Uber and other ride-share type companies are growing throughout the world.
Have you thought about being a driver?
Well, there are important issues you should understand before committing.
The most important thing to understand is that the moment you turn on your ride share app you’ve turned your vehicle into a money maker.
Insurance policies have clear lines between personal activities and business activities. Personal auto policies specifically exclude “livery” or the act of driving people from one place to another for money. So your personal auto policy most likely will not provide coverage for any accident that happens while your ride share app is on.
When ride sharing companies like Uber first started, they argued that their service is different than a taxi because it’s “ride sharing”. But multiple court cases shot the idea down. Ever since, ride share companies, insurance companies, and governments have been addressing the issue. So where does it stand now?
Well, it’s important to understand that ride share drivers can break their driving activities down into FOUR basic categories:
Rideshare Stage 1: When the app is on but no riders are in the car
Rideshare Stage 2: When you’ve been dispatched to a pick-up but do’nt yet have a rider.
Rideshare Stage 3: When your riders are physically in your car
Regular Persoanl Use: When the app is off and your just driving your car normally
Here’s an Uber blog that can help you figure out what coverage they’re offering. Their blog will make you feel better about whether you are covered or not and, to be fair, they have made solid steps in the right direction. But there are still HUGE gaps in the coverage they provide.
What are the gaps? Well the landscape continues to change, but here are some questions that are worth considering:
- Does Uber’s policy cover damage to your vehicle?
- Would Uber’s policy cover if you were personally named in a lawsuit?
- How is the Uber coverage different with and without passengers?
The most important question to consider is: “Is it worth purchasing a commercial auto policy to make sure I’m protected?” Ride share companies say “no”. We think that’s a really risky move.
Interested in more info?
Try these links:
- Article about coverage while app is on, No Rider
- State specific insurance certificates
- New Yorker Article
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Our experts can break it all down for you.