ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Uber SA says insurance cover is in place, but consumers tell a different story

Ride-hailing service Uber says it has insurance cover in place for when drivers or passengers are involved in car accidents.

Uber's Alon Lits says the blanket cover is paid for by the company in case of death, disability or injury suffered by drivers and passengers.

If there are injuries involved, every ride through the app is covered by insurance. This is not a policy that is reliant on the driver's insurance.

UberGeneral manager of Sub-Saharan Africa - Uber

However, consumer journalist Wendy Knowler has come across several instances in which this was not the case.

She says Uber's business model has some flaws which could impact the lives of affected passengers.

The likes of Uber and Taxify are not taxi companies - they are technology companies.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Uber drivers are forced by Uber to have passenger liability, what happens when it's not the driver behind the wheel when the accident happens? There are holes in the model here that do affect people.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Below are some individual cases involving Uber safety breaches and how the company previously responded.

Case 1

Cape Town father Dennis Lillie says his son was in a crash when an Uber driver fell asleep at the wheel one Saturday during December.

When he contacted Uber, they told him the driver had never reported the accident.`No Uber representative reached out to the family.'

Case 2

Another Uber user, Reyaaz Jacobs, says he took a ride with Uber in October last year with a man who turned out not be the registered diver.

The driver admitted to not having a drivers licence and Jacobs reported the case to Uber. The company has not been forthcoming about the action they've taken, if any.

Case 3

Paul Carolis was left with a R15 000 medical bill after an Uber driver crashed the car in September 2017. Neither Uber nor the car owner helped settle his expenses.

Uber apologised in a beautiful letter but did absolutely nothing. They took no responsibility whatsoever.

Paul Carolis

Case 4

Rory Mitchell says he had a positive experience with Uber after he was involved in a Uber crash in November 2017.

I was rushed to the hospital. I had plastic surgery on my face... Uber contacted me while I was in hospital.

Rory Mitchell

There was a shortfall of about R12 000 on my operation and they're assisting with my RAF claim. So I can't fault them.

Rory Mitchell

Meanwhile, Lits claims that Uber has mechanisms in place to tackle Uber partners who allow others to operate their vehicles and accounts unlawfully.

Listen to the entire ConsumerTalk discussion on The Pippa Hudson Show:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, consumer expert Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.


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