Uber Hong Kong says it has addressed third party insurance issue with at least one successful claim

Ride-hailing firm also unveiled new service for disabled

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 8:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 10:00am

Following the conviction of five Hong Kong drivers last month partly for driving without third person insurance, Uber has said the gap over coverage has been closed, citing at least one successful claim.

On Wednesday Kenneth She, general manager of Uber Hong Kong, said a customer “had successfully claimed insurance” through its third party coverage.

The claim was made under the agreement between Uber and AIG, announced in February, for insurance cover worth up to HK$100 million for any ride-sharing trip in the city.

“The protection is for ride-sharing, which we didn’t have before,” She said.

He refused to reveal the details of the insurance terms, though he said drivers were familiar with it.

An Uber spokeswoman also declined to reveal if there were other cases.

However Ben Chan Han-ban, chairman of the Legislative Council’s transport panel, said solving the insurance problem would not change the core issue of the ride-hailing firm’s business in the city.

“The biggest problem facing Uber is that its vehicles are operating without a licence,” Chan said. “Besides insurance, there are many other legal issues ... but even if the laws are to be changed in future in line with technology, there is still a process.”

She said: “We are not a taxi company. We are an operating platform, so the way we operate is different from taxis.”

He added that Uber was meeting lawmakers and working on the legislative issue. “We want to see new types of transportation methods for Hong Kong people.”

Uber also announced a new service – available on its app from Wednesday – that targets disabled passengers, with 1,000 drivers trained to carry them off wheelchairs and into vehicles. Drivers have to take a full day’s training course and pass a test before they qualify.

King Sze, an Uber driver for over a year, said: “As well as a written test, you have to be able to assist the passenger off the wheelchair and into the vehicle.”

Lam You-Kwok, vice-president of community support council Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power, welcomed the service.

“As someone who sits in a wheelchair, I know there are problems when we travel on all types of public transport, whether it is the MTR, bus or taxi. Other forms of transport should also provide a similar service to help the disabled,” Lam said.