Ride sharing services have now cleared another hurdle in obtaining the right coverage in Minnesota.
A bill that will require Uber and other types of ride sharing service companies to provide their drivers with a higher level of auto insurance coverage has now stepped beyond yet another milestone within the Minnisota state Senate.
The bill was moved forward, recently, by the Senate Transportation Committee following industry official testimony.
Officials from Uber spoke in front of the Senate committee. They were in opposition of the bill, while limo and taxi drivers present were in favor of it. The Minneapolis and St. Paul regulations already require ride sharing companies to have to provide their drivers with $1 million in auto insurance coverage, but only from the time that they have accepted a fare and have started transporting their customer. The changes to the law that have been proposed by the bill in the Senate will take a step above and beyond that.
The bill states that the auto insurance will need to provide coverage even before a passenger has been picked up.
According to the general manager for the Midwest at Uber, Mike White, “This legislation is a rushed attempt to address a problem that simply doesn’t exist in Minnesota.” A rally was held last Thursday, at which the company and its drivers spoke out in opposition to the current bill in the Senate. One of the company’s drivers, Scott Arobichaux, is concerned that if the legislation passes, the ride share service will withdraw from Minnesota. He stated that “If this job is taken away from me, it’s a paycheck, it’s how I’m paying the bills.”
This House bill has already made its way through committee and is not entirely like the ordinances already in Minneapolis and St. Paul. That said, it will require drivers to have to purchase comprehensive and collision policies, despite the fact that Uber has said that no driver must have those as a requirement to drive for the company.
That said, on the other hand, the bill’s supporters have said that there is a need for these changes. An Insurance Federation of Minnesota spokesperson, Mark Kulda, said that “When the Commerce Department identifies coverage gaps, we believe them.” He explained that the state commerce department and the federation feel that the auto insurance coverage, as it is, is inadequate for Uber drivers, who are the people who are truly at risk should an accident occur.