The provincial government has adopted final regulations that will allow ride-hailing companies and peer-to-peer (P2P) vehicle rental services to begin operating in BC as of September 16, 2019.
Beginning September 3, 2019, ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft can apply to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to commence operations in BC. The PTB will determine the rates to be charged and the number of licensed vehicles permitted to operate in each region. It is estimated that processing times will take two weeks to a month. Upon receiving approval, the ride-hailing company will be required to purchase ICBC's new blanket, per-kilometre insurance policy that will cover all its drivers. This product will be available effective September 16, 2019.
All drivers for ride-hailing companies will be required to undergo criminal-record checks and annual driver-record checks. Companies will also be required to pay a 30-cent fee for any trip completed in a vehicle without wheelchair accessible entries, along with a $5,000 annual licence fee. Drivers will be required to carry a Class 4 commercial license.
Vehicles to be used for ride-hailing will be required to undergo inspections periodically. Those driven less than 40,000 km per year must undergo inspections every 12 months whereas those driven more than 40,000 km per year must be inspected every 6 months.
Additionally, the BC government has adopted regulations that will allow peer-to-peer (P2P) vehicle rental services to launch in the province. P2P vehicle rental services such as Turo (available in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia) allow vehicle owners to rent out their vehicles for short periods through an online platform, as per the Airbnb business model. Purchase of the ICBC insurance product will be mandatory for the companies.
Details of the coverages to be offered by ICBC through these new insurance products are still to come.
For more details of the new regulations, please see the official news release by the Government of BC.
Contact a CapriCMW Risk Advisor for more information and resources on business insurance and risk management.