Intact Financial Corporation, in partnership with Uber Canada, has announced that the Financial Services Commission of Ontario has approved a commercial ridesharing insurance policy, effective July 7, 2016.

The product will provide protection to all drivers and passengers who participate in ridesharing with Uber in Ontario and is designed specifically for this innovative transportation alternative.

"This new ridesharing insurance approved by FSCO should serve as a practical solution designed for ridesharing. Both IFC and Uber remain engaged with regulators across Canada to bring new ridesharing insurance policies that offer a smart, seamless and simple solution for driver-partners," said Ian Black, General Manager, Uber Canada.

Every ridesharing driver operating on the Uber platform in Ontario will automatically be covered under the commercial policy provided by Intact Insurance Company, a subsidiary of IFC, and purchased by Uber. This coverage will apply from the moment drivers make themselves available to accept a ride request until passengers have exited the vehicle. In addition, IFC’s two largest brands, Intact Insurance and belairdirect, Canada’s digitally driven insurer, have modified their underwriting guidelines to allow customers to participate in ridesharing at no additional cost for drivers. Customers simply have to call their broker or agent before participating.

"Our goal in working directly with Uber, Aon and regulators has been to develop an insurance solution that provides protection for all Canadians that use ridesharing services. This unique product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers. It will also now be easier for other personal lines insurers to permit drivers to participate in ridesharing using their personal automobile given that the commercial portion of rides are covered by Intact," said Karim Hirji, Senior Vice President, International & Ventures for Intact Financial Corporation.

As the Ontario government introduces legislation related to the sharing economy in the coming months, this product will continue to evolve. Ontario is the second province to approve ridesharing insurance products, following Alberta’s recent announcement. IFC and Uber continue to work with regulators in Quebec.

Aon, the leading global provider of risk management and insurance solutions, worked with IFC and Uber to bring this to market. "Aon is committed to driving innovation across the sharing economy and is proud to partner with Uber Canada and IFC to craft a dynamic insurance solution that meets the changing needs of riders and drivers," said Craig Gilmour, Executive Vice President for Aon Risk Solutions in Toronto.