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Aluminum-sided Ford F-150 gets mixed crash test results from insurance industry

Friday, July 31st, 2015

By Dee-Ann Durbin, The Associated Press

DETROIT – Ford’s new aluminum-sided F-150 pickup saw mixed results in new crash tests by the insurance industry, and the damaged trucks cost more to repair than steel-bodied ones.

The four-door Super Crew version of the 2015 F-150 got top ratings in all five of the crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For now, it is the only full-size truck on the market with the institute’s “Top Safety Pick” rating.

But the Super Cab version, which has a smaller rear door and back seat, did poorly in a small front overlap test, which slams 25 per cent of the front of the truck into a barrier at 40 miles per hour. It didn’t earn the top safety award.

The Insurance Institute also said it took longer for a local Ford dealer to repair the aluminum truck than an older steel one, and the aluminum parts cost more. The institute said the repair costs were 26 per cent higher for the aluminum-bodied truck.

In a statement, Ford said the new truck is the “safest F-150 ever” and noted that it has the government’s highest five-star safety rating. But the company said it will make a design change in the 2016 model year to improve the crash performance of the Super Cab and Regular Cab models.

Ford said the Super Crew — which got the top safety award — accounts for 83 per cent of all F-150 sales. The Super Cab makes up around 12 per cent and the Regular Cab accounts for 5 per cent.

Ford spokesman Mike Levine also said independent consultants have shown that average repair costs for the new truck are less than for the old truck.

The results are a key test for Ford, which switched from steel to aluminum for the body of the truck late last year. The switch makes the truck lighter and nimbler and saves fuel, but it was risky, since the F-150 is the first mass-market vehicle make such a change. The F-150 has been the bestselling vehicle in the U.S. for more than three decades.

David Zuby, IIHS’s chief research officer, said the organization tested the F-150 first because there is so much interest in the aluminum body. Competitors from Chevrolet, Toyota and others will be tested this fall, he said. The small front overlap test was added in 2012, he said, so the F-150 was the first truck to go through it.

Zuby said the aluminum on the F-150 was strong and safe and performed well. Differences in the steel frame under the aluminum resulted in the different test outcomes. The Super Crew version had extra, horn-like pieces of steel fitted to the front of the frame to help the vehicle absorb the force of the small overlap crash. The Super Cab and the two-door Regular cab — which the institute didn’t test — don’t have those extra pieces of steel, but will get them in 2016 versions.

The Super Cab truck got “good” ratings on four other tests, including roof strength, side impact and a moderate frontal test, which hits a larger portion of the vehicle into a deformable barrier that’s meant to replicate another vehicle. But in the small overlap test, the front compartment crumpled and the crash dummy’s head missed the side air bags and hit the instrument panel.

Ford’s trucks didn’t get the institute’s highest safety rating — “Top Safety Pick Plus” — because they don’t have automatic braking systems to prevent collisions. They do have a front collision warning system, but it doesn’t have automatic braking.


A Pedestrian with a Death Wish

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Walk SignalThe collision counter on this web site estimates 33 pedestrian deaths and 1374 pedestrian injury collisions in BC to July 29, 2015. I almost added to that number driving in Vancouver last weekend and the incident still has me shaking my head. I can’t believe that a pedestrian could be that stupid!

I had stopped for a red light in the downtown area and intended to make a right turn. After the pedestrian signal went red and the people had crossed, I pulled across the marked crosswalk and stopped again where I could see cross traffic well. I found my gap and was about to proceed when I looked right and found a pedestrian right in front of me crossing against the light. He was busy with his cell phone and was wearing earbuds and never even looked at me as he walked around the car.

He probably owes some of his good fortune to my wife who yelled and made sure that I hit the brakes before I drove over him.

The courts say that we can expect to proceed as if other road users will obey the laws. What that really means is if I had hit this person, he would probably have been assessed most of the fault for the collision. However, he was there to be seen and I would have bourne some of the blame too. Thank goodness it never came to that!

Police wrote only 210 tickets to pedestrians for failing to obey pedestrian signals in all of the province in 2014. It would appear that you have little risk of being called to account for this selfish behaviour.

