private passenger vehicle is being used as a commercial vehicle transporting passengers. Even personal automobile policies with an OPCF6A (Permission to Carry Paying Passengers) endorsement exclude coverage as this endorsement is only meant to cover situations such as taking co-workers to work and sharing the cost of gas or acting as a volunteer and taking people to various appointments.
So it’s worth repeating, an UberX driver’s personal policy is no good when driving for UberX. Their policy is voidable and excludes coverage. In fact there have already been a number of insurers who have cancelled policies and denied claims upon discovering their policyholder was an UberX driver. The only policy currently available to ride sharing drivers is a commercial facility taxi policy, which is very expensive.
The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel as the industry works on ways to help address the issue. Currently two companies, Intact and Aviva, have indicated they will have personal policy options in 2016 that will adequately protect both passengers and drivers and be affordable.