Green slip insurance shake-up on the cards for UberX drivers

CTP: Authorities want to create a level playing field in NSW. Photo: Fairfax Victor Dominello: “It is important that CTP rules and prices … better reflect the changing dynamics of this sector.” Photo: Orlando Chiodo
Nanjing Night Net

Drivers using their cars for ride-sharing services such as UberX could be forced to declare it to authorities and be charged higher insurance premiums under options being considered to regulate the emerging industry.

Having legalised services such as UberX and Lyft, the NSW government is set to shake up the compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme to create a level playing field with taxis and hire cars.

Minister for Better Regulation Victor Dominello will on Thursday unveil six options being considered.

They include: creating a new CTP class for ride-share vehicles; bringing them into the same class as taxis and hire cars; and deregulating the area to allow insurers to determine premiums based on risk.

The options paper says it could be a challenge to enforce disclosure by ride-share vehicles if they were brought into a new class. Deregulation could deter operators from working in high-risk areas or at high-risk times of the day, it says.

Also under consideration is bringing all taxis, hire cars and ride-share vehicles into the same basic passenger vehicle class.

Taxis pay about $7000 a year for CTP insurance, compared with $600-$700 for private passenger vehicles.

The paper says this option would bring a big reduction in taxi premiums – and potentially lower fares – but an annual premium increase of “at least” $18 for private cars in metropolitan Sydney.

The government will also look at imposing a new levy on all point-to-point vehicles based on the risks associated with the time of day and where the car is hired, to fund extra insurer costs.

It will also contemplate not changing vehicle classes but allowing insurers more flexibility to set premiums based on risk.

Common to the options is that owners of ride-share cars would for the first time have to declare the vehicles are being used for that purpose at the point of registration or insurance application.

Mr Dominello told Fairfax Media the review would “clarify the CTP price and regulatory disparities that currently exist between taxis, hire cars and ride-share services”.

“It is important that CTP rules and prices are fair and better reflect the changing dynamics of this sector.”

NSW Taxi Council chief executive Roy Wakelin-King welcomed the review.

“We would be looking to a solution that has point-to-point vehicles in the same class and incentives for operators to perform better by reducing risk of accident and thus attract a better premium as a consequence,” he said.

An Uber spokeswoman said the company looked forward to seeing the detail but it was “important to remember that the primary use of these vehicles is still for personal use”.

“Recognising the different ways people use ride sharing to earn a flexible income will be key as we move through these discussions,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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