Last week Aviva Canada potentially changed the situation of ride-sharing services by announcing it will debut a specific auto insurance policy next month. While the hot story is that it will help Uber get closer to full regulation in Canada, it is actually a broader policy that incorporates other ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft.
At the moment Lyft is not available in Canada, and while the company has not said when it will enter markets outside of the United States, it is likely that Ontario could potentially be a prime expansion area during 2016. The San Francisco based company has said its intention is to expand to other cities outside of the United States this year and going north of the border seems the easiest route.
With Aviva Canada’s new ride-sharing auto insurance policy in place by February, when Lyft does enter the Canadian market much of the hard work may already have been done. The rise of Uber has shown that consumers are happy with ride-sharing, while local authorities and taxi associations are not. The economic potential will eventually sway cities around Canada to regulate Uber and in the process pave the way for Lyft to make an easier entry into the market.
In creating its new policy, Aviva was wise to make sure the proposed coverage would be for all ride-sharing services and not just Uber, recognizing that this is a rising sector. Lyft will be able to arrive in Canada when Uber and Aviva have laid the groundwork, the former dealing with the protests and confusion, and the latter clearing up an auto insurance issue that has plagued the ride-sharing model.
“With ride-sharing on the rise, consumers have new options available to them, however there is a gap in insurance coverage which potentially leaves them without appropriate protection and benefits. When consumer needs change, we must evolve our insurance solutions to respond,” said Greg Somerville, President and CEO of Aviva Canada. “We’re excited to offer a simple and affordable solution within a driver’s existing personal auto policy, thereby providing drivers and passengers with absolute peace of mind that they have insurance coverage while ride-sharing.”