American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Nicole Mahrt-Ganley     
    • Printer-Friendly Printer-Friendly PDF Export PDF Export




Nicole Mahrt Ganley







July 30, 2014

PCI Urges Eugene and Salem to be Aware of Potential Insurance Gaps with Ride-Share Companies

EUGENE, Ore. - As transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, hit the streets of Eugene and Salem, Oregon, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is warning drivers, passengers, pedestrians and the public that they need to be aware of the potential insurance coverage gaps that may exist. These gaps in coverage could put the public at risk.

“Oregonians participating in or using commercial ride-sharing services should be made aware that the driver’s personal auto policy will not cover damages or losses when the car is used for commercial activity,” said Kenton Brine, assistant vice president, state government relations for PCI. “While we support innovation and a competitive market, insurers want the public to clearly understand what is and what is not covered if an accident occurs. Although TNCs have taken a step in the right direction by accepting some of their responsibility to insure their drivers during rides, their current approach still leaves gaps and could shift insurance costs unfairly onto all other Oregon drivers.”

This “application-based transportation” technology presents major challenges for policymakers and insurers who are responsible for protecting the public and policyholders. As a result, nearly 20 state insurance departments and public service commissioners have issued consumer alerts or advisories highlighting the potential gaps in insurance coverage for TNC activity and encouraging drivers to speak with their insurance company about their coverage options.

PCI has been working with insurers and policymakers in cities and states across the nation to develop public policy solutions that draw a clear distinction between personal and commercial use of insured vehicles, and to close any insurance gaps.

“Ambiguity over what coverage applies can lead to disputes and litigation, which slows recovery for accident victims and increases costs for insurance consumers,” Brine said. “Until municipal or state authorities in Oregon enact laws or rules to clarify insurance responsibilities in the commercial ride-sharing space, drivers and commercial ride-sharing consumers should stay informed.”

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 over $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.