Popular ride-sharing service Uber is slated to appear on Winnipeg streets, and the company’s long-awaited arrival to the Manitoba market comes after a long negotiation with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) over the insurance model for Uber’s drivers.
The company had previously avoided joining the Winnipeg market due to MPI’s passenger vehicle-for-hire coverage, which requires a person to choose from four time slots, or “time bands,” as opposed to a single blanket type of insurance in other regions.
MPI’s Brian Smiley said Uber’s arrival in Winnipeg is the result of a lot of behind-the-scenes work on both sides.
“We never stopped having conversations with them, and I think the more conversation we had, it was testimony to the fact that both parties were willing to understand each other,” he said.
“I believe that Uber has gone on record to say they feel more comfortable with the model we have in place, they have a better understanding of it, and consequently, they made the decision to do business in the Winnipeg market.”
Smiley said the workable solution MPI and Uber agreed on involves Uber’s drivers having to get an existing MPI policy, but the company will be able to get additional private insurance as well.
“Currently, under legislation, MPI must be the primary insurer,” he said.
“That’s been explained to Uber and other providers who want to look at doing business here. Our model… we believe is fair. We believe it’s equitable, we believe it’s very flexible and affordable.”
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