In the last few years, ridesharing companies have brought innovation and change to the way that we get from here to there. In the near future companies like Tesla may make it so A.I. will be driving us from point A to B, but for now, we have to rely on our fellow humans to do the driving, and with humans behind the wheel, you can count on there being Uber accidents and Lyft accidents.
Whether you are a paying customer in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, an actual driver operating an Uber or Lyft, or even a pedestrian that has been struck by an Uber or Lfyt driver, you may be entitled to receive compensation for any injuries that you sustained as a result of your accident. Rideshare drivers are not only required to have personal auto insurance to operate an Uber or Lyft, but both Uber and Lyft offer their own coverage in case of an accident.
What You Need To Know About Rideshare Insurance
- Period 1: You are cruising around with the Lyft app open but haven’t been matched with a rider.
- Period 2: Lyft has matched you with a rider and you are en route to pick them up.
- Period 3: Rider is in the car. Period 3 ends when you drop them at their destination.
If you have an accident, proof of coverage from your personal policy should be adequate. The truth is, the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident, and when that happens you will want to know which (if any) insurance company is going to pick up the tab. Lyft carries liability coverage for its drivers, but the coverage levels depend on whether there is a passenger in the car. Collision and comprehension only available only to drivers who already have these coverages on their own policies, and your injuries are only covered if the other driver is at fault.
Period 1: Liability limits are low and comprehensive and collision coverage is not offered.
Liability: Lyft’s liability coverage has limits of 50/100/25 ($50,000 per person bodily injury, up to $100,000 per incident, and $25,000 for property damage). This is contingent coverage in every state except California and Maine. Contingent means you have to make a claim on your personal policy first. If the claim is denied, Lyft’s coverage will step up to the plate.
Collision and comprehensive: Lyft does not offer any collision or comprehensive during Period 1. Unless you are carrying this coverage on your personal policy, you will be responsible for the cost of repairing your vehicle. (Even if you have comp and collision, your insurer may not honor the claim unless you have a rideshare endorsement on your policy.)
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Lyft does not offer this coverage during Period 1. If you are injured by another driver who is uninsured, you will need your own uninsured motorist policy or a health care coverage to cover the cost of your injuries.
California and Maine have different laws for Period 1. In these two states, personal insurance policies do not apply at all during period 1. This means that Lyft drivers must carry a commercial livery policy or a policy with a rideshare endorsement. If the driver has neither, Lyft’s contingent liability will have to step up, but again, the limits are low.
Periods 2 and 3: Liability is coverage is plentiful, but collision and comprehensive is the only contingent.
Liability: Lyft (just like Uber) carries a $1 million liability policy. This should be plenty of coverage in most cases.
Collision and comprehensive: Lyft offers comprehensive and collision to its drivers during Periods 2 and 3, but the coverage is contingent. You will need to make a claim on your personal collision and comprehensive policy (assuming you have one) and if your insurer denies the claim, Lyft’s insurance will ride to the rescue. Lyft’s policy has a wallet-busting $2,500 deductible, which you will have to pay.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Lyft carries a $1 million policy, which should be sufficient.
While Lyft will overlook small dings and scratches, if you have a huge dent, you will not be cleared to drive until the vehicle has bee repaired.
Uber offers its drivers some liability protection, but coverage levels vary dramatically depending on whether you have a rider or not. Collision and comprehensive can be especially tricky. And your own injuries are never covered unless someone else is at fault.
Insurance coverage during Period 1: Uber’s liability limits are relatively low during Period 1, and comprehensive and collision are nonexistent.
Liability: Uber offers liability coverage with limits of 50/100/25 ($50,000 per person bodily injury, up to $100,000 per incident, and $25,000 for property damage). This is contingent coverage in most states. That means you must make a claim with your insurer first. If it denies your claim, Uber’s insurance will step in.
Collision and comprehensive: Uber doesn’t offer any collision or comprehensive during Period 1. If you are not carrying these coverages on your personal policy, you bear all the costs to repair your vehicle if you are at fault in an accident. Even if you are not at fault, you may wish to use your personal collision coverage – paying the deductible, too – and get your car repaired on your own terms while your insurance company fights for reimbursement on your behalf.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Uber does not offer any uninsured/underinsured coverage during this period; you will need to use your own uninsured motorist coverage or personal health insurance policy if you are injured by someone without insurance.
Requirements are different for Period 1 in states such as California and Maine, where state law takes away the contingency for liability coverage. Traditional private car insurance policies no longer apply in Period 1; you have to either buy a rideshare-friendly private policy or commercial livery coverage, or Uber must step in. Uber still won’t pay for damage to your car or your injuries if you’re at fault, and under the new state laws, your personal car insurance doesn’t have to, either, unless you’ve bought rideshare-specific coverage.
Insurance coverage during Periods 2 and 3: Your liability is well-covered, but collision and comprehensive get a bit complicated.
Liability: This is where that $1 million policy that Uber brags about takes effect, and it should protect you in most cases.
Collision and comprehensive: Uber offers comprehensive and collision during Periods 2 and 3, but it is contingent. If you have collision and comprehensive on your policy but your insurer denies your claim, Uber’s insurance will step up. Their policy has a $1,000 deductible, which you will have to cover.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: Uber has a $1 million policy in force, which should be sufficient.
Know What To Do in Case of an Accident
There is a myriad of reasons that an accident could occur. Lack of sleep, poor vehicle maintenance, even alcohol, and drugs can result in an Uber or Lyft accident, and you are entitled to compensation for all damages you sustain due to the harmful or negligent behavior of a driver. If you are injured in an accident, make sure to seek medical attention, contact the police, and gather important information, such as the name, address, driver’s license number and insurance policy number of the rideshare driver.
Contact Jones Brown Law
Regardless of what type of accident resulted in your injury, no case is too minor or complicated for our office. Here are some of the common types of cases we handle: driver negligence, impairment, or recklessness, dangerous road conditions rear-end collision, construction zone accident, drunk driving, hit and run accident, etc.
We are also experienced with defective automobiles or parts, such as airbag defect, defective tires, unintended acceleration, child seat defects, crashworthiness, defective seat, window or door, fire or explosion, roof crush, seat belt failures, faulty door latches, etc.
It’s important to know and understand your rights and obligations when you have been injured at the expense of another person. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and are not after your best interest.
The attorneys and staff at Jones Brown are here to work with you every step of the way and simplify interactions with the insurance company to ensure you reach a settlement that covers the true cost of your accident.
No matter what type of accident you were in, you likely have questions. CLICK HERE to contact Jones Brown Law now.