Ride-Sharing? Using the Uber® app? Be Aware.
We are seeing concerning events globally and in the U.S.
Network ride-sharing poses not only safety but insurance coverage gaps. Apps from some ride-sharing businesses want to provide you with economical or convenient alternatives to taxi services but with numerous legal, business, safety and insurance issues arising globally and within the U.S. you should be informed.
Keep in mind Uber® is a technology company operating and maintaining an app that is a matchmaker for drivers and cars. They are not an industry regulated taxi service.
Taxi companies in the United States, Europe and other countries have complained Uber® and similar services have an unfair advantage because they are not covered by regulations that affect the already established taxi industry. 1
One of these apps from Uber® is finding itself being banned in China and only licensed taxi services can now provide rides with these types of apps. Additionally, the Chinese ministry said, companies that operate ride-hailing apps will be required to make sure no unlicensed drivers use them. 2
Personal Safety & Consumer Protection
Uber® has seen claims of kidnapping, sexual harassment and assault as reported in China, India, Chicago, IL, and London.3 There is a suit against Uber® in Portland, Oregon alleging illegal operations after it debuted its ride-sharing service there despite the city's protests that they failed to meet requirements for consumer protections and safety.4
While questions have been raised about Uber®’s background checks on drivers, we may continue to see consumer protection or other issues raised as was done in San Francisco.
Insurance Coverage Gaps
While Uber® may require driver’s to carry insurance, there are coverage issues that exist. One example of an insurance gap coverage involving Uber® occurred in San Francisco when a driver struck and killed a 6-year old. The gap in coverage occurred because there was no actual fare involved which can limit a potential recovery for damages. 5
Talk To Your Insurance Agent About Ride-Sharing
If you are considering involvement in ride-sharing or if you are currently participating in ride sharing, we urge you to talk to your agent about your insurance coverage.
Source Citation/Additional Reading:
1 & 2. China Bans Private Drivers on Ride-Hailing Apps. 1/19/15, http://lacrossetribune.com/business/technology/china-bans-private-drivers-on-ride-hailing-apps/article_ea37da5a-df6f-5595-93cb-bbb18c0d2ab2.html
3 -5 The Rising Safety Issues That Could Throttle Uber®, 12/11/14, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-rising-safety-issues-that-could-throttle-uber/