Kelowna Now, Anita Sthankiya
A new car sharing service has launched in Canada and this one involves lending your car to a total stranger.
Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental company and has officially launched in Canada, its first market expansion outside the United States. Turo in Canada has partnered with Canadian insurers Intact and Belairdirect. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco.
The company has a community of local car owners who rent their cars out to strangers for a certain amount of time and a specific cost. Run much like the traditional car sharing company, Turo allows the owner of the vehicle earn extra money while contributing to the car community by sharing their vehicle when it is not in use.
Currently in more than 2,500 cities, Turo claims that the average owner earns $500 in extra income per month by renting out their vehicle.
“We’re also privileged to be supported by our insurance providers, Intact and Belairdirect, who revised their rules to remove exclusions for the specific use of Turo’s marketplace,” said Turo CEO Andre Haddad. “This is a huge victory for Turo and for the sharing economy as a whole, and really demonstrates that Intact and Belairdirect are forging a new path toward innovation for insurance giants”
Turo currently operates in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec with plans to expand to the rest of Canada soon. Residents in these provinces can easily list their car online, upload photos of their vehicle, and confirm or decline requests for their car. They then coordinate a meeting with the guest and perform a number of checks before handing the keys over.
Turo says the cars are covered with $2 million in liability insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance so owners can rest easy.
Turo determines the rental cost for the vehicles based on data such as the car’s market value, location, and time of year. The company takes 25 per cent of the rental fee, which includes a charge for the insurance coverage during the rental.
There is one catch, only cars already insured by either Intact Insurance or Belairdirect can list their vehicles on Turo. If your vehicle is insured by another agency, you’re out of luck.
Intact Insurance has posted information about listing your car on Turo and the associated risks and liability as well as coverage provided by them. Vehicles are covered under Turo’s commercial insurance during the rental period, and when it is not being delivered or rented, it is covered under personal insurance as per usual.
If a vehicle owner plans to participate in the peer-to-peer car rental service they must inform their insurance broker.