MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A popular ride-hailing service could be on its way out of the Twin Cities.
Uber says a proposed bill requiring additional auto insurance may make doing business here impossible. It would require online ride-hailing companies to cover their drivers’ cars with $1 million policies.
Uber says the bill presented Tuesday would be the most strict in the entire country if passed. Its sponsors say it’s an attempt to close lapses in insurance coverage.
“I don’t think it’s very clear what the coverage is, whether it would be the driver’s personal auto insurance or Uber’s insurance or the passenger’s auto insurance,” Sarah Rumon, a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, said.
The answer is: It depends.
“Right now we have coverages when someone is on a trip at a $1 million liability level, and this is three times higher than what’s required of Minneapolis taxis and provides assurance that anytime somebody is receiving transportation through the Uber app, they are going to be covered by insurance,” the general manager of Uber Midwest, Michael White, said.
That’s true, unless the collision is another driver’s fault, and they don’t have insurance.
“If an Uber driver is in an accident with somebody and it’s the other driver’s fault but the other driver doesn’t have insurance, the Uber driver’s policy does not cover them, because it’s excluded,” said Mark Kulda, the spokesman for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota.
The current level of coverage is lower if there’s not a passenger in the car.
This bill calls for $1 million dollars in coverage for all ride-hailing programs, which would start the moment the driver is behind the wheel, even without a passenger.
“That would limit our ability to operate here, because we would have too many restrictions on what we can do,” White, the Uber executive, said.
The committee is working on the insurance coverage numbers and will talk about it again Wednesday.