Chubb Ltd. and Sure Inc. are joining forces to sell on-demand accident and death coverage to passengers of ride-hailing services like Uber in the event an accident occurs while a passenger is in transit, according to a June 15 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Chubb: Plants Its Flag in the Future.” Medical expenses and related costs will be covered in the event of an accident. Chubb panel members may want to take note.
The RideSafe insurance plan is available in 38 states through an application that can be downloaded on all major smartphones. In less than a minute, passengers can purchase a plan for only $2.40 on the day of the planned transportation. Medical expenses up to $10,000 per accident and $100,000 if a death occurs are covered while passengers are sharing a ride.
As on-demand transportation services and car manufacturers expend resources on increasing the number of autonomous vehicles on the road, Sure expects to expand RideSafe in the future to cover passengers in other states and to provide daily plans for autonomous on-demand transportation services.
Typically, on-demand transportation companies automatically cover passengers with liability insurance in America without additional expense on the part of the passenger.
For instance, Uber requires a minimum nationwide coverage limit with some states being subject to higher minimums. If a passenger is involved in an accident while waiting for an Uber to arrive, the passenger is covered for at least $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 per accident for property damage. If a passenger is involved in an accident while riding in an Uber, the passenger is covered for at least $1 million per accident including claims for injuries and lost income.
Despite this coverage, Sure’s CEO and founder, Wayne Slavin, said RideSafe is a gap-filler that may be used by passengers to pay the deductibles on their health insurance plans. Chubb panel members will want to explore further the impact of this arrangement on future claims.
James Walloga of Chubb North America said RideSafe is an expression of the company’s “commitment to supporting efforts around digital transformation and providing consumers with peace of mind in emerging markets.”
Americans are expected to spend $220 billion on car insurance premiums in 2018.
However, more and more commuters are moving away from owning their own vehicles in favor of cheaper and easier on-demand transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. Some expectations predict about 25% of the miles driven in the next decade will transition to traditional taxis and on-demand transportation companies.
The insurance industry is adapting to this shift by adding new offerings that will replace the profits lost as on-demand transportation becomes more popular. A related consideration is the projection that autonomous vehicles make accidents less likely. RideSafe and similar new plans will cover injuries and deaths that result from the crash of an on-demand or autonomous vehicle. Members of the Chubb panel and other auto liability panels may see a corresponding impact on future auto claims files.
In a earlier industry move, Waymo LLC, Google’s autonomous vehicle project, announced a partnership in December 2017 with Trov Inc. to cover its passengers in case of damages to property or person. The insurance plan will be offered to passengers automatically and underwritten by Munich Re.
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