Insurance win for Uber called-out as unfair

A plan to classify Uber vehicles until at least 2022 like any household insured car will save its drivers hundreds of dollars a year when compared with Tasmania’s 600-plus cabbies, further angering the taxi industry reports Hobart daily The Mercury.

The Tasmanian Taxi Council said the proposal was unfair and another example of an ­unlevel playing field. Last year insurance premiums were changed in the ACT to make them more even for taxi and Uber drivers.

The Motor Accident ­Insurance Board (MAIB) recently ­proposed the rejection of a special Uber insurance premium category. The taxi council is now ­accusing the MAIB of potentially wanting to avoid a legal stoush with Google/Uber, which still might appeal against a February Federal Court ruling that Uber was a “taxi service’’ and its drivers should pay GST.

In his submission responding to the insurance proposal, Tasmanian Taxi Council secretary Tony Dilger accused the MAIB of effectively ­appeasing Uber and avoiding potential legal conflict.

MAIB chief executive Paul Kingston said it was the most pragmatic solution and allowed the new ride-sharing industry to develop, pending the reporting and analysis of future Uber crash data. Kingston said the MAIB was a social insurance scheme and its decisions were based on evidence and involved risk data, not shaped by legal cases.

Uber welcomed the MAIB’s proposal, saying ride sharing had a risk profile “comparable to private vehicles’’.

It argued its drivers would not share the risks of a vehicle dedicated to “full-time hire”.