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Check policy before joining ride-sharing firms, NT drivers told

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Vehicle owners in the Northern Territory considering signing up as a ride-sharing driver should first check if their existing insurance policies cover such services, the Insurance Council of Australia says.

Uber is planning to launch in the NT next month, and the council says comprehensive and third party policies don’t usually cover the use of privately owned vehicles for commercial purposes.

“Most policies exclude the use of a private vehicle for taxi or car-hire style services, though some motor vehicle policies may cover these services under strict conditions,” spokesman Campbell Fuller said.

“A ride-hail driver involved in a collision who is not appropriately insured risks having their insurance claim being denied, and this could expose them to debts of tens of thousands of dollars.

“NT ride-hail drivers should contact their insurance company to find out if their policy is appropriate, or talk to an insurance broker.”

Ride-sharing operator Hi Oscar already operates in the Territory. It began there in February. Uber aims to launch in late August, Queensland and NT State Manager Alex Golden said.

“We’re now looking for interested locals to sign up for the opportunity to earn extra income with the flexibility that comes with being their own boss,” he said.