Wawanesa Insurance has decided that it won’t wait until Toronto Mayor John Tory introduces new regulations for taxi companies and Uber. The insurer will now ask policy owners directly whether they use their personal car to drive for UberX.
If the answer is yes, Wawanesa Insurance will “proceed with cancelling that policy following the appropriate regulations pertaining to cancellations,” Wawanesa manager Anne Barton wrote in an email to the Star, adding that it’s not in the insurer’s intention to “provide coverage for these risks.”
Incidentally, UberX now has about 20,000 drivers in Toronto, double the number of licensed taxi owners.
Philomena Comerford, president and CEO of Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP claims Uber drivers are violating the Highway Traffic Act, because they are carrying passengers for hire. Moreover, the new UberX driver contract clearly states that the “UberX driver is absolutely on the hook for getting commercial insurance,” Comerford says. That costs from $4,000 to $10,000 annually.
Some insurance brokers also draw attention to the fact that the standard Ontario Automobile Policy excludes coverage when the automobile is used to carry paying passengers or used as a taxi.