With the spread of transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is encouraging the Rhode Island Senate Commerce Committee to advance legislation (S. 2864) that will eliminate the potential insurance coverage gaps that could impact TNC drivers, passengers and the public.
In Rhode Island, as in other states, a 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. Senate Bill 2864 establishes TNC insurance requirements for drivers from the time the app is turned on until it is turned off.
“It is very important to put safety front and center in the TNC discussion and this legislation provides a framework for insurance coverage that addresses the unique risks associated with these services,” said Frank O’Brien, PCI vice president of state government relations. “In states that have passed laws closing the insurance gaps, TNC drivers and the public have already begun to benefit from the clearly-defined insurance requirements. A growing number of insurance companies are offering specialized products for TNC activity and this can happen in Rhode Island too.”
Around the country 32 other states, including Maine, have recently enacted laws that are similar to S. 2864. This year legislation is under consideration in nearby states such as Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
“Legislation like S. 2864 can put an end to consumer confusion regarding insurance coverage, while also allowing for continued marketplace innovation,” said O’Brien. “As new transportation ideas evolve to meet consumers’ needs and demands, insurers are developing new products to cover those ideas and provide peace of mind. Establishing a framework with a balanced, common sense approach to insurance coverage benefits everyone.”