Manitoba Approves Regulatory Changes for Ride-Sharing Insurance

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Changes to a host of regulations will allow for ride-sharing services in Manitoba by the beginning of March, Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“We made a commitment to modernize Manitoba’s vehicle-for-hire industry,” said Cullen.  “I am pleased that our government is following through on that commitment.”

Amendments to the Vehicle Registration Regulation and the Driver Licensing Regulation have been approved to support The Local Vehicles for Hire Act, which takes effect March 1.

The legislative and regulatory changes give freedom to individual municipalities to customize their own, separate bylaw requirements for licencing related to local vehicles for hire.

As of March 1, ride-sharing operators will have various options under newly established vehicle for hire (VFH) insurance uses through Manitoba Public Insurance, the minister noted.

“These changes allow Manitobans to use their vehicles for ride-sharing with insurance coverage that is both flexible and comprehensive,” said Cullen.

The vehicle for hire insurance uses and related premiums were reviewed and approved by the Public Utilities Board (PUB).

Under the PUB-approved insurance model, owners will have the option to select coverage for the time periods when they operate.  Four ‘time-bands’ have been developed:

  • Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday 7 to 11 p.m.;
  • nightly 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.;
  • Monday through Friday 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.; and
  • Friday 6 p.m. through Sunday 11 p.m.

Vehicle owners can choose coverage for 24 hours a day by selecting all the time bands, or may decide to tailor their operating hours to their part-time availability by selecting only one or two.  Customers will be able to change their time bands at any time without incurring service fees.

The coverage options that will soon become available were applauded by two companies looking to establish ride-sharing operations in Manitoba.

“The province has laid a road for us to enter the Winnipeg market.  We commend Manitoba Public Insurance for working so well with the city and finding a creative solution to a complicated problem.  The public and ratepayers need to be protected and this new insurance plan does that,” said Pascal Ryffel of TappCar, which is based in Edmonton.

“I think it’s very reasonable because the maximum it can cost the driver if they want to go 24-7 is still affordable.  U2GO is not being prescriptive; some people will make it a full-time job, some people will use it to supplement their income.  It’s for the drivers to buy those time bands,” George Demarchi, CEO of U2GO Enterprises Inc.

More information on vehicle-for hire-insurance options can be found here:
https://apps.mpi.mb.ca/Comms/vehicleForHire/index.html.