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CUNA to Serve as Clearinghouse for TNC Legislation Info
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 6:40 AM

As legislation regarding transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, is being considered in at least 35 states, Credit Union National Association is serving as a clearinghouse for expertise, guidance, and information about them. CUNA and state leagues are working to ensure the bills contain requirements that drivers have comprehensive and collision insurance for TNC drivers.

Drivers who work for TNCs generally use personal vehicles to perform their duties, which can result in lapses in coverages that can leave drivers uninsured. In addition, the functions of the job can entail increased risky activities by drivers, including transporting strangers, making more stops and dealing with distractions that come with having additional people in a car.

Credit unions, as institutions that make car loans, can be vulnerable as lienholders on the vehicles. There are three periods of exposure for TNC drivers: when the app is activated, but not matched to a passenger; when a match is made and the driver is en route to pick up the passenger; and when the passenger is being transported.

CUNA and state credit union leagues support legislation that would:

  • Require drivers using personal vehicles with liens on them to provide proof to lienholders and TNCs of comprehensive and collision insurance that provides coverage during all phases;
  • Have coverage of at least $50,000 per person for death/bodily injury, $100,000 per incident for death/bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage when the driver is logged into the TNC network and available, but not engaged in a prearranged ride;
  • Have coverage of $1 million when the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride;
  • Require a TNC's insurance to cover claims if a driver's insurance lapses and does not meet the required coverage; and
  • Require TNCs to disclose to drivers that the driver's personal insurance policy may not provide coverage when the driver is logged into the TNC's network and available to receive requests, or is engaged in a prearranged ride.

Haley DaVee, vice president of governmental affairs at the Kansas Credit Union Association, told CUNA News Now that, from the perspective of the credit union industry and the financial services industry, it's very important to get states to pass legislation with the above provisions "to show that there is a need for it, to protect consumers who are driving vehicles that are not properly insured."

Uber and the insurance industry collaborated on a model bill for states recently, but their model does not contain a requirement for comprehensive and collision insurance.

States such as Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota and Virginia have recently enacted TNC legislation that does not require comprehensive and collision coverage.