Companies such as Lyft and Uber could soon be facing new rules with regards to their coverage.
The director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, announced at the end of last week that she would be putting her head together with other state commissioners over the weekend in order to discuss whether or not there should be auto insurance regulation for Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing companies.
According to Taylor, the goal is to make sure that consumers are adequately protected through proper steps.
Taylor explained that “I think everybody is trying to understand how this needs to be regulated to protect consumers.” This was before she headed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in Louisville. That event started on Saturday and runs until tomorrow. It was on Saturday that the auto insurance issue regarding car sharing and ride sharing issues was being discussed, as the main focus of a two hour session.
Taylor had already explained that a consumer alert had been put out about this auto insurance issue.
In that, she was referring to an Ohio Department of Insurance notice that was issued in April, which cautioned passengers that they may not be covered by the policy of a ride share driver, should that passenger ever be injured in a crash. She pointed out that “We wanted consumers to be aware of the insurance issues. Typically, if you’re an individual driving your (personal) car, your insurance is not going to cover a commercial activity.”
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She said that “We wanted consumers to understand their risk.” Since then, she had recommended that anyone who will be using a ride sharing service should verify with their own insurance company to find out if there will be problems in complete coverage.
At the moment, the regulation in Cincinnati is that taxi drivers must carry a minimum of $100,000 in combined single liability coverage. The drivers in ride share programs such as Lyft and Uber are not required to be licensed taxicab drivers. Both of those specific companies say that they have commercial policies that will provide their independent contractor drivers with coverage.
Taylor explained her concern regarding the auto insurance issue, which was to be discussed over the weekend, by saying that “Our conversation is going to be whether there is a role for the insurance commissioners when you talk about ride sharing,” adding “If we do have a role to play, what is it?”