Toronto, Ontario — July 7, 2016 — Your next customer might be Uber or Lyft, regardless of who actually owns the vehicle. Ontario is changing the auto insurance system to allow for coverage of ride-sharing services.
In short, the provincial government has approved a regulatory change under the Insurance Act to allow commercial fleet insurance to be offered for vehicles that can be hired through an online application.
With the regulatory change, insurance companies can now develop insurance policies for purchase by ride-share companies. This closes the gap in auto insurance coverage for those drivers carrying paying passengers through ride-sharing services.
“When it comes to car insurance for ride-sharing, our top concern is for the safety of consumers and drivers,” said Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance. “By modernizing Ontario’s auto insurance system, Ontario is allowing insurers to provide greater peace of mind to ride-sharing passengers and their drivers. The sharing economy has the potential to promote economic growth, productivity and support innovation. The Ontario government is committed to supporting the development of new and emerging service sectors while ensuring a level playing field for businesses and proper protection for consumers.”
According to a statement from the provincial government, Ontario is working with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the insurance industry to modernize the auto insurance system and develop a permanent solution for emerging transportation services. In the interim, auto insurance companies will be able to come forward and use this regulatory change as the basis for auto insurance coverage for sharing economy businesses.
In Ontario, municipalities have jurisdiction to decide on local approaches to ride-sharing. FSCO is responsible for approving auto insurance policies.