Car and Rideshare Insurance

What is car and ride-sharing?

Car sharing allows users to use a vehicle for a set duration of time, while car sharing offers rides to passengers, from a specific pick-up and drop-off destination. 

Car and Rideshare Insurance 

Ride and car-sharing insurance emerged as a response to the growing popularity of driving apps that began in 2009.  Popular examples of mobile driving applications would be Turo, Uber and Lyft. 

People interested in working under these programs faced difficulty in finding affordable commercial insurance solutions. Before the advent of specialized, insurance programs for car and ride-sharing drivers, people relied on “taxi” insurance for their insurance needs, which was very expensive and excessive in scope of coverage.  Uber and Turo’s drivers needed a cheaper alternative as the cost of insurance was prohibitive for individuals seeking to earn income through app-based driving platforms. In response to this gap in coverage, ride and car-sharing insurance became a crucial development.

The emergence of ride and car-sharing insurance addressed the affordability challenge, providing a more cost-effective alternative for drivers associated with these platforms, ultimately supporting the sustainability and growth of the shared mobility economy.

Does my personal car insurance cover ridesharing or car sharing through Uber or Turo in Ontario?

No, your personal car insurance does not cover ridesharing or carsharing. Personal auto insurance is not designed for commercial purposes, and the Ontario auto policy specifically excludes coverage when used for that purpose. 

Section 1.8.1 of the Ontario automobile policy excludes insurance coverage if the automobile is used for conveying passengers for compensation or if used as a taxi.  

Section 1.8.3 of the Ontario automobile policy also excludes insurance coverage if your vehicle is leased or rented by you to another. 

Which insurance companies cover Uber drivers in Ontario?

Definity Insurance (parent company to Economical Insurance) covers Uber drivers in Ontario. They also insure Uber drivers in the provinces of Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia. The policy is issued on a commercial garage auto policy, OAP 4. 

Uber Insurance Coverage Details for Ontario

Liability – 2 million in coverage for third-party bodily injury or property damage while in the use or operation of the vehicle, during Uber operations. 

All Perils (collision and comprehensive combined) – provides first-party damage coverage for the damages to your vehicle caused by an insured peril. This coverage is subject to a $2,500 deductible. 

Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage – provides coverage for injuries and property damage should the at-fault driver of the other vehicle not have insurance coverage. Coverage also exists if the at-fault driver of the other vehicle does not have an adequate limit of liability insurance

Accident Benefits no-fault insurance benefits if you are injured in a car accident in Ontario. 

What does Uber insurance not cover in Ontario?

Loss of Use or Rental Car Coverage – there is no coverage for the loss of use of the subject vehicle. 

Wear and Tear – similar to the owner’s policy: there is no coverage for wear and tear as it is not an insured peril. 

Business Interruption or Loss of Income – this is not covered under the Uber or Turo auto commercial policy.   A separate policy that specifically covers business interruption would be required, which is outside the Uber or Turo insurance platform. 

What happens if you’re in a crash with a Turo vehicle?

If your vehicle is involved in a car accident while under the Turo program, follow ordinary loss prevention techniques, just like any other car accident. However, reach out to the host to notify them about the details of the accident and the condition of the vehicle. Call the police if there are injuries, and if the combined damages from all vehicles involved appear to exceed $2,000 in repair costs.

Once you’ve notified the host and the proper authorities, Turo’s in-house claim representatives will take over and delegate the claim accordingly. Turo or Turo’s insurance carrier will reach out to you for additional information regarding the accident.

Does Turo or Uber offer replacement cost coverage for my vehicle?

No, replacement cost coverage is not offered by Turo or Uber.  

Which insurance companies provide Turo insurance in Ontario?

Definity Insurance Company insures vehicles for Turo in Ontario. It’s very similar in scope of coverage compared to Uber insurance and is also issued on a commercial garage auto policy. 