Reference Links:

  • Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years, he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and ten as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web site.

Insurance coverage for medical marijuana on the horizon

Monday, July 27th, 2015

By Alexandra Posadzki

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canadians who have been prescribed medical marijuana could one day see their insurance company footing the bill, experts predict, following the introduction of new Health Canada rules that allow for the sale of cannabis oils.

Health Canada announced revamped medical marijuana regulations earlier this month after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that users of the drug should be permitted to consume it in other forms, such as oils and edibles, rather than having to smoke dried buds.

“You’re going to see insurance companies slowly start to creep into the sector,” says Khurram Malik, an analyst at Jacob Securities Inc., noting that the new regulations will allow medical marijuana producers to sell gel caps similar to those made from cod liver oil.

That will allow for more precise dosing, Malik says.

“When you’re trying to smoke a plant you have no idea how much you’re consuming, so that makes doctors a little nervous,” he said.

Experts say the changes are a major step towards legitimizing the drug in the eyes of doctors and insurers.

“When something doesn’t look different than other medicines, it becomes much easier for people to get comfortable with the idea that this is, in fact, a possible treatment option for patients,” says Bruce Linton, the chief executive of Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Tweed Marijuana Inc. (CVE:TWD).

However, medical marijuana producers still have one major hurdle to overcome before insurers begin routinely funding the drug _ cannabis currently doesn’t have a drug identification number, known as a DIN.

“If it was issued a DIN by Health Canada, it’s quite likely that the insurance companies would cover it,” says Wendy Hope, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

“To obtain a DIN, the new form of medical marijuana would need to go through the full Health Canada approval process like any new drug.”

As it stands, most insurance companies don’t routinely cover medical marijuana. But some insurers, including Manulife, say they will consider making an exception if the employer has specifically requested it for one of its employees.

“It’s up to the employer to ask if they want to have it covered,” says Hope.

Earlier this year, Sun Life agreed to pay for a University of Waterloo’s medical marijuana prescription through his student health plan after the student union went to bat for him. Jonathan Zaid, 22, uses the drug to combat a syndrome called new daily persistent headache.

Some health insurance companies may pay for medical marijuana through a health spending account, says Hope. But, she adds, “my understanding is it doesn’t happen often.”

Malik says the primary reason why medical marijuana doesn’t have a DIN is a lack of rigorous, clinical research on its efficacy.

“The evidence is very circumstantial not your typical 10-year, double-blind study that doctors and big pharmaceutical companies like to see,” Malik said.

He suspects that’s about to change.

“You’re going to see a lot of Canadian companies partnering up with universities overseas that are a little more progressive than the ones we have here, at least in this space, to drive this research forward and legitimize it in the eyes of doctors and get DIN numbers on these things,” Malik said.

Malik says there is a financial incentive for insurers to pay for medical marijuana, rather than shelling out for pricier chronic pain drugs such as opiates.

“From a dollars and cents standpoint, if marijuana is the same thing as a narcotic opiate, they would much rather cover marijuana because they’re in the business to make money,” Malik said.


$100,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment For Pelvic Fractures With Lingering Pain

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Adding to this site’s archived ICBC cases assessing damages for pelvic injuries, reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry assessing damages for a pelvic fracture.

In today’s case (Ackley v. Audette) the Plaintiff pedestrian was struck by the Defendant’s vehicle after a verbal altercation.  The Plaintiff was found negligent for careless driving as was the Defendant who instigated an altercation.  The Defendant suffered pelvic fractures which posed lingering problems at the time of trial (some 5 years later).  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $100,000 prior to the liability split Mr. Justice Skolrood provided the following reasons:

[146]     There is no question that Mr. Ackley suffered significant injuries as a result of the Incident. While the most serious of those injuries, the pelvic fractures, healed over the course of the following months, the evidence uniformly established that Mr. Ackley continues to experience pain in his hips, pelvis and low back some five years after the Incident. It is also apparent that he continues to experience some emotional and psychological difficulties. I am satisfied on the evidence that these ongoing issues were caused by the Incident.

