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askST: Am I covered by insurance if I'm a passenger in a Grab or Uber car?

Taxi-like fleets fuelled by apps providers such as Uber and Grab have grown significantly in the last one year, and are expected to continue growing. It is now rather common for commuters to use one of these cars instead of a traditional taxi.

Readers have asked whether they are covered by insurance if they are passengers in these vehicles. Senior Transport Correspondent Christopher Tan answers.

It is mandatory for taxi operators to have insurance coverage that extends to passengers. But third-party apps vehicles are not required by law to have this coverage. So, how many of their vehicles have such a comprehensive coverage is hazy.

In the case of an accident involving these taxi-like vehicles that results in injury or death, passengers or kin will be compensated - if the driver is found to be at fault or found to have contributed to the accident.

Would passengers be able to sue Uber or Grab? It will be difficult, since the drivers are not employees of these apps providers. Some of them are not even employees of vehicle rental companies that Uber and Grab partner with.

So, until there is clear legislation that says that all private-hire and limousine service provders must purchase insurance that covers passengers, users of these services should buckle up and hope for the best.

More askST stories here.