Uber protests bill to require more insurance

Uper protest
Mike White, general manager for Uber, held a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol, Thursday, March 19, 2015, to complain about legislation requiring their drivers to purchase additional insurance. Several Uber drivers also attended the event.
Tom Scheck | MPR News

The ride-sharing service Uber is fighting a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would require the drivers to have additional insurance coverage.

"The legislation at the state level is a rushed attempt to address a problem that simply doesn't exist in Minnesota," White said, adding that it will limit business and Uber's ability to expand in the state.

Officials representing the Insurance industry are pushing for the bill, currently moving through committees in both the state House and Senate. Insurance Federation of Minnesota vice president Mark Kulda said the higher rate for Uber drivers is valid.

"When you're driving for Uber for money, it's a lot higher risk. You're driving in areas where you don't know where you are, you're having to look at your phone all of the time to pick up your rides," Kulda said. "Why should all of the other policy holders subsidize an Uber driver?"

Uber is essentially a booking service, extracting a fee of 20 percent or so for matching up drivers and riders. The company has been in the Twin Cities since October 2012.

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