[147]     I accept that the Incident has had a significant impact on Mr. Ackley’s enjoyment of life as well as on his future employment opportunities. However, I do not find that the impacts are as extensive as he claims. For example, it is clear that he returned to playing hockey relatively soon after the Incident and his attempt to explain away the apparent number of games played was unconvincing. Similarly, his evidence about his work history after the accident was vague and he has offered no explanation as to why he has not sought alternate employment since leaving DNA in May of 2014…

[150]     I do not propose to review the facts of the cases relied on by the parties but I have read and considered them, along with the general principles governing awards of non-pecuniary damages established by the authorities: see Stapley v. Hejslet, 2006 BCCA 34 at paras. 45-46.

[151]     Applying those principles to my findings as set out in paras. 146 and 147, I conclude that an appropriate award on non-pecuniary damages is $100,000.


Survey: Business travellers favour Uber over traditional taxi services

Monday, July 20th, 2015

NEW YORK — The Associated Press

Taxis are losing business travellers to ride-hailing services like Uber, a survey shows.

In the three months ended in June, Uber overtook taxis as the most expensed form of ground transportation, according to expense management system provider Certify. Uber accounted for 55 per cent of ground transportation receipts compared with taxis at 43 per cent.

That’s a big jump from just the beginning of the year. In the first quarter, Uber Technologies had 46 per cent of receipts tracked by Certify compared with 53 per cent for taxis.

“Established travel providers will need to adapt quickly or face further market share erosion to the sharing economy,” Certify CEO Robert Neveu said in a statement.

Certify based its finding on the 28 million trip receipts its North American clients submit each year. It does not include receipts from business travellers whose companies use other services to track expenses.

Uber connects travellers with various cars through its smartphone app. Some drivers work for car service companies; others spend a few hours driving their personal cars on the side for some extra money.

Business travellers might be quickly moving toward Uber, but employers still have reservations about safety and liability. Depending on the city, Uber drivers aren’t necessarily regulated by government taxi licensing authorities. Both Uber and competitor Lyft insure their drivers during paid rides and also require the drivers to carry personal auto insurance that covers them the rest of the time.

Uber’s pricing compared with traditional cabs can vary. Its UberX service, often drivers in Toyota Camrys or Honda Civics, is typically cheaper, but its high-end black cars and SUVs cost a premium. During peak hours, Uber charges a “surge” premium that can add anywhere from 20 per cent on to the cost to doubling or tripling it. During really busy periods the surge can be even more.

In a few cities, Uber beat out taxis by a wide margin for business travellers. In its home town of San Francisco, 79 per cent of rides expensed through Certify during the second quarter were for Uber. In Dallas, 60 per cent were for Uber and 54 per cent in Los Angeles. Certify noted that it saw rental car transactions drop at the same time.


Pot breathalyzer on the way as using and driving dangerous mix

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

By Marcus Hondro | Digital Journal

Now there are those marijuana users who will blithely tell you no such thing is needed, that marijuana doesn’t negatively affect driving — some insist it enhances it — but studies show that is not the case. A meta-analysis of nine studies conducted at Dalhousie University in Montreal in 2011 concluded driving under the influence of pot doubles the chance of an accident.

Other studies show pot and driving is an unsafe mix and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a comprehensive paper this year that detailed pot’s affect on psychomotor skills. Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher, a researcher in Vancouver, is currently conducting a study over five years on marijuana and driving. He is looking into the effects of the drug and reactions.

“There is clear evidence that canna­bis, like alcohol, impairs the psychomotor skills required for safe driving,” Dr. Brubacher said when he announced his study in 2012. “Cannabis intoxication slows reaction time and impairs automated tasks such as tracking ability – staying within a lane – or monitoring the speedometer.”

 Race is on for pot breathalyzer
 So the dangers of using pot and driving and the ability of getting pot more easily combine to create a need for a breathalyser that will help police to determine if a driver is under the marijuana influence, or stoned. The race is on to come up with such a device.
*
A Vancouver company is in that race. Cannabix Technologies Inc., founded by former RCMP officer Kal Malhi, is testing its entry and it is expected to be ready for mass marketing soon. Soon enough that Cannabix may be the first to hit the market with a hand-held device that can test pot usage just like an alcohol breathalyzer tests for booze.
*

There are other companies, such as Colorado-based Lifeloc Technologies Inc., and they all have a reason to win the battle and create the device most used by police agencies in the U.S. and Canada, and around the world. The average breathalyzer for boozes costs around $300 to $400, for the marijuana breathalyzer that price may be north of $2,500.


