Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Insurance required for ride sharing service

Published:Sunday | March 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
State Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, center, celebrates the passing of his ride sharing bill with Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, left, and Rep. Dale Rutledge, R-McDonough, right, after it was passed on the Senate floor Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Atlanta. The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a slightly tweaked substitute measure to a House bill that apparently clears the way for Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing firms to keep operating in Georgia. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)

The Iowa House has approved rules for ride-sharing services such as Uber, saying a statewide approach is better than different regulations in many cities.

The legislation outlining the state regulations advanced Tuesday on a 95 - 5 vote. It now goes to the Senate for review.

The proposal prevents cities from implementing stricter ordinances in most cases, the Des Moines Register reported. Chris Hagenow, a Windsor Height Republican who managed the bill on the House floor, said it ensures consistency across the state for both drivers and riders.

"The intent is that there is one statewide set of rules instead of a patchwork of local ordinances," he said.

Under the bill, ride-sharing companies would have to provide insurance coverage of up to US$100,000 for accidents that occur when drivers are waiting to be contacted for a ride and US$1 million once a job is accepted.

However, Dawn Pettengill, a Mount Auburn Republican, said those coverage numbers should be higher. She said her personal automotive insurance levels are higher than those determined in the bill.

"It's just not enough," she said.

Additional provisions include requiring companies to send riders information about their driver such as a photo and licence plate number, and publicise their methods for calculating fares. Drivers would also need to undergo criminal background checks under the proposed legislation.

Hagenow said these rules, among others, maintains the distinction between ride sharing and taxi companies.

Pooneet Kant, general manager for Iowa Uber Technologies, said the statewide regulatory framework makes sense and that the company is pleased with the progress overall.

Uber currently operates in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

- AP