The Sharing Economy and your insurance
By Deane Belfry
It’s a hot topic these days and seemingly more complicated all the time: the sharing economy.
As companies like Uber and Air BnB dominate the chatter, other brands like Turo (www.Turo.com / personal vehicle rental) are starting to make their own headlines in Canada. As people look for new and convenient ways to supplement their incomes, we must be conscious of how our assets and liabilities are exposed.
It is a requirement of the Ontario Automobile policy to notify your insurance broker/insurance company anytime the use of your vehicle and/or the drivers have changed.
The standard Ontario auto policy does not offer the coverages needed to insure your vehicle while it is being used for these types of business purposes. Consider the following scenario: You are involved in an automobile accident while using your vehicle for ride-sharing business purposes. The other driver, their passengers or even your passengers, if injured have the right to sue for injuries.
Even if you are not at fault for the accident, injured passengers in either vehicle will very likely name both drivers in their lawsuit. Is very common for injured parties to issue a “statements of claim” in the amount of two million dollars. Without the protection of your insurance policy, and the fact that these lawsuits can often take years to resolve, one can only imagine the sleepless nights an unprotected driver would endure. Even if you were successful in getting out of the action without paying a settlement, legal defense costs can easily exceed $20,000.
Insurance companies like Aviva and Intact have recently launched solutions to check out should you choose to participate in certain ride-share programs. These companies have designed insurance programs that suit ride-sharing and personal vehicle rental services. Please speak with your broker if you are considering providing ride-sharing services or contact us and we would be happy to send you more information about the insurance products available to you.
*The precise coverage afforded is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued.
You probably already know Deane Belfry, or have met him around town. A longtime Huntsville resident and local small business owner, Deane is very passionate about everything he does from supporting our community or providing insurance guidance and protection. He is a successful insurance professional with local brokerage, CCV Insurance, specializing in a broad array of commercial risks from retail to manufacturing to hospitality.
Make a point to meet with Deane a few months before your insurance renews this year and feel confident working with someone locally who is familiar with the Muskoka lifestyle. These days, it’s so important to have a trustworthy advocate you can count on to help you through all stages of your insurance program and provides valuable risk mitigation support.
Additionally, CCV Insurance is a proud member of the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce and provides a competitive group home and auto insurance product for its members and their employees.