Protecting Your Interest After a Hit & Run

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Intersection CrashIn response to hearing the siren of an approaching fire engine, Cindy Li slowed in preparation to yield to it. While her vehicle was still moving, it was struck from behind by another car. She stopped, exited her car, walked back to the other car and spoke to the young male driver, requesting that he pull over to exchange information. As she returned to her car, the male drove around her and disappeared from sight.

Ms. Li went to the fire hall and spoke with a captain there. The captain told her that one of the firemen on the truck witnessed the collision. She obtained the captain’s name and telephone number and reported the collision to ICBC. The collision was not reported to the police nor was there any information obtained from other motorists present at the collision.

After participating in the claims process ICBC told Ms. Li that she had not fulfilled her obligations to identify the offending driver and denied the claim as a hit and run. Li would have to proceed as a normal collision claim and as she did not have collision coverage, would have to pay for the damages herself. She sued ICBC in B.C. Supreme Court saying that she did what she could and ICBC should have advised her that she needed to do more. The court did not agree and dismissed the suit.

The Insurance (Vehicle) Act requires that the victim of a hit and run must make all reasonable efforts to discover who the driver and owner of the suspect vehicle is and satisfy the court that the identity of those persons cannot be found. If you were unable to find information at the scene initially, you might consider canvassing nearby homes or businesses, placing an ad in the newspaper or posting a sign requesting help. It is also wise to report the incident to police and ICBC immediately.

Reference Links:

  • Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years, he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and ten as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web site.

Real stories that make you wonder, is that covered by insurance?

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Compiled insurance stories by KANETIX.ca.

Bet you thought insurance was boring? It’s not (at least it’s not all of the time.)

Maybe it’s just us here at kanetix, but this story got the creative juices going. If we’re interested in these odd types of stories, then wouldn’t others be as well? So we searched, and looked around online to compile a list of some of the oddest, most bizarre, and in some cases downright strange insurance claims out there. But here was the twist; we didn’t want urban legends, or claims that have been identified as fraud. We wanted honest-to-goodness real claims that might have you scratching your head at the end of it. And we found some; enjoy.

Zany Zebra

You know those safari parks, where you drive through to get up close and personal with animals like lions, tigers, and zebras? Here’s why you invite another family to go and have them drive; do you want to tell your friends that a playful zebra collided with your car while at the safari park? No thanks.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    In most cases, if your car hit or were hit by a zebra at a safari park, the claim would likely go through your comprehensive coverage even though it’s technically considered a collision. Comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage that typically applies in the case of loss or damage from falling or flying objects, theft and vandalism – but getting run into by a zany zebra is anything but typical.

Cow Car Wash

We don’t know what’s in a cow’s saliva, and to be honest we don’t want to know, but apparently it can cause damage to a car’s paint job. Not sure where this person was parked, but how would you like to have to admit to your insurer that a herd of cows licked your car and caused damage to the paintwork?

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your car insurance policy under the Comprehensive coverage you’ll have hopefully purchased (because it too is optional.) Comprehensive coverage usually applies in the case of loss or damage from falling or flying objects, theft, and vandalism. While you might think it falls under vandalism by domestic farm animal, it doesn’t; luckily, ‘all-perils coverage’ covers what is not excluded.

Potato Payback

Reason number one to place your groceries in the trunk; you never know when a pesky potato will role out the bag and find it’s way behind your brake pedal. Of course the consequences are obvious; the driver couldn’t apply their brake and ended up getting in an accident.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your auto insurance policy under the Collision coverage, you’ll have hopefully purchased. Collision is an optional coverage that is the part of your auto insurance policy that protects your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.

