Is Everett Ready For Uber?

Uber in Everett

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Uber and Experience Everett are throwing a party Wednesday to formally announce Uber service in Everett. Here’s a bit of what it says on their Uber Everett invitation.

We’ve actually been completing trips in your area for some time, but now we are giving you the attention you deserve.  So we got together with our friends at Experience Everett and decided to get all the movers and shakers of your fair city together and celebrate!

We hope you can join us for celebratory drinks, delicious bites, and high fives. We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The party is being held at the Anchor Tavern at 1001 Hewitt Avenue Wednesday afternoon at 5:00pm.

MyEverettNews.com checked with the City of Everett about Uber and if the city had any particular rules about rideshare services such as Uber and if they’ve applied yet to do business in Everett. Here’s the e-mail response received from city PIO Meghan Pembroke.

“We are still reviewing our current for-hire regulations, but we anticipate that we will need to bring forward some amendments to incorporate the Uber business model. Uber does not currently have a business license in Everett; we’ve reached out to them to let them know of that requirement.”

From an economic development point of view the city is excited about Uber coming to town. Lanie McMillan is the Economic Development Director for the City of Everett.

“We’re excited to see more competition and choice for people in Everett,” said McMillan. “Whether its seniors or those who’d like an easier way to order and pay, it just makes us better when we have competition.”

Using Uber is easy. You simply download an app to your smartphone, enter some credit card information and you’re set to go. In their partnership with Experience Everett, Uber is even providing a special Uber Everett $20.00 credit for you to check out their service.

Uber isn’t a taxi service. Uber is a technology company that uses Apps to connect riders and drivers. Recently they have been advertising for partner drivers in our area. The issue of using your own car and insurance coverage while you drive as a partner for ride-sharing companies is something the State Legislature has been discussing. With regard to using your own insurance MyEverettNews.com reached out to Claudia McClain, owner of McClain Insurance for her insight on the matter.

“The Uber issue is still evolving (our industry moves veeery slooowly) but this link may give you an idea of where the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is going with this:  http://www.ibamag.com/news/insurance-regulators-issue-guidelines-for-ridesharing-coverage-gap-21983.aspx

The short answer is that the biggest risks right now exist for the Uber driver who has not arranged for commercial insurance, and is relying upon their own family auto policy to pay any claims.   While Uber’s website tends to downplay the risk, saying that Uber provides excess coverage when the driver has a passenger, the family or Personal Lines insurance companies are generally taking a hard line on this issue.  A typical family auto policy has an exclusion which excludes coverage for when the vehicle is being used to “transport persons or deliver property” for compensation of any kind.

Many companies have taken the position that this exclusion is triggered whenever an Uber driver has their app on and is available for a pick-up, in addition to the obvious exclusion for the period of time they have a paying driver.   In addition, if a family insurance company learns that one of their clients is using their car for Uber & Lyft, most in Washington will non-renew the policy because they don’t want the potential exposure of being brought into a lawsuit like the one detailed here:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Uber-sued-over-girl-s-death-in-S-F-5178921.php

I think that ultimately, more insurance companies will find a way to offer a hybrid policy that protects the driver, their passengers, and the other cars/pedestrians on the road that might be at risk.   Unfortunately, in Washington state, we’re not there yet.”

MyEverettNews.com reached out via email to Brooke Steger, General Manager of Uber in Seattle with some questions but did not receive a response. If you have questions about the service, you may want to go to the event Wednesday afternoon at The Anchor Tavern and talk with one of their representatives personally.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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5 Responses to “Is Everett Ready For Uber?”

  1. Lack of Research Says:

    Did the author look at the Uber website or talk to any Uber drivers. The insurance issue has been fixed for a while. While the Uber driver has a passenger they are covered by a $1 million commercial insurance policy provided by Uber. When the app is on but there has not been a rider match yet. Uber has a contingent insurance policy that covers the driver if their own insurance does not cover them. If the app is off the drivers own insurance company covers them. Metromile Insurance Company has even partnered with Uber to provide insurance in the manner I just described. A little more research needs to be done before posting these stories. Uber shouldn’t need to respond either because all of this info is available through a simple Google search.

  2. B00m Says:

    Great reporting, this is light years above what the Herald is regurgitating these days. It could’ve been a fluff piece but you dug into the more detailed and interesting subtleties of Uber coming to town. Kudos!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Oddly, Uber’s competitor Lyft is a sponsor of Xfinity Arena…

  4. Eleanore Says:

    my sister lives in downtown Everett she works at macys when she closes she has to take a cab home that runs her $20 are you saying an uber ride from macys to downtown everett is cheaper than $20? I don’t see it

  5. Zach Says:

    The average Uber experience is infinitely better than the average cab ride. Easy to summon, can be cheaper than a taxi, no tipping, and since drivers are actively rated by riders after each experience, they actually have to try. They’ve got some kinks to work out with regulations, but Uber is the future, while yellow cabs are the past.