American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Brooke Kelley-Hunt


847-553-3671 or 847-894-3881





October 3, 2014

PCI Commends Austin City Council for Addressing Ridesharing Insurance Gaps

AUSTIN - The Austin City Council yesterday moved in the right direction by adopting an amendment to its proposed rideshare ordinance that will add important consumer protections and close insurance gaps for transportation network companies (TNCs) who choose to operate in the city, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

The amendment requires TNC drivers to have commercial coverage from the time the driver turns the app on to the time the app is turned off. This amendment helps to ensure there is adequate insurance coverage at all times for commercial ridesharing activities. With the TNCs contingent insurance TNCs currently provide, drivers may be unpleasantly surprised to learn that it doesn’t always cover damage to their car or injuries sustained by the driver. It’s important to note that the driver’s personal auto policy may not cover them if they are injured or the vehicle is damaged in an accident while the car is used in a transportation network program.

“The city council is moving in a positive direction by making sure the people of Austin are protected and the insurance coverage gaps are closed. This will allow TNCs to operate safely and legally,” said Joe Woods, vice president state government relations for PCI. “The amendment will bring clarity to when the TNCs coverage is in effect and when it is not. A too narrow definition of when the ride-sharing activity begins and ends may leave the public at risk and drivers uninsured. The city has provided a solid framework for TNC operations with a very light regulatory touch. Additionally the approach taken by the city council will help ensure the public is not forced to pay higher auto insurance rates to subsidize TNC drivers. While the TNC firms will continue to seek to improve their bottom line by shifting the cost to their drivers and the general public, we are optimistic the city council will see the importance of this amendment and require TNC drivers to have the right coverage.”

The city council is expected to vote on the ordinance October 16.

PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $210 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 47 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 33 percent of the homeowners market, 36 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 39 percent of the private workers compensation market.