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Sep 22, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on Uber Drivers Honking Their Horns in Downtown Seattle to Protest Pay Cut.
@17, No wonder Rodney Tom endorsed Cyrus Habib. They are both Republicans masquerading as Democrats. Last session, Habib sponsored a bill to drop Labor and Industries coverage for taxi drivers. This means that one of the highest risk occupations in the US would have no insurance for on the job injuries.

Why did Habib introduce this legislation? To help Uber cut corners in advance of regulation by the state.
Mar 30, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on After Lengthy Battle, Seattle Regulates Its Rideshares.
The law just passed by the City Council on TNC regulation cannot be overturned by a referendum. That is because for-hire vehicle regulation is an adminstrative power specifically delegated to local jurisdictions by the state under RCW 46.72.001. According to an opinion by the City Attorney:

"Two well-established limits by the courts include (1) the rule that the local government “referendum power extends only to matters legislative in character and not to merely administrative acts."

What is the difference between legislative and administrative?
According to this Washington State Initiative and Referend…:

"This of course raises the question of what is an administrative action and what is a legislative action. The courts have applied two tests in making this determination. First, actions relating to subjects of a permanent and general character are usually regarded as legislative matters, and actions taken on subjects of a temporary and special character are usually regarded as administrative matters. Second, the power to be exercised is legislative in nature if it prescribes a new policy or plan,whereas it is administrative in its nature if it merely pursues a plan already adopted by the legislative body or some power superior to it."

For-Hire laws have of course been part of RCW and SMC for decades. The City Council just passed revisions to the existing SMC.

Mar 15, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on UberX Closes Insurance Gap Because Duh, That Vote Is Coming.
Lyft/UberX new plans require that their driver who is at a fault for an accident first file a claim with his insurance company and that it be denied before their plan kicks in. If the driver's insurer finds out that the non-commercial policy is being asked to cover a taxi business, it will deny the claim and cancel the driver's policy. And to be put a cherry on top, Uber/Lyft will fire the driver.

Sometimes the insurer will sometimes pay the claim because they don't know that their policyholder is operating a taxi business. But insurance fraud is built into the whole scheme.
Mar 15, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on UberX Closes Insurance Gap Because Duh, That Vote Is Coming.
@ChefJoe, there is no self insured plan at any of Seattle's cab companies. In fact, it is prohibited by Seattle's taxi regulations. Your post is irrelevant to the situation here.

Feb 28, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on Council to Vote Today on Taxi and "Ride Share" Regulations; Will Lyft and Uber Lobbying Pay Off?.
UberX/Lyft/Sidecar vehicles are not insured. Most of them are covered by non-commercial policies which are invalid for a taxi service.…
Feb 25, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on City May Cap the Popular Rideshares That Compete with Cabs.
The Lyft/UberX/Sidecar business model is an illusion. It is based on part time owner/drivers who cannot make enough money working 16 hours a week to meet their responsibilities such as carrying commercial insurance.

It is not a bug in the TNC business model that their vehicles are uninsured - it is a feature.…

The purpose of a cap is to make it possible for the transportation providers to make enough money to meet the obligations such as insurance - something that the TNCs have yet to demonstrate that they can do.
Feb 22, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on The City Council Should Not Cap Rideshares, Flat-Rate Cars, or Taxi Cabs.
The reason for the caps is so that the cab/TNC can make enough money to meet their obligations such as insurance, maintenance, and equipment. The TNCs, which have been cutting corners on insurance, have yet to prove that they can meet their responsibilities.
Jan 24, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on Sources Say.
The city council should require that UberX, Sidecar and Lyft vehicles carry commercial insurance. Anything less will allow uninsured vehicles on the street as was illustrated by the New Year's eve fatality accident by an UberX car in San Francisco:…

A week later an uninsured Lyft vehicle hit an elderly pedestrian in San Francisco. Lyft fired the driver because the vehicle's non-commercial policy was cancelled and the claim denied. While having an invalid insurance is ok, Lyft draws the line at having no insuarnce.
Jan 24, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on Uber "Surge Pricing" Controversy Is a Cautionary Tale Against Taxi Deregulation.
The cars dispatched by UberX and Lyft are just private cars that are uninsured for a for-hire business. On New Years, 2014 an uninsured UberX car ran over a family in San Francisco, killing a 6 year old girl and hospitalizing the rest of the family. Uber is denying liability in the accident and the driver's insurance was invalid. A week later a Lyft driver hit an elderly pedestrain in San Francisco. Again the Lyft vehicle was uninsured.

Jan 24, 2014 ClaimsAdjuster commented on Another Way in Which "Rideshare" Is Just Another For-Hire Vehicle.
Uber,Lyft and Sidecar cut corners with public safety and call it innovation.

The reality is that for hire vehicles are on the road far more than private cars and have higher liabilties. Cab driving is one of the most dangerous occupations in the USA not only due to the risk of accidents but also from crime. Unless regulatory authorities mandate that for hire vehicles carry the expensive commercial liability and industrial compensation insurance, the cab operator nor the dispatch service(i.e. Uber) will not do it on their own.

That the unregulated "rideshare" operations are cutting corners can be seen in the New Year's eve fatality accident in San Francisco where an UberX driver ran over a family killing a six year old girl and hospitalizing the rest of the family.…

Uber's response was "We can confirm that the driver in question was a partner of Uber and that we have deactivated his Uber account. The driver was not providing services on the Uber system during the time of the accident." Stripped of the corporate double talk this means "Uber is not paying for this accident because the driver did not have our fare in his vehicle at the time. Go try and collect from the judgement proof cab driver".

The rub is that the UberX driver was operating with non-commercial insurance on his vehicle which excludes coverage for a business operation. This means that his private insurance will deny any claims from this accident. Uber claims to have a proprietary insurance plan that kicks in when the driver accepts a fare on his smartphone and ends when the driver hits the dropoff button. But outside these two digital events, the insurance coverage is supposed to revert back to the driver's plan which in this case and for most of these "rideshare" taxis means no coverage at all.

Uber brags that it checks the driver's insurance, driving record and criminal history. But it didn't catch the fatality accident driver's reckless driving conviction in Florida. It is also knew that this driver's non-commercial policy did not cover his UberX business. This is gross negligence on Uber's part.