• NAIC Ride and Car-Sharing Presentations From 2014 Summer National Meeting Special Forum
  • August 29, 2014
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • Issues surrounding commercial ride-sharing and car-sharing activities conducted by transportation network companies ("TNCs") were the focus of a special event held on August 16 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' ("NAIC") Center for Insurance Policy and Research ("CIPR") as part of the NAIC's recent 2014 Summer National Meeting in Kentucky.

    Generally, the event illustrated that some progress has been made toward addressing these issues, as evidenced by the recent actions of several of the largest TNCs, which now provide $1 million of liability coverage for damages that exceeded a driver's personal insurance limits during the time he or she is operating a vehicle for hire. However, the coverage applies only to "Periods 2" and "Period 3"--terms used to describe the phase of the transaction once a passenger is in a TNC car--or when a TNC driver has accepted a request for a ride from a TNC smartphone application.

    Coverage gaps still remain for "Period 1," which designates the time period during which the driver has engaged the TNC application, but has not yet picked up a passenger. It was explained during the forum that, during the last few months, two of the largest TNC companies have taken steps to address the insurance gap in Period 1 by extending coverage to it, although views still vary widely on what the appropriate level of coverage for this period should be.

    Questions also remain on whether commercial activity begins during in Period 1, when a driver turns on the TNC application and makes him or herself available for hire? Or rather, is it Period 2, when the driver picks up a passenger? Lack of clarity surrounding this issue may lead to coverage disputes as claims arise.

    The event was moderated by California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and featured a panel of subject matter experts that included Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy; Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar; Sonja Larkin-Thorne, NAIC Consumer Representative; Alex Benn, Chief Operating Officer of RelayRides; Gus Fuldner, Head of Risk Management for Uber Technologies; John Clarke, Senior Vice President of Marketing for James River Insurance Company; Robert Passmore, Senior Director of Personal Lines Policy for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; and Phillip Jagiela, Executive Director of the National Limousine Association.

    The CIPR also updated its "Key Issues" portfolio to include information on ride and car-sharing among its newest topics.