Uber plays hardball but fails to win the game

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 4:56pm PDT, Patrick Hoge, San Francisco Business Times

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla says the “relentless” confrontational tactics in the state Capitol by the “ridesharing” services Uber Technologies and Lyft made the process for setting insurance requirements for peer-to-peer transportation companies one of the most difficult legislative battles of her career.

“It’s the most difficult bill I’ve been involved in, other than doing a budget with no money and huge deficits,” said Bonilla regarding AB 2993, which the legislature passed last week and forwarded to the governor’s office for signature. “This one, in terms of feeling it was such a relentless struggle to get to a point of reasonable compromise, it certainly
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Aggressive Driving: Transit Company Uber Flexes Its Political Muscle

By  @rachelswan Tuesday, Aug 26 2014

Uber raised the stakes in an already acrimonious transit war last week, after announcing that it had tapped Obama political strategist David Plouffe to lead its own campaign. But that was only the latest in a spate of big-wheel hirings as Uber consolidates its new role in the state capital. Once a mere transit startup, it’s now recast itself as a powerful lobbying arm.

The company is currently gearing up to fight state Assembly Bills 612 and 2293 — the first would impose new permit requirements and background checks for drivers; the second would require UberX drivers to carry $750,000 in liability
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The Most Dangerous Cities: DUIs, Deaths and Your Insurance

DUIs have a high cost, both human and financial. In 2012 alone, 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-related vehicle accidents. There’s also the staggering economic cost of drunk driving — an estimated $199 billion a year in the U.S. And the financial burden after receiving a DUI can be crippling for drivers, who have to pay expensive fines and court costs, then pay again after their car insurance premiums increase.

Drivers in some cities are disproportionately affected by these costs. For example, you are more likely to encounter a drunk driver in Tulsa, Oklahoma, than in San Francisco, California. Even so, the cities with the highest number of fatal alcohol-related vehicle crashes per
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The political moderate is dead. Long live the moderate.

By Philip Bump, July 11

Two key bits of partisan data have been highlighted this week. First, from the liberally inclined Vox.com: ”moderates are largely a statistical myth.” Second, from the libertarian-minded folks at Reason, Millennials are “less beholden to two parties dreamed up before the Civil War” who “would support a candidate who is both socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” Ergo, they are moderates?

Moderates are dead; long live the moderates. Or, better: The way we talk about politics has way more rough edges than we admit.

Vox’s Ezra Klein lifts up a paper from University of California at Berkeley political scientist David Broockman. Broockman’s research suggests, in short, that the way we compile poll responses
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What Popular Rideshares Mean by “At Your Own Risk”

By Joel Grover and Jacquelin Sonderling |  Thursday, Jun 26, 2014  |  Updated 3:56 AM PDT

Rideshare services like UberX are taking the place of taxis, not only here in Los Angeles, but around the world. But as the I-Team has learned, if you’re in a bad accident in an UberX car, you could be left paying the bill.

You may not realize it – but every time you accept a ride with UberX, you also agree to more than a dozen pages of Terms and Conditions. It outlines who’s responsible for what. And buried deep in the terms, Uber says you use its service “at your own risk” and that “you
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Uber bill protects riders and drivers

By Susan Bonilla, 5 P.M.JUNE 26, 2014

Recently the Assembly unanimously passed my bill AB 2293. This common-sense legislation will clarify insurance coverage plans for transportation network companies (TNC), such as Uber, Lyft and others. My bill also requires important disclosures from these network companies that ensure drivers and all parties are aware of the insurance policy coverage in place.

The legislation passed 71-0 in a unanimous and bipartisan vote and now moves on to the Senate policy committee. The popularity and rapid evolution of ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft has been a lesson in the rise of the new “sharing” economy. They are supplying a demand that
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Pet Insurance Bill Provides Important Consumer Protection for Rapidly Growing Market

LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 20 – The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release:

Today Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Assemblymember Matt Dababneh held a joint press conference at an off-leash dog park to discuss important pet insurance legislation. Within California’s economy the pet insurance market is rapidly growing and expected to reach $750 million by next year. AB 2056 (Dababneh), sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, will add important consumer protections to pet insurance by bringing uniformity to policy language and disclosures increasing transparency in pet insurance policies.

“California has the largest number of insured dogs and cats in the nation,” said Commissioner Jones. “It is essential that consumers purchasing pet insurance understand what they’re getting for their money. When policy
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Ridesharing Bill Cruising Through California Legislature

By Don Jergler | June 17, 2014

A bill to more thoroughly regulate insurance requirements for ridesharing companies is successfully wending its way through California Legislature as insurance associations and representatives for companies like Uber and Lyft try and hash out an uncertain middle ground.

The Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee passed Assembly Bill 2293 on a 7-0 vote on Tuesday. The bill, being carried by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, is backed by several insurance associations.

AB 2293 has already been approved by the California State Assembly on a 71-0 vote. It addresses a gap in insurance coverage between when a ridesharing provider’s personal auto insurance is in effect and when a transportation network
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California Commissioner Likes Proposed Rideshare Regulations

Published June 12, 2014

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Thursday gave a thumbs up to regulations proposed by California Public Utility Commission President Michael Peevey, which seeks broader commercial insurance coverage for drivers who use  smartphone ridesharing apps from operators like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.

The regulations proposed Tuesday further define ridesharing operators – transportation network companies – and ridesharing activities and requires a $1 million commercial liability policy to be in place whenever a TNC driver has a smartphone app turned on to accept rides.

“I applaud President Peevey’s proposed decision to make sure that Transportation Network Companies (TNC) like Uber, Lyft and
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​Ridesharing companies Uber, Lyft offer compromise


Staff Writer-Sacramento Business Journal
Jun 3, 2014, 2:51pm PDT UPDATED: Jun 4, 2014, 8:56am PDT

See correction at end of article.

Ridesharing companies Uber, Lyft and Wingz have issued a counteroffer to Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla on legislation that would force drivers to possess commercial liability coverage.

The compromise likely would raise rates for ridesharing customers, but far less than what has been proposed by Bonilla, said a representative for Lyft.

This newest development in the dispute between insurers and ridesharing companies is important because it includes tentative support from MetLife Auto and Home.

The fact that a major insurance company is backing the plan shows that the state’s powerful insurance lobby is not altogether on the
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