MPI insurance plan to cover ridesharing companies approved

Manitoba’s Public Utilities Board has approved a new insurance plan that would cover drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, MPI says.

“With this ruling, the corporation looks forward to continuing discussions with ride-share service providers such as Uber and Lyft with a view to welcoming them to the province of Manitoba starting on March 1,” MPI vice-president of business development and communications Ward Keith said in a written statement Monday.

The new vehicles-for-hire insurance plan will see drivers choose add-ons to their personal coverage, selecting different “bands” of coverage depending on when and how frequently they plan to work. MPI touted the system as providing flexibility to drivers to tailor their coverage.

But Uber and Lyft both criticized the proposal last week and said the rules could prevent either company from entering the Manitoba market.

On Monday, both companies reiterated those concerns.

“Uber continues to believe a blanket policy designed to cover all drivers during rideshare activity is the best insurance model for a number of reasons, including that it facilitates compliance for rideshare drivers,” Uber spokesperson Susie Heath wrote in an email to CBC News.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the MPI and the Minister of Crown Services to find a way forward that expands Manitobans’ access to safe, reliable transportation options like Uber.”

​”We see tremendous opportunity for Lyft in Winnipeg. Unfortunately, the current insurance framework would not allow true ridesharing to operate in the province,” Chelsea Harrison, a spokesperson for Lyft, told CBC News in an email.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation to find a way forward that puts prioritizes public safety and consumer choice.”

Blanket coverage for companies

Ride-sharing companies are eligible to enter to operate in Winnipeg on March 1.

Under the new framework, MPI will offer a blanket insurance policy to…

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