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Discrimination and the Sharing Economy

Discrimination and the Sharing Economy

The United States has, over many decades, grappled with discrimination issues. The current social and political climate with regard to racial discrimination, age discrimination, gender identity, and even sexual orientation only seems new because the media and the Internet make it seem so. Earlier this year a transgender woman was denied a room by an Airbnb host. A blind woman with a service dog was denied a ride by an Uber driver. Fortune.com recently wrote about all forms of discrimination in the sharing economy. There is a murky line between federal anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and the rights of private citizens to decide with whom they will interact.  Cases are making their way through various state and federal jurisdictions trying to determine where one person’s rights end and another’s begin. Despite the unanswered questions of legality, lawsuits on the topic are being filed every week. If you drive for a ridesharing service or list your home on a homesharing site, this is what you need to know about insurance coverage in the event of a discrimination claim. Auto Insurance & Discrimination Is there coverage for discrimination on your auto insurance policy? This one has an easy answer: there is no coverage for discrimination under the Personal Auto Policy (PP0001). The liability portion of the policy states it will pay for bodily injury claims as the result of an auto accident and does not contemplate non-accidental injury. In additional, there is an exclusion for intentional injury, as well as the standard exclusion for injury caused by vehicles being used as livery or public conveyance....
5 Tips to Know Before Working for a Ridesharing Company

5 Tips to Know Before Working for a Ridesharing Company

by Galen Hayes, President of Hayes Brokers, originally published on Property Casualty 360   The ads are enticing: “Make $35/hour driving with us!” “You could make $800 a week or more!”   Ridesharing services, or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), are everywhere. Uber alone signs up an estimated 20,000 drivers each month worldwide. You have a nice car and could use extra cash. You sign up to be a driver, install the app and soon you are driving people around and making money. Too good to be true? 1) It Isn’t “Ridesharing” The term “ridesharing” is a misnomer. Ridesharing is “the act or an instance of sharing motor vehicle transportation with another or others, especially among commuters” which sounds more like carpooling. This arrangement doesn’t involve a fee or contract. TNCs use apps to connect a driver with a passenger for a fee. This is one definition of “livery.” Livery or for-hire companies typically charge a fee, and some employment contract between company and driver exists. The definitions and usage of a personal vehicle are important when determining insurance coverage and even more important in the event of an accident. On December 31, 2013, six year old Sofia Liu, her mother and her brother were crossing the street in San Francisco when Syed Muzzafar struck them in a crosswalk, killing Sofia. Mr. Muzzafar identified himself as an Uber driver and indicated that he was driving around awaiting a new transaction when the accident occurred. Uber released a statement saying that the driver was “not providing services on the system at the time of the incident.” A $20 million wrongful death...