June 30, 2016 10:03 am
Updated: June 30, 2016 2:40 pm

Uber returning to Edmonton after province unveiled ride-sharing insurance policy

WATCH ABOVE: Months after pulling its ride-sharing services out of the city because of an insurance dispute with the province, Uber is back. Vinesh Pratap explains.

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EDMONTON – After several months on hiatus, Uber will resume operations in Edmonton at midnight Thursday after the province unveiled its new insurance policy for ride-sharing companies earlier this week.

Intact Financial Corp. (TSX:IFC) said it will begin offering coverage for Uber drivers in Alberta on Friday and will work with regulators in Ontario and Quebec to provide similar insurance coverage later this year.

Uber suspended its operations in Edmonton and Calgary in the last year after wrangling with the province and cities over how the industry should be regulated.

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Alberta announced a new insurance policy on Tuesday for ride-hailing companies that requires them to provide up to $2 million in third-party liability insurance, with optional collision or comprehensive coverage.

READ MORE: Alberta government unveils insurance policies aimed specifically at ride-sharing companies

Karim Hirji, an Intact Financial spokesman, said every driver operating on the Uber platform in Alberta will automatically be covered under the new policy provided by subsidiary Intact Insurance Co.

The insurance will kick in the instant a ride is accepted on Uber’s mobile app and last until a passenger has left the vehicle, he said.

“With the growing popularity of ride-sharing, we are excited to offer innovative insurance products to meet the evolving needs of consumers,” Hirji said in a release.

READ MORE: UberEATS aims to take big bite out of Edmonton food delivery competition

Under Alberta’s regulatory plan, all drivers for ride-hailing companies must also undergo a detailed police check and obtain a Class 1, 2 or 4 licence.

Alberta-based TappCar, which operates in Calgary and Edmonton, said it is reviewing the insurance policy, but has no problems complying as long as the rules apply to all ride-hailing companies.

READ MORE: Poll shows Canadians want Uber, but not without regulation

The NDP government passed legislation this past spring meant to ensure that drivers with ride-hailing companies don’t have a criminal record, are qualified behind the wheel and are covered by insurance if there is an accident.

More to come…

With files from Karen Bartko and Vinesh Pratap, Global News

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