In the summer of 2015, after a wonderful day at Crab Island, we decided that we wanted dinner and opened up the Uber app. Along came Matthew, my first Uber driver, who will forever be my favorite! I asked him my now standard question to all Uber drivers – “Does your insurance company know you do this?” Many say that they were not aware that their insurer would deny a claim or think they can get away with it. Trust me, you don’t want a fraudulent claim to show up on your insurance report. These days, the adjusters are tuned into Ridesharing and know what to ask.
As Ridesharing is becoming more common, changes are being made. In fact, Uber did not offer any Phase 1 coverage until March 2014. The year prior, a driver hit a mom and her two children. The 6-year-old girl was killed and the family sued both Uber and the driver. They initially denied any responsibility stating that since there was not a passenger, the driver was not working. Had that coverage been in place, Uber still would have only paid up to $100,000 for medical care. Since the bills surpassed $500,000 and the driver was named in the lawsuit, he was also liable. As it stands, he is in jail on manslaughter charges.
Does Your Current Policy Cover You?
Every auto policy has a clause that excludes commercial activity such as pizza delivery, paper delivery, and livery (transporting people for profit) and the claim will be denied. Under EXCLUSIONS in your policy, it states – “Coverage under this Part I, including our duty to defend, will not apply to any insured person for: 1. bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any vehicle or trailer while being used: a. to carry persons or property for compensation or a fee.
If you are thinking that you can skip notifying your insurance company and go straight to Uber, think again. Uber’s coverage is contingent, which means you will have to file with your company first then Uber will pick up on what they do cover. Let’s look at the three sides – Ridesharing (Uber, Lyft, etc), Driver and Insurer along with the phases of what they will cover versus what they won’t –
Phase 1 – App On – Driver is in Fort Walton Beach awaiting a request and is in an accident; Uber will cover the other party for injuries up to $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident and only $25,000 for property damage. If the driver is injured and their vehicle is damaged, Uber will not cover and the driver will be personally responsible.
Phase 2 & 3 – Request Accepted / Rider in Car – Driver is on their way to pick a passenger up in Destin and rear ends the vehicle in front of them on the Mid Bay Bridge, leaving Niceville. Uber will cover up to $1,000,000 for the other party’s injuries (including Uber riders) and the other vehicles damage. They will cover the driver’s car for comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible IF it’s on their own policy. No, you cannot use your own $250 deductible since your claim will be denied.
Gaps in Your Coverage
Besides your personal auto policy denying coverage that Uber will not pay for, there are other obvious signs of gaps in coverage-
- Your medical coverage – Uber will not cover and since your own auto policy will deny the claim, you are responsible.
- You will be named in a lawsuit even if Uber covers a portion of the damages. Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society and when people think they can get money from you, they will. As soon as the injured party realizes you are driving for Uber, they will see dollar signs towards the company.
- Rental Car – Your car has now been in an accident and although it may not be totaled, it will have to be in the body shop for a couple of weeks. You will be without a car for this time when you need to go to work, take the kids to school or go to the store.
There are a few companies in Florida that offer the Ridesharing endorsement, which you have to add to your policy, since it is not automatically included. Before becoming a Ridesharing driver, please contact your agent to see if your insurance company is one of them. If not, ask what they suggest.
About Niceville Insurance
Niceville Insurance Agency has been proudly serving our local communities since 1995. Our specialty has been delivering insurance solutions for individuals, families, and businesses throughout Northwest Florida. Contact us for a no hassle insurance quote today!