Uber threatens to avoid Winnipeg because of MPI regulations

As Winnipeggers gear up for ridesharing companies to enter the market, one of the largest says it will not be doing businesses here, at least not right now.

Uber said Manitoba Public Insurance wants drivers to be insured based on hours worked instead of a blanket policy which would allow drivers more flexibility.

READ MORE: Ride sharing legislation passes in Winnipeg

The company said the latter is the standard insurance model in place in other places across Canada and North America.

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“MPI is proposing a rideshare insurance product that would function as an “add on” to drivers’ personal basic coverage,” the company said in a submission to the Public Utilities Board. “Drivers would purchase add on ridesharing coverage in time bands, depending on which times of the day a driver wants to drive in.”

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Uber said that structure deviates in “several important ways from the type of insurance that Uber has found to be effective in North America” and based on that they would “unfortunately, be unable to consider expansion of services to Winnipeg on March 1, 2018.”

In the four page submission Uber went on to say that without a blanket, commercial policy it finds it too difficult from a risk and compliance perspective to do business in Manitoba and felt it would be “detrimental to the citizens of Manitoba who are seeking efficient, safe transportation.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg city hall passes ride-sharing regulations

The province passed ridesharing legislation in November and the next month city hall came out with its planned regulations.

It will cost the city $1.3 million to regulate all vehicles for hire, but the city expects to recover the money from taxi licences and fees from both cabs and Uber/Lyft.



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