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Insurance group vows to push for ride-sharing next Session

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The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida said it “laments” insurance regulations for ride-hailing apps not making it past lawmakers in the 2016 Legislative Session.

“With Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride-hailing services becoming popular modes of transportation by both residents and visitors to our state, its unfortunate lawmakers could not come to a consensus on something so basic and important as insurance,’’ PIFF executive director Michael Carlson said in a Friday email.

The federation was backing a bill by Altamonte Springs Republican Sen. David Simmons that would have slapped regulations and insurance requirements on the popular taxicab alternatives.

“This legislation would have created insurance requirements to adequately protect TNC drivers and their riders in the unfortunate event of an accident or injury,’’ Carlson said. “The Legislature’s failure to take action allows inconsistencies in the rules and could leave drivers and the public vulnerable should something happen while they are on the road.’’

SB 1118 cleared its committee stops, including an 11-2 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier in the month. The House version, HB 509 by Shalimar Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz got approved by the full House, 108-to-10, but was never called up in its Senate Committee stops.

“Establishing insurance requirements for TNCs would have positioned Florida as a national leader in developing safe, pro-consumer practices for ride-hailing services and created clarity for insurance companies serving this emerging market,” PIFF said in the email.

The group said it will renew the push for the regulations in the 2017 Legislative Session.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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