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The relatively new industry of peer-to-peer transportation is in the midst of an incredible surge in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down. Services like Uber and Lyft seem unstoppable, with the former even showing some immunity to recent bad publicity. Despite several national headlines about incidents with drivers, Uber is bigger than ever. When someone enters an Uber, they’re likely concerned about making it to their destination, their star rating, and what they have planned for that evening. Chances are, they aren’t wondering if the driver has insurance.
The Uber website takes a laid-back approach to selecting drivers. Under the requirements section of the website, Uber states that drivers must be at least 21 years
of age, have at least one year of driving experience in the U.S. (3 years if you are under 23 years old,) have a valid U.S. driver’s license, and use an eligible 4-door vehicle. It’s not until one review the required documents that Uber states that a driver has to have proof of insurance. In other words, Uber does require drivers to have insurance to become one of their drivers. However, it does not specify the minimum amount of coverage. It’s possible that a driver may not have enough coverage to pay your medical bills if they wreck while you’re a passenger. Further, some insurance policies are void if the driver is engaged in “for-hire” driving.
What about Lyft? Honestly, they’re just as vague. Their site does not list minimum requirements for insurance. They are, however, thorough on the vehicle requirements. Lyft also appears to be stricter regarding who can become a driver. They check a driver’s background and driving history. Uber does this too, but they aren’t as strict according to many online resources.
Both Lyft and Uber offer supplemental insurance for their drivers while they are using the app. They offer up to $1,000,000 in third party liability coverage. The collision coverage from Uber carries a $1,000 deductible. There are also a lot of rules depending upon when the accident occurs. For instance, if a driver is on his or her way to pick up a passenger, they may not be covered the same as they are with a passenger.
Some drivers may also acquire commercial vehicle insurance to help supplement their coverage. However, there is a steep additional cost for this type of insurance. Most estimate that a driver will have to pay an additional $5,000 to $7,000 per year.
Ridesharing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s important for users to be aware of how they’re covered during a ride. If you’ve been injured while in a ride-sharing car, give us a call for a Free Consultation. Simply dial (304) 888-8888. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so that a representative may call you at a better time.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law