Alberta became the first province to give Uber and other ride-sharing companies a clear pathway to legal and regulated operations last week. The government coupled its existing regulatory framework with a decision to approve auto insurance products for Transportation Network Companies (TCNs) and already three insurance providers are backing the market.
It is becoming apparent that Alberta is providing a window for insurance providers to test the auto insurance market for TCNs. The provincial decision came after Ontario approved Aviva Canada’s nationwide first product in February, but Uber and other TCNs were and are indeed still not legally regulated in the province.
So it has been left to Alberta to blaze a trail, and insurance carriers are already taking notice. Intact Insurance gave Uber the solution it needs when it announced its ride-sharing policy last week, the product has already launched and has been available since July 1.
Aviva Canada was the first insurance company in the country to offer coverage to ride-sharing operatives, and the company said its product will launch in Alberta on August 1. It has previously only been available in Ontario and Quebec.
Pembridge Insurance Company became the latest to debut its own ride-sharing specific coverage. Like other carriers, the company offers its coverage as a benefit on top of an existing customer personal auto insurance policy. The provider says it is getting on board early in a market that is here to stay.
“Ride-for-hire is not going away; it’s growing,” says Bob Tisdale, president and COO of Pembridge Insurance Company. “The insurance industry needs to be flexible and forward thinking to address customers’ evolving needs.”
“We support any insurance product that provides appropriate coverage for the individual risk and additional protection for the consumer,” said Julia Marshall, President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta.
More insurance carriers are likely to follow in the coming weeks and months and it is clear the TNCs present a potentially lucrative market as regulations for Uber and other such companies are adopted around Canada.