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Taxicab industry once again attempting to handicap Uber

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Yet again, the taxicab industry is pushing around a new proposal focused on handicapping popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Dubbed an “insurance fix,” the proposed measure aims to impose new harmful regulations to force ridesharing companies to buy insurance they don’t need and does little to improve public safety.

Since their launch in Florida, millions of residents and visitors have chosen services like Uber and Lyft to obtain safe, affordable and reliable transportation services. This new proposal seeks to significantly hinder how ridesharing companies operate in Florida and will dramatically increase prices for consumers.

Under the guise of public safety, the taxicab industry and national interest groups wants the Florida Legislature to force significantly higher premiums upon drivers involved in ridesharing companies and take away coverage policyholders have already purchased. The so-called “insurance fix” is pure fiction. It is a prime example of government overregulation strangling a competitive market and hindering innovation in favor of an aging monopoly – the taxicab industry.

The truth remains that every individual, rider or driver who chooses Uber is protected by the company’s commercial liability insurance policy during all commercial activity. Uber’s policy far exceeds state requirements, and provides additional coverage as compared to taxicabs and delivery service standards. Uber’s commercial liability insurance protects every paying passenger and individual actively using the service.

The Legislature should focus its attention on increasing affordable transportation services, supporting innovation and efforts to keep prices low for Florida consumers. Ridesharing companies are exploding in popularity because they are meeting a real demand for transportation in cities of all sizes.

These kinds of political tactics being pushed by the taxicab industry only work to maximize costs for individuals, weaken entrepreneurship and hurt the state’s economy. They do nothing to improve Florida’s public safety or the lives of the average driver or passenger.

THE FACTS:

There is a lot of misinformation on how insurance companies cover ridesharing companies. Here are some important facts regarding the discussion on the so-called “insurance fix.”

  • Uber has commercial liability insurance policy that kicks in at every instance when a driver is logged into Uber’s app and has a paying passenger.
  • Uber has a $1 million commercial liability policy that is primary any time a rider is in the vehicle and any time a driver is on the way to pick up a rider. This policy also includes uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage during every Uber trip. This coverage goes far beyond what is required by Florida state law and exceeds what the taxicab and delivery industry carries.
  • In addition, Uber has a commercial liability policy that covers drivers from the moment they turn on the ridesharing app before they conduct any commercial activity with limits of $50,000 per injury, $100,000 for total injuries, and $25,000 for property damage.
  • In other instances, personal auto policies cover drivers while they are logged into the ridesharing company’s smartphone app but are not carrying a passenger.
  • Ridesharing platforms, like Uber, provide ample coverage to drivers and passengers, encouraging safe, reliable and affordable transportation services.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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