Monday, October 03, 2016

Passenger liability on Uber and Grab Car

Dear Mr Tan,
I come across a recent news report of a teenager who was killed in a car accident while riding in a Uber hired private car. From the news report published by The Straits Times dated Sept 27, 2016, it appears to me that Uber car passengers are at risk of no insurance coverage for a third party fatality.

Below are comments as reported on the same article:
"Derek Teo, chief executive of the General Insurance Association of Singapore, said that unless the vehicle owner had purchased cover to include the use of the vehicle for "hire and reward" - to ferry passengers in return for a fare - the insurer is not liable for injury to passengers. 

But Mr K. Anparason, partner at Withers Khattar Wong, said there is also a Motor Vehicles (Third Party Risks and Compensation) Act which affords protection to injured victims in such scenarios".

The subject should be of great importance to public interest since it involves several parties as privately hired Uber cars are getting popular. Surprisingly, the government or authorities are extremely quiet on this issue! I do hope that the appropriate authorities can explain and advice clearly to the public.

Are you able to share your thoughts on this important subject on your blog?

Uber and Grabcar requires the drivers using their platform to have insurance that covers commercial use. This is more expensive than insurance that covers personal and social use.

The policy covers liability to third parties and includes passengers in the car. The passenger or his estate have to sue the driver and prove that he was negligent.

The policy may also cover the passenger for personal accident (regardless of liability). The amount of benefit depends on the policy. I have seen a policy from a major insurer that pays up to $25,000 as personal accident benefit to the passenger.

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