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    Uber is Caught in a Risk Management Bind. How Can They Get Out?

    October 17, 2018 by

    Uber has agreed to pay a hefty $148 million settlement after concealing a data breach in 2016 containing 57 million users’ data. In hopes of preventing this from recurring, it’s time for Uber to reassess their risk management practices, and

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    Arbitrator: Intact has uber, uber, Uber Priority

    May 16, 2018 by

    Does Uber’s fleet policy with Intact provide primary accident benefits coverage to passengers who do not have their own auto insurance policies? The first arbitration decision on this issue says “yes”. Background In July 2016, FSCO approved a new standard

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    Uber Hack: A Company in Need of Risk Management Rehab

    December 6, 2017 by

    The hot water in which Uber has been simmering has just reached new thermal heights. Back in October 2016, hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers containing their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and in the

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    insBlogs Auto Legal

    Another Ridesharing Policy, Another Underlying Risk

    December 9, 2016 by

    Another insurer has entered into Ontario’s ridesharing insurance market. Effective December 1, 2016, Northbridge Insurance provides ridesharing coverage for users of RideCo., a Waterloo Region-based ridesharing company. The new product seeks to fill existing coverage gaps under Ontario’s standard Ontario

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    Meeting brokers’ CE needs online

    September 23, 2016 by

    Brokers are very busy people these days. This is due to all kinds of new insurance products designed to stay on top of consumers’ changing needs. Choice is good for the consumer. It’s good for brokers, too. The wide variety

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    Will The New Ontario Fleet Definition Work?

    August 21, 2016 by

    As I reported previously, the Ontario government amended the fleet definition in Regulation 664 in early July.  The amended definition reads as follows:

    “fleet” means a group of not fewer than five automobiles that meets the following requirements:
    1. At least five of the automobiles in the group are commercial vehicles, public vehicles or vehicles used for business purposes.
    2. The automobiles in the group are,
    i. under common ownership or management, and any automobiles in the group that are subject to a lease agreement for a period in excess of 30 days are leased to the same insured person, or
    ii. available for hire through a common online-enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation, and insured under a contract of automobile insurance in which the automobile owner or lessee, as the case may be, has coverage as an insured named in the contract

    From my perspective, this is not an ideal resolution. However, it does fill in the insurance gap that has existed since Uber began providing its services in Toronto in 2012. One of the most important elements in the fleet definition has always been the requirement that there be common management. Common management is an element that is required in order for a group of vehicles to be considered a fleet, if they are not commonly owned or where they are owned by a leasing company. It refers to the fact that the owner or manager has a measure of control over the vehicles. A fleet is typically a discrete risk exposure whose experience and characteristics can be monitored and rated, and is affected by the actions of the owner or manager. The vehicles in a fleet are not individually rated as this is inconsistent with a key principle in fleet rating to establish a rate specific to the experience of the fleet. Usually, the manager of a fleet will implement rigorous risk management programs to monitor and improve experience and rating.

    None of these circumstance remotely exist when it comes to Uber drivers and their vehicles. They are network of drivers connected to customers through an app provided by Uber. Their is no common ownership or management. It suggest that once an Uber driver turns on the app on his phone, he or she becomes part of a fleet. That decision isn’t even made by Uber.

    Is this such a bad thing? It could be if it leads to further erosion of the fleet definition. The regulator has for years denied fleet policies because they failed to meet the test of common ownership or management. Will they be able to continue to push back against synthetic fleets? It would have been better, if the government had created a provision in the Insurance Act to deal specifically with transportation network companies. I expect it will take some time to determine whether the government and the insurance industry will regret the newly amended fleet definition.

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    insBlogs Auto Legal Technology

    UberX Coverage Appears to be Intact

    July 11, 2016 by

    After months of uber anticipation, FSCO has approved a new fleet auto policy, from Intact, for private passenger vehicles engaged in UberX activities. The announcement comes days after Intact launched a similar product in Alberta. Background UberX is a Web-based

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  • Ontario Changes Fleet Definition To Accommodate Ride Sharing

    July 7, 2016 by

    This week, the Ontario amended Regulation 664 to expand the definition of a fleet to accommodate ride-sharing services like Uber. The change opens the door for insurers to offer policies to drivers of vehicles for hire using an online app.

