Uber Car Insurance
Being Freelancer, Espanol, Insurance, On Your Own, Self-Employed, Your rights: Presidential Election, Laws, etc.

Insurance for the Ride Sharing Services’ Drivers

Originally from WalletHub

Ride-hailing services like Uber have grown rapidly and signed up thousands of drivers. Insurance for these Ride Sharing Services’ Drivers is important. As a driver, make sure you have it and that you are your passengers are protected

Some important things to remember:

  • Vehicles are used for both personal and business use.
  • Companies do not consider the drivers to be their employees.
  • Vehicles are owned by the drivers, not the companies.

This leaves drivers in a gray area between personal car insurance policies that exclude coverage for business use of a vehicle, on the one hand, and (much more expensive) commercial insurance policies that assume the vehicle is used exclusively for business purposes on the other.

An additional complicating factor has been the ride-hailing companies’ initial reluctance to take responsibility for insurance liability. That said, the companies now do provide a certain level of insurance to their drivers, and insurance companies are creating insurance products to specifically serve this market.

Insurance Provided By Ride Hailing Companies

People who drive for Lyft, Sidecar and UberX use their own private vehicles, and when they are using their vehicles for personal use, the ride-hailing companies will take no responsibility for things that go wrong. So any accidents will be covered by the driver’s own policy if the car is being used for personal driving.

Once the driver turns on the smartphone app that’s used to communicate with riders, some level of insurance kicks in, but that coverage depends on what stage you are in the process of offering rides to customers. The table below details how insurance works with each of the major companies at each of the stages of the ride-hailing process.

Lyft Sidecar UberX
Not Logged In:
Personal Driving
No insurance provided. Driver only covered by personal insurance policy.
Logged In & Waiting For Ride Request Contingent liability coverage with 50/100/25 limits provides secondary coverage that pays only for losses not covered by driver’s personal policy Collision insurance with $50,000 limit and $500 deductible provides secondary coverage that pays only for losses not covered by driver’s personal policy

In California: Liability coverage with 50/100/30 limits

In Washington state: Liability coverage with 100/300/25 limits; Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage with 100/300 limits

In Chicago: Liability coverage with 25/50/20 limits; Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage with 25/50 limits

Contingent liability coverage with 50/100/25 limits provides secondary coverage that pays only for losses not covered by driver’s personal policy
En Route To Pick Up Passengers

or

Driving Passengers

Commercial liability insurance with $1 million limit

Uninsured/underinsured bodily injury with $1 million limit

Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage with $50,000 limit and $2,500 deductible (only for driver’s with personal comprehensive and collision coverage)

Commercial liability insurance with $1 million limit

Collision insurance with $50,000 limit and $500 deductible provides secondary coverage that pays only for losses not covered by driver’s personal policy

In Washington state: Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage with 100/300 limits

In Chicago: Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage with 25/50 limits

Commercial liability insurance with $1 million limit

Uninsured/underinsured bodily injury with $1 million limit

Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage with $1,000 deductible (only for driver’s with personal comprehensive and collision coverage)

Minimum level of personal injury protection coverage where required by law.

More Information For Drivers Terms of service

Summary of insurance

Terms of services

Summary of insurance

Terms and conditions

Summary of insurance

Source: Lyft, Sidecar and Uber websites as of June 2015

Note that Uber offers several other services including UberBlack and UberTaxi that work differently from the more popular UberX vehicles. Drivers for these services have commercial driver’s licenses and carry their own commercial insurance policies, which fully cover themselves and their passengers, and fulfill the livery insurance requirements of their state.

The Insurance Coverage You Should Buy

In order to drive for any ride-hailing company, you must purchase a car insurance policy. But what is the right kind of policy? There are three options:

  • Personal car insurance. The ride hailing companies insist that, given their supplementary coverage, a personal car insurance policy provides a sufficient level of coverage. Most car insurance companies – and some state and local regulators – disagree. Personal car insurance typically excludes coverage for any business use of your vehicle, and you risk having your insurance dropped or a claim denied if the insurer finds out you’re hiring out your car. Unfortunately the ride-hailing companies don’t provide any guidance on what types and levels of coverage to buy, other than to meet the state minimums. But make no mistake, if you drive for one of these companies you are taking on additional risk, both when driving for personal reasons and when logged in to the app and waiting for a fare.
  • Commercial car insurance. Traditionally, taxis and other vehicles being driven for business purposes have been covered by commercial insurance policies, and as rules and regulations for these new services get hashed out, some states and cities have ruled that ride-hailing drivers must purchase commercial insurance. So one way to play it safe is to purchase a commercial policy instead of a personal one. But this is impractical for most drivers, since it would mean first getting a commercial driver’s license, and, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, these policies tend to cost between $5,000 and $7,000 per year.
  • New policies tailored for ride-hailing drivers. Many insurance companies are carefully testing the waters with policies designed specifically for ride-hailing drivers. If you live in one of the 12 states in the table below, this type of insurance is available from at least one insurer.
    State Insurer Companies Served
    Arkansas Farmers All
    California Metromile Uber
    Colorado Farmers All
    USAA All
    MetLife Lyft
    Georgia GEICO All
    Illinois Erie All
    Metromile Uber
    Indiana Erie All
    Maryland GEICO All
    Pennsylvania Progressive Lyft
    Texas USAA All
    GEICO All
    Utah Farmers All
    Virginia GEICO All
    Washington Metromile Uber

Tips For Staying Safe And Providing A Secure Ride

  1. Budget for insurance costs. As you calculate what you think you’ll earn as a ride-hailing driver after expenses, make sure to factor in realistic costs for the insurance you must purchase.
  1. Look out for number one. Ride-hailing companies consider their drivers to be independent contractors. This is a clear signal that you need to understand your own risks and to take steps to protect yourself and your finances.
  1. Stay on top of the news. This is a rapidly changing market. Companies have improved their coverage to address the concerns of regulators. State laws are changing. And today’s trial offerings from insurance companies may become mainstream products in the near future.
  1. Read the fine print. If you have concerns about the insurance provided by the ride-hailing company you’re planning to join, read the terms and conditions carefully and contact the company with any questions you have.
  1. Get the most insurance you can afford. If you’re responsible for an accident that costs more than your insurance will cover, you’re still financially responsible for the full loss. If you don’t have enough insurance, you could be putting your home and your savings at risk.
  1. Seek advice from others. Local independent insurance agents the community of local drivers may know about affordable insurance options you should consider.

Leave a Reply