If you drive for a ridesharing app like Uber, Lyft, or Zipcar, and you don’t notify your insurance provider, the provider can cancel your insurance plan. The first step after becoming a commercial or ridesharing driver, is to call your insurance provider to find out if they cover commercial driving, or driving-for-hire. If they don’t, you may have to purchase a separate insurance plan for commercial driving.
Uber used to only insure drivers when a passenger was in the vehicle, but after a series of lawsuits, the ridesharing company has updated their insurance policy. Now, there are two different levels of insurance that both Uber and Lyft, as well as similar ridesharing services, provide for their drivers: these vary depending on whether or not the app is on and whether or not the driver has a passenger in the car or is on his or her way to pick up a passenger.
What is Covered?
If the driver has the app turned off, then Uber and Lyft offer no insurance, and in an accident, the driver must rely on his or her own personal insurance. If the driver has the Uber or Lyft app turned on but is not on his or her way to pick up a customer, Uber and Lyft offer only limited insurance coverage. This includes up to $50,000 for bodily injury with a $100,000 total limit per accident. If the driver has the app turned on and is on his or her way to pick up a passenger, has just accepted a request to pick up a passenger, or has a passenger in the car, then Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage for both liability and collision. Uber provides collision insurance with a deductible of $1,000, and Lyft provides coverage with a $2,5000 deductible.
Insurance from Uber and Lyft only comes into play when a driver’s personal insurance fails or refuses to cover the full cost of damages, but this happens often, since the driver’s personal insurance carrier often fights charges in a commercial driving accident.
Some insurance companies have started offering insurance plans that cover commercial drivers who are between trips, without a passenger in the car and not on their way to pick one up. Several of these plans also offer increased coverage for accidents that occur when a driver has accepted a request or has a passenger in the car.
Commercial rideshare drivers who wish to receive greater insurance while driving for services like Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar may need to buy their own rideshare insurance plan. For rideshare drivers in Indiana, there are several different options and they are regularly changing so be sure to continue to follow their policies and updates.