    The regulation amendment expands the fleet definition to include vehicles available for hire through a common online-enabled application or system for the pre-arrangement of transportation. The vehicle owner or lessee is to be named  insured under an auto insurance contract. The regulation change will make it easier for Ontario businesses to insure a group of privately owned vehicles under one insurance policy as a “fleet” when they are available for hire using an online app.

    FSCO has already approved a fleet policy proposed by Intact Insurance Company. The Intact policy provides blanket fleet coverage under a standard automobile owner’s policy (OAP 1) for private passenger automobiles used in the transportation of paying passengers who utilize Uber.
    The Intact fleet policy does not provide coverage when the driver is not logged onto the Uber online app. Coverage under the personal owner’s policy for the automobile is applicable.

    FSCO also approved the use of an electronic insurance card for use in connection with ride sharing. The electronic insurance card will permit ride share drivers who are covered under the Intact policy the option to provide evidence of insurance electronically using an online-enabled app (e.g., to law enforcement officials).

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    Insurance Education that Matters

    May 18, 2016 by

    Your professional development has never been more cutting-edge. Consider the fascinating research of Qui Trieu, manager of personal insurance at Perth Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Economical Insurance. Qui (pronounced as ‘key’) is currently a candidate in the Insurance

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    Too Good to Be True? Life in the Gig Economy

    February 23, 2016 by

    Just how much has the sharing, or gig economy changed our world? A cursory Google search on the topic will usually turn up this common description: The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most valuable retailer,

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    FSCO Approves Aviva’s UberX Product

    February 2, 2016 by

    The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has approved Aviva’s plans to offer a product for ride-sharing services like uberX. Aviva’s coverage will be available for drivers licensed for at least six years. Drivers can spend up to 20 hours a

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  • insBlogs Auto Technology

    Competition Bureau Supports Ride-Sharing Services

    December 8, 2015 by
    The emergence of Uber and other ride-sharing services has created increased competition for the Canadian taxi industry.  This has created a source of friction for the industry because of what they see is an “uneven playing field.”  Taxi operators are required to follow regulatory rules while ride-sharing services largely operate unregulated.  The Canadian Competition Bureau recently weighed in on the subject.

    The Competition Bureau recently released a study, Modernizing Regulation in The Canadian Taxi Industry, which concluded that the competition in the sector has benefited consumers.  However, there needs to be a balance between increased competition and the need for regulation.

    The taxi industry has operated largely unchanged for decades.  Regulators have created rules to govern price, vehicle safety and insurance requirements.  But the regulatory rules often restrict entry into the sector by limiting the number of taxi licences.  The number of plates usually does not keep up with demand for services which creates artificial scarcity, but also higher prices, poor service and long wait times.

    Ride-sharing companies have changed the landscape by offering consumers lower prices, variable pricing (higher fares when demand is high), shorter wait times, and convenience.  The software application used by ride-sharing companies provides automatic payment and the ability to track the number of vehicles available in the local area.  The software also allows consumers to rate drivers which creates an incentive to provide better service.  Low rated drivers receive fewer ride requests.

    The innovations introduced by Uber and other similar service providers have benefited consumers.  There is a need for updated regulatory rules so that traditional taxi operators can respond to the competition.  But the one aspect not addressed by the Competition Bureau study is the insurance issue. 

    In September 2015, Intact Financial announced plans to work with Uber to create products tailored for the ride-hailing service, after concerns emerged that person auto insurance policies may not cover drivers using their personal vehicles for commercial gain.   In the meantime, Uber claims it has adequate insurance coverage and that every ride on the UberX platform is backed by $5 million of commercial auto insurance, which covers both bodily injuries and property damage stemming from a crash.  However, Alberta government said in July that it had determined the policies do not meet the requirements of the province’s Insurance Act.  It’s all very confusing.  

    Ride-sharing services are here to stay.  Consumers will benefit but only if the regulatory rules and updated and the insurance issues are addressed.

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    The Two-edge Sword of Technology: Disrupting the Disruptors

    November 27, 2015 by

    New technology options offer a rich environment of functionality combined with an engaging user experience. This combination can produce intended and unintended consequences. We believe the winners will be those that can plan for the unknown as well as the

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    Random Thoughts: Some updates

    November 23, 2015 by

    Today some topics we have written about before where something new and/or interesting came up. Here goes. On health insurance vs. nutrition advice: I finally got around to reading the study by Credit Suisse Research Institute: “Fat, the new health paradigm”. Although there isn’t much Continue reading

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