Despite Commerce Department warning, Jacob Frey says Uber/Lyft ordinance still on its way

LyftFreyFeat.jpg
Frey: "The draft ordinance is still being rejiggered, but I think we're at a pretty good place where we can kinda fine-tune it."
A few weeks ago, the Minnesota Commerce Department issued a warning to folks considering using so-called "transportation network companies" like Lyft or Uber.

"The Commerce Department wants Minnesotans to know that there may be gaps in auto insurance coverage for both the drivers and passengers using TNCs," the department said in a statement. "There may not be coverage for an accident because most personal auto insurance policies contain exclusions when drivers use their personal cars for a commercial (business) purpose. For example, if you participate in a regular, non-business car pool, you would be covered. If you charge passengers a fee, you may not be covered if you get into an accident."

See also:
Jacob Frey on Lyft/Uber regulations: "I think the taxi industry needed some competition"

In sum, the worry is about the distinction between when a driver is covered by their personal insurance policy and when they're covered by a business policy.

"There are questions regarding the limitations of commercial insurance coverage provided by the TNC," the warning says. "[F]or example, when does commercial insurance cover drivers, and whether it includes medical payment coverage, comprehensive, collision, uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, or other types of coverage that are needed to ensure that TNC drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are fully covered."

But Jacob Frey, the Minneapolis City Council member who is taking the lead in drawing up an ordinance to regulate currently unregulated TNC companies (read the article linked above for the backstory), doesn't think the Commerce Department's warning is a big deal.

"We are making sure that the businesses' primary insurance will provide coverage at all times from the click of the app being turned on to the dropping off of the customer," Frey tells us. "We know that individuals' insurance will cover all claims when the app is not on and they're just driving to the store to get bread. What we're working on right now is the in-between time."

"What we're looking at is, it could be the individual's insurance which serves as the primary [during the in-between time] and in the event that doesn't provide coverage, then Uber or Lyft will kick in," he continues. "That's the thought, though it's not definite yet."

Frey says he and his colleagues are swimming in uncharted waters trying to craft an ordinance accounting for ambiguities of that sort.

(For more, click to page two.)



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21 comments
Jesse Lara
Jesse Lara

I have been using uber on my trip in Pittsburgh. One of my drivers said the police are doing stings and fine is $800! Because they do not have a license to operate.

Ulysses Awsumb
Ulysses Awsumb

Lyft provides insurance for drivers already. This is a non issue.

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

So what I am reading is that they are concerned that if you get in an accident while giving rides for money (a business), your PERSONAL insurance will not cover the accident. Sounds like a legit concern to me. I have business coverage on my camera equipment because I make money with it. Regular ol renters insurance would not cover it because it is a business asset. Please let me know if I am missing something on this.

steve797979
steve797979

Jacob,

What happens when the gypsy cab does a personal or Street Hail and the app is not on because it is a cash deal? That is why insurance needs to be 7by 24. Drivers in California and Washington DC have been ticketed for illegal hails. Should the public be at risk? Statefarm in California has said they will cancel any insurance policy that is doing ridesharing as lyft or uber define it.

Frederick Dawe
Frederick Dawe

Proud to be represented by a city council member with solid legal skills and an eye for innovation. Way to go, Jacob!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Jacob i know you are reading this


learn some new words


"rejiggered"

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Just shows how special interests run the state.   Can't sell a legal product (alcohol) on Sundays.   Can't buy beer (real beer) or wine in a super market.   Can't give people a ride - but I guess you can deliver pizza.  All because of special interest groups trying to maintain control and make a monopoly out of their business sector.

I've heard there is a similar 'extra room' or 'let me crash on your sofa' web site.  Cites are afraid if people do this, they will lose sales taxes on hotel rooms.

Carrie Dunkley
Carrie Dunkley

Oh hell! Adam and all you claiming racial bias... get over it. So sick of the race issues here in MN.

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

I love how the only reason this idea has worked is the closet racism.

Wade Johnson
Wade Johnson

I wonder if the regulations will include a way for the city to get a cut and hike up the prices for consumers.

Adam Bertoni
Adam Bertoni

Now, speaking of change... how about we work on that Sunday beer sale thing. lol

Adam Bertoni
Adam Bertoni

Glad to see MN embracing change. Unlike other areas who seem to be more concerned with lining the pockets of the cab companies. At least here they're coming at it from the right angle... consumer safety. And not one of fear and/or cronyism.

therightreverendlarr
therightreverendlarr

"It's a great business model, and for us to shut our doors by strangling it with regulation would be dumb, but at the same time it's our job to ensure public safety and a big part of that is making sure that insurance is up to speed and complete."

This Jacob Frey sounds to me like the rare politician who actually gets it.

panndder
panndder

@atrupar @Jacob_Frey Let's put the people who are legally-obligated to pick up handicapped people out of business. Yayyyy!

tim1982
tim1982

Legal skills that allow him to skirt existing regulation in favor of Silicon Valley money. It is ridiculous they we are allowing unlicensed business opeators in our city.

Just because "there's an app for that" doesn't mean its not a cab. This is in essence a class bias being institutionalized because hipseter, iPhone wielding, patrons don't want to sit in a cab with a Somali.

Portland, New York, and Philadelphia have already banned the black market cabs.!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1  youre fucking team is all about protecting the honey pot, i dont know how you even decided to comment. makes you look pathetic


youre old fat white fuck friends are those guys blocking commerce and handcuffing the free market


fuck off and die

cabs
cabs

The cab guy I just got a ride from said he only picks up "certain kinds of people" and then went on to describe what that meant. so do you mean the cabbies are racist? He was Somali by the way. 

sonbolw
sonbolw

As an FYI: The cab industry here in Minneapolis is an open market.  Anyone with 5 cars can open a cab company.  There are no limits.  All the limitations come from the City of Minneapolis.  So, in Minneapolis, it would be impossible to line the pockets of the cab companies.


If Frey, and MN, was really embracing change, they would do as Dallas as Dallas did, or as Houston is doing, and create one ordinance that governs all.  Deregulate where it is excessive, all the while ensuring public safety and service.


And, Frey talks of a study that his analysis has been refuted by the City of Seattle itself.  I have the email where he actually states "I didn't read it" about the study.  He is speaking from a bar chart that was given to him by Lyft.


Frey is not a politician who gets it.  He is a politician who just like the rest of them, has a thing for multi billion dollar corporations. 


Yes, I do run a cab company.  We have never asked Frey to get rid of UberX/Lyft.  We just asked for a level playing field, and to allow us to compete on that level.


He told us he would.  Then changed his mind, because there are those in the City who do not want to lose the fees from the taxi industry. 


And, in that, is the cronyism you are speaking of.

tim1982
tim1982

Its a great business model because its skirts regulation and allows people to profile their drivers before they get picked .

And why is the City allowing these unlicensed operators to run around the City rampant. If any other type if biz operated without a license it would be shut down immediately by the City. Either deregulate or regulate fairly.

Frey seems like he is trying , but he is new to the state and new to the politics, and has a lot to learn yet.

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