The emergence of ridesharing has changed how people travel from point A to point B. Not only has it reimagined travel for people across the country, but it’s opened up employment opportunities for a broad range of people seeking to tap in on the trend.
Although it might seem like a simple job, navigating busy streets at all hours comes with a degree of risk. If an accident occurs, drivers often find themselves in a complicated legal gray area between their personal car insurance and the coverage offered by the rideshare company they work for.
Continue reading for more information on how to navigate a car accident as an Uber/Lyft driver.
Does Uber or Lyft Offer Insurance Coverage?
Rideshare drivers are most often considered independent contractors by their employers, meaning they’re not “full-time” and, therefore, don’t qualify for full-time insurance benefits. Other than paying you for your work hours, rideshare companies usually don’t have to provide any employee benefits.
However, Lyft and Uber DO offer insurance packages for their drivers, but your eligibility will depend on how much you work for the company. The coverage will also depend on what you were doing when the accident occurred, as outlined on Uber and Lyft’s websites.
Here’s a quick breakdown of their insurance coverage.
- Driving Without the Rideshare App Running: If your app isn’t on, then you’re not working for the service. Any accident coverage will have to come from your personal plan, as rideshare companies aren’t required to offer insurance to drivers who aren’t currently working.
- Your Rideshare App Is Running, and You’re Waiting for a Request: Any driver that has their app running but is waiting for a ride request is covered under Uber and Lyft’s most recent insurance coverage. You’ll get $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident coverage,
- Your Rideshare App Is Running, and You’re Either en Route to a Passenger or You Already Have Passengers in the Car: If you’re working and are involved in an accident, you’re eligible for $1,000,000 worth of third-party liability coverage. You may also qualify for contingent collision and comprehensive insurance*, with a $2,500 deductible. This is the highest level of coverage offered by Uber and Lyft currently.
* “Contingent” collision and comprehensive insurance applies only if you file a claim with your personal insurance provider. If the claim is denied or the damage exceeds your personal liability limits, your rideshare company’s insurance may cover the remaining cost.
Does Personal Car Insurance Cover Uber and Lyft Drivers?
Honest answer? It depends. Many insurance policies contain provisions that restrict the policyholder from filing a claim if they were driving their car for commercial purposes, which includes working for Uber and Lyft.
Some insurance providers offer optional commercial coverage, sometimes called a “rideshare endorsement,” that protects you while on the job. If you don’t have this elective coverage and file a claim anyway, you risk your insurance company canceling your contract entirely because you technically “breached” your agreement by operating your vehicle for purposes undisclosed to your provider.
However, failing to file a claim with your provider restricts drivers from certain coverages offered by their rideshare company. This makes the situation much, much more complicated, so it’s recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney who can help sift through contracts and find the compensation you need to recover.
How Can an Attorney Help Uber/Lyft Drivers After an Accident?
You have your personal car insurance, possible employer insurance, and, in no-fault states, personal liability protection. If you’re involved in an accident while on the job, which one takes superiority?
The answer isn’t always clear. If you’re injured, you need that solution as fast as possible to avoid your financial burden snowballing into something you can’t handle.
That’s why it’s important to speak with an experienced, trusted legal representative immediately following your accident. Although seeking legal help might be the last thing on your mind when you’re able to return home, remember that taking proactive action is one of the best ways to improve your chances of success.
At Morgan and Morgan, we’ve developed a proven track record of recovering the fullest extent of what our clients deserve, even when the odds seem grim. With more than $15 billion recovered and offices from coast to coast, we stand as a powerful ally to Uber and Lyft drivers involved in accidents on the job.
Complete our free, no-risk case evaluation to learn more about your case.