Ride-sharing, such as Uber and Lyft, haven’t yet been accepted into BC. But it may only be a matter of time. These services cleverly use apps to connect riders with private drivers.
Not surprisingly, taxi companies haven’t welcomed this service with open arms. In fact, they’ve been openly resistant. But it may be a losing fight. Uber, the recognized leader (with a valuation already in excess of $18 billion), is becoming increasingly popular with its ease of use, lower fares than cabs, no cash exchanged, in clean, privately owned vehicles. But, if and when these ride-shares come into B.C., what would happen if you were to get into an accident while taking one, or if you were, indeed the driver? If your vehicle is insured with ICBC for pleasure use, transporting riders under this service would breach your insurance coverage, which could cost you. A lot.
Section 55 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act Regulation sets out the conditions constituting a breach. It requires that you do not use the vehicle contrary to what was declared under your policy.
If you are in an accident and found in breach of your insurance, you will not only lose your right to indemnity from ICBC, but will have to repay ICBC for all insurance claims resulting from that accident. Depending on how serious the accident is, that amount could potentially be in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.
It’s vital that you properly insure your car. If you misrepresent the actual use of your vehicle to save a few dollars, you risk the prohibitive long-term cost. False claims can breach your insurance. If your vehicle is used for business but is only insured for pleasure, or you’re insured as the vehicle’s principal operator when in fact, it’s actually your teenager, the risk is substantial indeed if the vehicle is in an accident. ICBC will deem you to be in breach of your insurance. Depending on the circumstances, you could even be charged under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act for misrepresentation, or the Criminal Code for fraud.
It’s never worth the risk. Ensure you are adequately insured.
Einfeld Law is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury law firm specializing in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other negligence claims involving bodily injury. We have successfully litigated many ICBC and other insurance claims, including out of province, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other bodily injury claims. We have collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We never act for ICBC or other insurance companies.