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Economy of sharing : it is necessary to learn about insurance, says Option consommateurs


Justine Montminy

March 15, 2018 13:30

In their latest research report entitled » the Economy of sharing. The point of view of Canadians, Option consommateurs recommends that you inform yourself about insurance before you do business with a digital platform of economy that is shared, such as Uber or Airbnb.

Option consommateurs recommends that the federal, provincial and municipal governments to study the possibility of adopting new rules and regulations with regard to the platforms of the digital economy shared in order to protect consumers. The association also states that the ideal would be to implement information strategies to educate the public on their rights.

The platforms of the digital economy shared allow consumers to borrow goods or obtain services. Even if these platforms provide insurance, Option consommateurs indicates that they are not always clear. Hence the importance for consumers to be well informed as to the assurances provided by the platforms among their own insurance.

The issue of mobility shared

The companies transportation network (ETR) to provide services similar to taxis, without having the same obligations and regulations. The report questions what would happen in the event of an accident and especially, what kind of insurance would cover the damages between the driver’s or the company offering the service. In Canada, each province acts differently to frame the ETR, the study said.

In Quebec, the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) compensates any victim of an accident for the bodily injury. The province also requires all drivers to carry insurance to cover damage to other vehicles.

Pilot project of Uber

The report gives the example of Uber. The pilot project surrounding the company requires that it ensure that all its drivers meet the requirements of theAuthority financial markets suited to this type of commercial activity. The owner shall hold a liability insurance contract that guarantees the indemnification of material damage caused by the automobiles of drivers of Uber in the transportation-paid people.

Each driver is insured by Uber as soon as the first turn on the app and until it disconnects. The drivers have therefore no process to be done in order to be insured when they carry passengers. However, they must contract a personal insurance to be provided outside these periods.

Platforms, car sharing and vehicle hire

In the case of a company carpool as Netlift, the company indicates on its Web site that it is not necessary to subscribe to an additional insurance, since private insurance provider is sufficient. Carpooling is non-profit and Netlift asserts that it is perceived as a supplement to the journey the driver would have been done with or without a passenger.

Confusing information

The report does, however, consumers guard against the vehicle rental service Turo. The company provides liability insurance to consumers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. However, the information is difficult to understand, according to Option consommateurs.

In the general section of the terms, there is a hyperlink that allows the consumer to get information on the law in force in their province of residence. This link refers directly to a pageIntact insurance that offers information on car-sharing and insurance. The page then provides another link that gives more information on the role of the insurer.


«Turo contradicts itself by stating to be neither an insurer nor a broker, but ensures contract of group insurance policy for users. When an individual leases his or her vehicle via the platform, Turo is the insured and the consumer who has a claim dealing with a third party. Option consumer critical this contradiction, » says the firm.

«Sometimes Turo seems to provide the insurance, sometimes it says to have waived or subscribe to the minimum required by law. This leads us to ask questions about the usability of the site. Consumers have easy access to the information needed to make an informed decision ? «added Option to consumers.

Rental of private housing in the short term

The report also puts forward the platform Airbnb. It indicates that the company provides insurance protection in terms of civil liability, the protection of which reached a million dollars for material damage and bodily. Only 1 % of the reservations have led to an insurance claim, reports the paper.

If the claim is not covered by the insurance program of Airbnb, the company limits the amount of damages to $ 100. The acts committed deliberately by the host, as all forms of violence, are excluded from coverage. This clause is contrary to the civil law and could be in common law, says Option consommateurs.

Platforms HomeAway and VRBO claim to all of the two provide an assurance of damage, but Option consommateurs indicates that it is rather a travel insurance. Indeed, reading the agreement and the related documents, the two companies say they do not provide insurance and that the consumer has the obligation to notify its own insurance coverage.

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