Wasp Worry

Chances are bees, hornets, wasps and yellow jackets have caused many an accident. So it comes as no surprise that a driver got in an accident because a wasp flew up their pant leg causing the person to panic and hit the accelerator. Too bad they didn’t keep their foot on the brake; because the person was waiting at a traffic light with cars ahead of them.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your auto insurance policy under the Collision coverage, you’ll have hopefully purchased. Collision is an optional coverage that is the part of your car insurance policy that protects your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.

Redesigning Rover

In case it wasn’t obvious to you, if you own a dog and have just painted the living room, don’t leave the dog alone without getting rid of the paint tray you’ve been using. Otherwise, you might find that your favorite pooch will use his tail as a paint brush and paint more than just the walls; maybe your carpet and furniture too.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your property insurance policy with the Contents coverage, you’ll have purchased. Hopefully, you got ‘all-risk’ contents coverage and not ‘named-perils’. Because with named-perils you’re only covered for losses that resulted from common perils like fire, theft and water damage.

Bull!

The country life is nice unless you live next to a farm with bulls that love to roam the countryside. It’s gets worse when three of your local farmer’s bulls end up in your backyard getting into a fight destroying your garden, your fence and all your trellis’ in the process; and that ain’t no bull!

Source: KANETIX.ca.


ICBC’s tips for teaching your teen to be a safe driver

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Every day in B.C., 129 teens get their learner’s licence. With students out for summer break, that number peaks in our province as teens are eager to spend their free time learning to drive and becoming more independent.

In an ICBC survey, 29 per cent of parents surveyed believed their teens had picked up a bad driving habit from them. The most common habits were speeding, not coming to a complete stop, impatience, eating while driving and not shoulder checking. Survey respondents also revealed that if they could teach their teen over again, they would enroll them in professional driving lessons.

ICBC’s top five tips for parents:

1. Set a good example: Once your teen has passed the knowledge and vision tests, they’ll get a class 7 learner’s licence and can now get behind the wheel with a qualified supervisor. Review your teen’s copy of ICBC’s Tuning Up for Drivers guide to brush up on the rules of the road, work on any bad driving habits and learn about the restrictions of each stage of the graduated licensing program so that you can make sure your teen follows them.

2. Gearing up: The type of car your teen learns to drive on can make a big difference. It’s best to learn on a vehicle that’s a manageable size, has good visibility, an automatic transmission and as many safety features as possible. Begin your driving lessons on roads with minimal traffic and avoid rush hour congestion to help build your teen’s confidence and ease their nerves.

3. Call in the experts: To help your teen gain as much driving experience as possible consider signing them up for lessons through a professional driving school if you can. Instructors can be objective without the emotion that’s often involved in parent-teen relationships. If you do choose this route, stay involved and discuss what they’re learning.

4. Test it out: To prepare for your teen’s road test, practice driving as much as possible at different times of the day, in different weather and road conditions and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods. That way they’ll be prepared for whatever conditions they encounter on the day of their road test. Teens can also take ICBC’sroad ready quiz to help them avoid common driving mistakes.

5. Keep them safe: Once your teen has passed their class 7 road test and can now drive without a supervisor, consider creating a family contract. It helps set out your expectations of your teen, the responsibilities you want them to show on the road and the consequences for breaking those rules.

If your teen will be driving your vehicle, review your insurance coverage. If your vehicle is rated in an experienced rate class (all drivers in a household with at least 10 years’ driving experience), you’ll need to change the rate class.

Teens can find the redesigned practice knowledge test, video driving tips and road signs practice test on icbc.com. The practice knowledge test can also be downloaded as an app free from the Apple App
Store.


Using your car as a taxi? Don’t lie about your insurance

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

The Gazette

Uber drivers can use the HOV lanes,” read the headline. Upon closer observation, the sentence continued: providing they have three or more occupants, just like everyone else.

So close, Uber, so close. The trendy hire-a-drive app that puts a car at your fingertips in many parts of the world just can’t seem to catch a break. Does it deserve to?

