It is an amazing story of entrepreneurial vision behind the meteoric ascent of this company which went from a frustration of not being able to get a taxi in Paris late one evening in March of 2008, to a global transportation company now serving nearly 1000 cities across the world in 2017. Could Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, co-founders of UBER, ever have conceived they would be sitting on a business which would generate 6.5 billion USD in 2016? In some financial circles this startup is heralded as the fasted growing venture ever created.
The whole concept is built around the mission objective of providing a more economical and quicker means of transportation. It copies much of the model of the taxi service found in most cities–you call for a ride and a taxi is sent to get you. Several innovations have made this a formidable challenger to the local taxi service, i.e. you sign up for an UBER account through UBER, have credit card available, and a payment service like Paypal to handle your transaction. At the end of your ride, the fee is calculated, credit card is charged, UBER keeps its agreed upon share, and the rest is sent to your paypal account. No money is transferred directly from you to the UBER driver.
The driver has a contract with UBER to make his/her private vehicle available for service at the driver’s discretion. The driver also has to meet rigid background checks, and the vehicle has to meet mechanical requirements and inspections by UBER.
A major hurdle you will encounter is the one concerning insurance for this venture. Most if not all private insurance carriers will have very prominently displayed in their automobile insurance policies an exclusion which will read something similar to this: “does not cover 1) damages arising out of the use of a vehicle to carry persons for a fee or 2) any vehicle rented or leased to others.
UBER feels they have alleviated this issue by providing you a policy which goes into effect when you receive and accept a call for service and continues until you have consummated the transaction. They spell out in their contract with you the monetary limits they are providing under the insurance policy.
It would be wise to have a clear understanding between you and your private insurance carrier as to its range of coverages and how they coordinate with the insurance provided by UBER. It would be in my opinion be unwise to assume since UBER has that policy in force that you would not need to notify your private carrier of your desire to become a driver for UBER. Sounds like a great way to meet people and make some change on the side!!
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