Insurers laud passage of state ridesharing insurance bill

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One of the nation’s largest insurance interests took a moment Thursday to applaud Montgomery lawmakers for their work on so-called “ridesharing.”

The state Legislature passed a bill this week that Property Casualty Insurers Association of America state government manager says will “close the insurance gap” for customers when they use popular ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.

The legislation, SB 262 sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt and Rep. David Faulkner, would require such services — called Transportation Network Companies or TNCs under state law — to insure their drivers when they are engaged in ridesharing, whether they have a passenger at the time or not.

“Over the past several months, transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber have experienced tremendous growth in Alabama as they operate in several cities across the state including Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery,” said PCCI’s Logan McFaddin

“However, SB 262 was needed to strike the right balance in protecting the public, closing the insurance coverage gaps and allowing for an increase in entrepreneurial activity. This bill ensures that the TNC driver who picks you up and drives you across town is properly insured, so that you and the public are not at risk if an accident were to occur.”

“PCI commends Senator Shelnutt and Representative Faulkner for their great work and attention to this issue. SB 262 requires rideshare drivers to have the necessary insurance coverage from the time they log in to the app to the time they log out, which is a critical component to effectively protecting consumers and drivers,” concluded McFaddin.

The bill provides insurance on each TNC driver’s call for up to $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.

Should Gov. Robert Bentley sign the bill which now awaits his signature, the bill will go into effect on the first day of the third month following its approval.

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