Uber and Intact plan partnership for Canada's 1st ride-sharing insurance policy

Intact Financial Corp. says it will soon offer the first insurance policy in Canada tailored specifically for drivers of the ride-sharing service Uber.

Details will be unveiled once provincial regulators sign off on proposal

John-Kurt Pliniussen of Queen's University on the milestone of insurance designed for ride-sharing services 5:33

Intact Financial Corp. has unveiled rudimentary details of a new deal with Uber that would see the company offer the first auto insurance in Canada tailored at protecting drivers, and by extension passengers, of the ride-sharing service.

The two companies announced the pact in separate releases on Tuesday.

"This plan will be the first of its kind designed exclusively for the ride-sharing industry in Canada," Uber said on its website. 

"With the growing popularity of the sharing and on-demand economy, we are adapting our product range to offer innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of consumers," Intact executive Louis Gagnon added.

The specifics of the plan are sparse for now, as Intact says it is awaiting approval from provincial insurance regulators for its plan before it goes public. But Intact says its intention is to offer the insurance under the company's two main brands: Intact Insurance and belairdirect.

Together, those two lines make up Canada's largest property insurance company, taking in $7.5 billion a year in premiums.

"More details will be shared when these products are made available," Intact said.

The move aims to fill a gap in the industry that some say leaves passengers and ride-sharing drivers vulnerable.

While Uber says its drivers are covered by a commercial policy for up to $5 million worth of bodily injuries and property damage, critics say under Canadian law, commercial drivers are legally required to have their own insurance to cover claims incurred while transporting a passenger for profit.

In July, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recommended that drivers who work for Uber should verify their vehicles are insured for commercial use. It said some policies provide coverage for only personal automobile use and insurers could reject a claim if the vehicle is used to generate income.

The industry group, which counts Intact as a member, issued that recommendation after the Alberta government concluded that Uber's insurance policies didn't meet that province's requirements.

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