Ridesharing and Risk Management

If you operate a ridesharing firm in the shared economy, your risk management needs are unique. Ridesharing firms have a different way of interacting, transacting and consuming products and services as compared to conventional transportation companies. A business venture of this type requires new approaches in managing risks and liabilities.

While the concept of ridesharing may seem fairly straightforward and trouble-free, however, ridesharing has implications that insurers and policyholders have not always anticipated.

Our culture has a strong history of ridesharing. Historically, we have always been happy to share rides with friends, fellow college students, colleagues and neighbors. However, the ubiquitous use of smartphone technology and the ability to stay connected while on the go has begun to alter the way people share rides with one another.

Through the use of technology and mobile applications, we can now use social media to locate suitable ride partners. Trust and safety become critical points to build a strong ridesharing community.

Building Trust and Safety in the Ridesharing Industry

Here are the basic steps that a ridesharing firm can take in building its community and membership:

1. Identity verification plays a central role in building a ridesharing community. A ridesharing firm must verify user identities by cross checking their information through social media, credit bureaus and other points of reference.

2. Ridesharing firms must also make sure that they safeguard the data privacy of each of their users.

3. Promoting active communication between the ridesharing firm and each of its registered members is important in building trust and safety.

4. Verification of trusted drivers is an essential building block to trust and safety. A responsible ridesharing firm will need to frequently check the driving records of each member, and the information should always be available in real time, on demand.

5. The members of a ridesharing firm must review the terms of the contract and verify that they completely understand the nature of their responsibilities and obligations.

It is equally important to address the unique insurance issues that will surface for ridesharing firms and their passengers.

Whether you are a driver or a passenger, you should inquire about the insurance programs available and any limitations or imposed restrictions that can result from participating in ridesharing. If you encounter any issues during the ride, is special assistance available? And to enhance the user experience, what other membership services are available?

It is important for ridesharing firms to take these basic steps to build trust and safety with their members. Reviewing all of the organizational risks can help you implement practices that build trust and safety with your members.

Share your opinion: What are your experiences with ridesharing?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Building Trust and Safety for the Carsharing Industry

There are many different sharing marketplaces to help consumers experience the world around them. Specialized marketplaces exist for accessing cars, rooms, yachts and more. The sharing marketplaces present new ways of transacting business and building communities. This emerging industry is being built from the ground up and is poised to enhance people’s lives.

Insurance, trust and safety are the building blocks of the carsharing industry. The carsharing firm will be centralized around serving their members and the agreements entered into will govern how members of the user community will work together.

Worldwide membership in carsharing programs is projected to grow to more than 12 million people by 2020, according to the consulting firm Navigant Research. The firm expects that revenues for the industry will reach approximately $6.2 billion in 2020.

At the moment, the carsharing industry offers two different business models.

In one model, establishments own or lease cars in local neighborhoods and make them available to members. Rentals are typically available by the minute, hour, day and week, as well as for point-to-point trips. Oftentimes, these firms will develop relationships with city governments, universities, and local businesses.

The alternative carsharing model includes individuals that share and rent their personal vehicles to peers in return for money.

Trends in the Carsharing Industry

In 2015, global trends for carsharing firms will include expanded membership perks for premier users, corporate carsharing and government participation in developing transportation programs with the carsharing industry.

Regardless of the type of carsharing firm you utilize, trust and safety play a central role in guaranteeing that you have a favorable experience. Getting into a car or sharing a ride requires a certain level of trust and safety.

The types and levels of services provided by these programs vary, such as background and driving record checks, special access devices, insurance provided and fees charged.

The following list of services can enhance trust and safety when working with a carsharing firm:

1. Are the trips insured by a primary insurance policy that is compliant with the jurisdiction in which you are using the vehicle?

2. Have you reviewed the terms of the contract and do you understand what your responsibilities are?

3. Does the car firm offer a safe device that allows people to rent vehicles using a smart phone?

4. Have you addressed accessibility for people with disabilities?

5. If users encounter issues during the rental, will they have access to 24/7 roadside assistance?

With so many different vehicle-sharing options emerging in the marketplace, it is clear that working with a carsharing firm will open doors to new ways of working together and building communities.

Share your opinion: What are your experiences with carsharing?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.