Uber edits website to alter insurance info: FSCO

TTA calls for Toronto Council to reject UberX

TORONTO, May 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Confusion reigns over UberX and the insurance coverage it does, or does not, have as Toronto City Council prepares again to vote on new regulations. For this reason, the taxi industry says, Toronto should reject UberX.

"This issue is too important to public safety in Toronto to allow such misinformation to be distributed," says Gail Souter, President of the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA). "Uber has not been upfront about its insurance coverage to Toronto Councillors and residents. Toronto needs to reject UberX."

Souter points out that at each of the last three council votes on the UberX issue – June 2015; September 2015; and February 2016 – an announcement of a new insurance product was made just before the vote, despite the fact that no products were actually available then.

Additionally, Uber has consistently stated that it has a $5 million liability policy to supplement drivers' own insurance, even after industry experts confirmed that that policy covers Uber, not its drivers or their passengers.

"Councillors work hard to understand the file and vote appropriately. It is not fair to anyone to waste time debating this issue with inaccurate information," Souter says.

When the TTA launched a Deceptive Practices complaint with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) in March regarding Uber's $5 million insurance claim, Uber removed the information from its website. However, it has used the $5 million dollar figure in countless media interviews.

With regard to the special ride hailing insurance products being introduced, Souter is concerned officials believe that just because such products exist, UberX drivers will buy them, when it appears that virtually no one has to date.  

"We in the legal, regulated taxi industry have grave concerns about the erroneous perception…that unlicensed bandit taxi drivers would now proceed to purchase these endorsements, and that the ride-hailing insurance issue has now been satisfactorily settled," Souter wrote to FSCO in March.

"In fact, we are well aware from industry conversations that a miniscule number of unlicensed drivers will purchase these products, if in fact any ever do. They have managed to drive passengers for compensation for months or years without notifying their insurance companies, and they have no plan to change their behaviour now."

"And now," Souter adds, "the city is dealing with the March 19th police chase collision in which the UberX driver was in a rental car – voiding the liability insurance attached to the rental car. This situation is becoming a quagmire, and Councillors need to vote to give Toronto back control over its own streets again."

SOURCE Toronto Taxi Alliance

For further information: Rita Smith at 647 242 5505, or ritasmith@rogers.com

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