Uber warning issued by Canada's insurance industry

Canada's insurance industry is cautioning drivers who are thinking about signing up with ride-sharing apps like Uber.
(Brian Burnett/CBC)

Canada's insurance industry is cautioning drivers who are thinking about signing up with ride-sharing services like Uber.

The company — which already operates in several Canadian cities — is currently recruiting drivers in Calgary.

It matches interested drivers with passengers through a mobile app.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada warns that their personal car insurance won't cover them if they're in a collision or a passenger is injured, so drivers must carry commercial insurance coverage. 

Lauren Altmin with Uber says their drivers must be licenced, pass a criminal background check and have their own insurance coverage on their vehicles.

"In addition to that, every ride on the UberX platform in Canada is backed by $5 million of contingent auto liability insurance, so drivers and the community at large can rest assured knowing that ride-sharing partners are covered by our insurance policy in addition to any insurance coverage maintained by the driver," she said.

Must play by city rules, says mayor

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says Uber will have to conform with Calgary's taxi industry rules if it intends to operate here.

Uber and other ride-sharing apps were discussed at a city committee in August.

A report presented to the committee detailed a trial offered last year by Uber through a local limousine company.

However, the company wasn't big enough to handle the demand and ended up hiring sedans that weren't properly licensed through the city.

"Our investigation determined that there were unlicensed drivers, unlicensed vehicles," said Marc Halat, the city’s chief livery officer, at the time.

"They were providing a service to Calgarians and they were put at risk." 


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