Sharing, we have all learned no later than kindergarten, is a good thing. So who would have thought the public policy issue causing the most consternation among insurers over the past year would be about so-called "ride-sharing"? Well it has, and state legislatures and municipalities have taken notice, and in some cases action, to address the insurance implications of this new development in technology and transportation. 

The term "ride-sharing" is actually a bit of a misnomer, as the activity at issue — matching a driver and a passenger through a smartphone app developed and administered by transportation network companies, or TNCs — is really not sharing at all. Rather, it's using one's personal vehicle to transport another person or persons from one place to another for a fee. Still, it has been cast as part of the new and innovative "sharing economy," in which new technologies enable individuals and businesses to use resources more efficiently.

When the insurance industry started voicing concerns as awareness of the new activity grew over the past year or so, we were sometimes criticized as presenting an obstacle to innovation. In fact, however, insurance is very open to innovation as it is innovative itself. The very concept of insurance, in fact, is an innovation, and the industry is constantly developing new products and ways of doing business to meet the needs of a modern society.  NAMIC's own position statement on ride sharing specifies that we support innovation and are not opposed to the concept. 

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