Turo Insurance as Host

The Turo insurance program for hosts provides coverage for individuals who list their vehicles on the Turo platform. As a host, you benefit from liability coverage that protects against third-party claims for bodily injury and property damage. Turo’s insurance also includes comprehensive and collision coverage, addressing damages to your vehicle caused by covered perils. The coverage is applicable during the rental period when your vehicle is being used by a Turo guest. It’s essential for hosts to understand the terms and conditions of Turo’s insurance and to communicate promptly with Turo in the event of an incident, ensuring a smooth claims process.

Turo Insurance as a Guest

Turo’s insurance program for guests offers protection to individuals who rent vehicles through the Turo platform. As a guest, you have access to liability coverage, which safeguards against third-party claims for bodily injury and property damage during the rental period. Turo’s insurance also provides coverage for comprehensive and collision incidents, addressing damages to the rented vehicle caused by covered perils. Guests should familiarize themselves with the specific terms and conditions of Turo’s insurance, adhere to guidelines, and promptly report any incidents to Turo to facilitate the claims process if needed.

How Uber Insurance Works in Ontario.

There are three distinct commercial activities during the ridesharing process:

Stage 1 – while the driver is accessing the Uber app in the vehicle, but has not selected a ride

Stage 2 – after a ride is accepted and while the driver is on the way to pick up the passenger

Stage 3 – while carrying the passenger from the pickup location to the drop-off location

Your Uber car insurance will respond to losses or damages while in any of the stages listed above.  Your personal lines auto policy will respond to anything 

Does Uber insurance cover a rental car?

No, Uber does not provide rental car or loss of use coverage. 

Does Turo insurance cover a rental car?

No, Turo does not provide rental cars or loss-of-use coverage.  

Do I need my own personal car insurance while driving for Uber in Ontario?

Yes, you need your own personal car insurance to join the Uber network. Your personal auto insurance covers you when you’re not driving with Uber. 

Do I need my own personal car insurance while driving for Turo in Ontario?

Yes, you need your own personal car insurance to join the Turo network. Your personal auto insurance covers you when you’re not driving with Turo.

Will an at-fault accident affect my personal car insurance while driving for Uber?

Yes, an at-fault accident can potentially affect your personal car insurance when driving for Uber. While Uber provides insurance coverage for its drivers, the coverage is not constant and is typically contingent on the driver’s status within the Uber app at the time of the accident. 

Will an at-fault accident affect my personal car insurance while under the care, custody and control of the Guest on Turo?

Generally, personal auto insurers may not have visibility into losses under the Turo auto policy since it operates under a Garage Fleet policy, specifically the OAP 4. Although most personal lines auto insurers cannot access information about losses on a Garage policy, exceeding Turo’s coverage limits could necessitate filing claims for any coverage gaps under your personal lines auto policy.

Should I inform my insurance that I drive for Uber or host my vehicle through Turo?

Yes, you should inform your insurance company if you drive for Uber or use any other vehicle-sharing service. Failure to disclose your involvement in ride/car sharing could lead to complications in the event of an accident or a claim. 

Conclusion

When it comes to personal car insurance covering ridesharing or carsharing in Ontario, it’s crucial to note that personal auto insurance does not extend coverage for these commercial activities. This necessitates the need for specialized insurance solutions to bridge the coverage gaps.

When driving for Uber or Turo, it is crucial to follow the insurance guidelines provided by these platforms and inform your personal insurance company about your involvement in these activities. Failure to do so may result in policy violations, potential claims denial, and inadequate coverage for your commercial endeavours. Therefore, transparency with your insurance provider is key to ensuring a seamless and well-protected experience while participating in the shared mobility economy in Ontario.

Peter Martire, CIP, CRM, RIBO – Executive Editor and Insurance Advisor

Peter has been working in the insurance industry since 2005. He has over 18 years of experience adjudicating complex auto insurance claims and sales and service brokering. In March of 2024, he partnered with Begin Insurance Inc. as a Senior Insurance Advisor. He also serves as Executive Editor of carinsuranceinontario .ca.

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