Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft have been facing the music all these days, from unskilled drivers causing pedestrian deaths to controversial insurance policies. These companies have been facing a large number of problems and that is all due to the framework they have been functioning upon. The moneymaking profit-generating model had to backfire sometime and so it did.
Since the introduction of a new Chicago ordinance which termed a lot of Uber’s activities illegal, the company’s shutdown has become imminent if they don’t start adhering to some laws. Mayor Rahm Emanuel released an ordinance for Uber, which included the following points:
- Ride sharing companies (Uber, Sidecar and Lyft) can’t own vehicles neither can they help drivers buy vehicles.
- Dispatching taxis by Uber is not allowed anymore.
- Advertising on vehicles isn’t allowed anymore (guess Uber will have to shave that moustache off their cars).
- No drop-offs or pickups from the airport.
- Pricing can’t be done based on time or pricing.
- Mandatory symbols to identify the ride sharing company.
- The city transportation department is going to conduct GPS tracking of all Uber vehicles 24-7 throughout the year.
It is good to see that authorities realized that Uber and other ridesharing companies needed some regulation and law enforcement. They needed to be reminded that there are certain Taxi and Limousine laws they need to follow which they had been breaking so bluntly earlier.
The Twisted Insurance Policies
This wasn’t enough, what is even disappointing is Uber and Lyft’s insurance regulations, which are so twisted and made to ensure the company’s safety from all angles. People should realize that the one million dollar insurance policy is merely an excess line coverage general liability policy. An excess line policy is actually a secondary policy and it can only be activated after the primary line policy is activated.
- The policy doesn’t pay damages for any Uber car even if it is financed by Uber
- The policy doesn’t pay for any medical or hospital bills for Uber drivers, who are bluntly termed as ‘independent contractors’
- On-the-job-injuries aren’t covered in the private health insurance
That is sly of Uber and Lyft to create such policies, which do not even cover the driver’s medical bills, this poses as a danger for not only the drivers but the public as well. In case an Uber car gets in to an accident, the passengers are all on their own, which means neither are they provided the three basic C’s (Care, Custody and Control) and they will probably end being held as an equal part of the incident.
With all the twisted policies, the people who drive for Uber are being used as well, as they are paid really small amounts of cuts to what the companies earn. Also, they have to be on their own in case of any accident.
Looks like every policy these companies ever made is backfiring now. In Seattle as well, Uber, Sidecar and Lyft were operating illegally as they weren’t even regulated. Added to that they were causing many problems to the taxi drivers who were already working there, until recently they raised their voices and authorities are expected to take corrective measures.
Killing 6 year old girls, assaulting passengers, putting passengers at risk and then designing policies which still ensure the company’s safety, don’t really identify the doings of a ride sharing company any one would like using. It is time these companies face the law!