The Pan Am Games are set to descend upon the Toronto region in the coming days, promising to swirl the already catatonic gridlock further down into the depths of hell. I’m sure more than a few Uber drivers were parsing the fine print that allows taxis and airport limos to use the coveted HOV lanes, now temporarily drawn on an additional 185 kilometres of major highways around the Greater Toronto Area. That’s in addition to the existing 50 permanent kilometres. In the eyes of the law, Uber still hangs in a no man’s land.

This article started out six months ago as a stunt piece: I was going to simply become an Uber driver for a day and report back. A call to my insurance broker simply seeking background information ground that idea to a halt, and fast. Even hinting what I was considering would cost me my private car insurance policy, a risk I can’t afford to take. A quick pivot sent me to Twitter looking for an existing Uber driver who would let me ride along; after an initial encouraging phone call and a few email exchanges, he went to ground, never to be heard from. Guess having his name in the paper was too much of a risk.

News organizations aren’t fans of pseudonyms, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t even get someone to play along with a black bar across their eyes and a voice scrambler. Uber advertises itself as an excellent way to make easy money if you own a car. You must be 21 with a full licence, own a four-door car less than 10 years old, pass a background check they pay for, and have valid car insurance.

Therein lies the rub for prospective Uber drivers here in Canada. “Will any of the described automobiles be rented or leased to others, or used to carry passengers for compensation or hire, or haul a trailer, or carry explosives or radioactive material?” Every insurance company in Canada uses forms that carry some version of this sentence, and if you check “no” and then sign off on the application and then start accepting fees for ferrying people (or pizzas) around, you could be committing fraud.

It’s not that you can’t be an Uber driver and also have insurance; it’s that you can’t lie about it. A recentForbessurvey published in the U.S. found “…while the vast majority of respondents – almost 70% – say they plan to purchase a policy in the future, a disturbing 84% say they do not tell their insurer or their agent/broker about their ridesharing activities.”

Uber outlines how their end of the deal functions: your responsibility is riding on your personal insurance, and if damages reach past your limits, their own insurance will kick in. Uber knows you’re driving for Uber; there’s a good chance your insurance company does not, unless you notified them. And notifying your insurance company of your Uber intentions can work out one of two ways:

• You call your company and ask innocently if considering being an Uber driver could affect personal insurance. They could cancel your insurance or at the very least start investigating it because now they know what you’re doing or;

• They can offer to sell you the proper product for what you’re considering, which is commercial coverage. This will be – and I’m ballparking here – maybe three times your current rate.

So, there’s a chance some individuals won’t call their insurance company, and if that Forbes survey is even close to accurate, the chance is most won’t. Who can remember ticking that box so many years ago? Besides, if I start delivering pizzas, I’m hardly going to have to call my insurance company, right? Actually, you are. Your insurer does need to know that you’re delivering pizzas. They want to know if anyone in your household with access to your car is delivering pizzas. Or flowers. Or Uber clients.

It’s not that they’re going to jack your rates similarly for pizzas and passengers. As Pete Karageorgos of theInsurance Bureau of Canada is quick to point out, “Insurers know pizzas aren’t passengers. Our job is to match policy to risk; it’s critical that you inform your provider of any material change to that risk, and be transparent about it.”

If you’re not, you’re swimming in a fraud pond. In the event of a crash, insurers can opt to deny the claim, leaving you at the mercy of someone like Uber’s Internet promises. They could also decide to cover the claim, but then back charge you the premium you should have been paying had you notified them in the first place. I like to complain about usurious insurance rates, especially here in Ontario, but I would be angrier if payouts to drivers using their vehicles commercially are pooled with my non-commercial activities.

A call to police services reveals that cops consider this a matter of licensing unless a driver is breaking the Highway Traffic Act. Constable Clint Stibbe raises an interesting thought, however, as we wind up the call.

“Right now, police cars, rentals cars and taxis that are decommissioned have to be registered with the Ministry so as to be readily and honestly identified to buyers. Where’s the protection for buyers buying a car that hasn’t been flagged but has been used commercially?”

Uber may indeed end up being too big to fail as riders vote with their wallets, and their phones. But until licensing commissions and politicians sort out the fine print, your biggest concern if you plan on driving for Uber in Canada isn’t whether you can use the HOV lanes – it’s whether your insurance will kick you to the curb.