Intact Insurance has become the second Canadian insurance provider to offer coverage to ride-sharing company Uber. The largest P&C insurance carrier in the country announced on Wednesday that it will be offering coverage to Uber drivers in Alberta.
Aviva Canada became the first insurer to offer Uber coverage, with its policy covering all ride-sharing companies in Ontario exclusively before expanding it to Quebec. Alberta has presented a unique situation in Canada and Intact’s coverage means it has now been resolved and Uber can start operations in the province.
Edmonton became the first municipality in the country to vote to legalize and regulate Uber, with the January vote resulting in the company theoretically able to operate legally from March 1, 2016. However, while the city had regulated Uber, the province had not and one of the stipulations was that Uber drivers must have proper auto insurance.
Alberta introduced its ride-sharing laws in May, allowing Uber to become legal in the whole province, but still insurance remained a stumbling block for the company. The US firm was first reported to be working directly with Intact Insurance for an Uber-specific policy since last year. Intact was the likely partner for the company’s insurance solution in Alberta, but until today nothing was confirmed.
In a press release today, Intact said that its policy is the first of its kind in Canada. It is specifically designed for Uber drivers (unlike Aviva’s wider coverage) and Alberta becomes the first province to approve such an auto insurance policy. The company (Intact) says it will be working to bring the coverage to Ontario and Quebec in the coming months.
“With the growing popularity of ridesharing, we are excited to offer innovative insurance products to meet the evolving needs of consumers. This coverage structure also provides an opportunity for the insurance industry to develop personal lines coverage options for the period during which drivers are available to accept a ride but have yet to do so,” said Karim Hirji, Senior Vice President, International & Ventures for Intact Financial Corporation.
Uber drivers will now be regulated and legal in Alberta, which will allow the company to return to Edmonton after it pulled out of the market in March. The approval of the policy also means the province is the first to have negotiated regulations with Uber and to implement the changes needed for the company to operate legally.
“This new ridesharing insurance structure is a key step to bring Uber back to Edmonton and support our efforts to serve Albertans across the province. We look forward to our ongoing work with regulators and partners to bring ridesharing to an always growing number of cities across the country,” said Ian Black, General Manager for Uber Canada.