As ride-share driving for Uber, Lyft, or other has become more popular, it is important to understand the insurance coverage that applies when you are at work behind the wheel.
Coverage may vary widely between ride-share companies and ride-share drivers should carefully check the rider share company’s website to read about the insurance coverage provided. All ride-share companies provide liability coverage when you are on the app. Liability coverage protects every other driver on the road against mistakes you make behind the wheel that cause an accident. This coverage protects the ride-share company more than it protects you. However, some ride-share companies also carry insurance that protects those in the ride-share vehicle (driver and passengers) in the event that another driver on the road makes a mistake and hurts you. This may include uninsured motorist coverage and under-insured motorist coverage (in case the other driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to properly compensate you), collision coverage (to fix your vehicle), medical payments coverage (to pay bills if you have to see a doctor), and disability coverage (to make up lost earnings if you can’t work because of an injury or while your vehicle is in the shop).
Many ride-share drivers will be surprised to learn that their coverage varies widely between ride-share companies and also depending on app status. For example, Uber has four app status classifications for drivers:
- App On: While you are waiting for a request
- Request Accepted: On your way to pick up a rider
- On Trip: While a rider is in your vehicle
- Offline: When driving your car for personal use
Uber’s insurance coverage varies based on these four classifications. It is important to remember you are NOT covered by Uber’s insurance policy when you are offline and not driving on the Uber platform. Also, you may have liability protection ONLY unless you are on your way to pick up a rider or while a rider is in your vehicle.
Remember, you must also tell your personal auto insurance company that you are driving for a ride-share company or they may deny your claim in the event of an accident.