Uber’s recent baby-steps into a fully regulated company in Canada have spurred on the ride-sharing industry. Now other companies are entering a market that is going to grow in the coming years. Uber will certainly not have Canada all to itself. Turo is the newest sharing economy company to land in the country, although it does not seem to be the target of criticism in quite the same way as Uber.
Indeed, some are even touting the company has a potential breakthrough moment in the ride-sharing industry. If Turo can enter the Canadian market smoothly, in doing so a blueprint for all TNC providers could be laid.
Interestingly, Turo work similarly to Uber, even down to its auto insurance arrangements. It has been operating in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec since April and it currently sorting out its insurance credentials to go national. Turo functions as a temporary lease service, where a user books a rental from a car owner who advertises on the app.
Whereas Uber is more like a taxi service, Turo is a rental-oriented app that gives 75% of the rental cost to the vehicle owner and 25% goes to the company. The idea is for car owners who do not use their cars often to lease their vehicles out to tourists, or those who cannot afford to buy a car.
“People want the freedom to be driving a car, you still have to know how to drive, but they don’t want to own it,” Haskayne School of Business professor Debi Andrus told CTV News in describing Turo’s business model.
While Uber has been hugely criticized, Turo seems to be getting a free pass, despite the fact the insurance implications are even more daunting. Just who is liable in this instance is the obvious question. If the lease driver damages the car, they would be liable instead of the vehicle owner on his personal insurance, but how would the lease driver be insured?
Luckily, Intact Insurance has stepped in, just as the company did with Uber. Canada’s largest insurance provider has struck and agreement with Turo users who can get policies through Intact and Belair-Direct. Under the terms, rental vehicles will be supported by $2 million in liability coverage.