I have always had an abnormal fear of cabs. This is probably the result of watching too many action movies involving people being kidnapped in taxis. So you can imagine my horror when I heard about the newest trend, rideshare car services, available through applications on your phone. An uncertified stranger, selected solely on proximity to my location, picks me up and drives me in his or her own personal vehicle…yikes!
I recognize that these fears may be illogical. However, my concerns regarding the insurance risks that the rideshare drivers are taking is based on facts. Drivers of any ridesharing programs (Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, etc.) need to be aware of the policy exclusions involving liability coverage on their vehicles when they are being used to perform business obligations. A personal auto insurance policy does not provide liability coverage if you are driving for hire, or as your policy refers to , “using your vehicle for public or livery conveyance”. This means that if you are driving for Sidecar and you get in a car accident, your personal car insurance can deny the claim, leaving you with full financial responsibility for all of the damages. The extent of the financial risk is significant, especially when you consider the cost of fixing your own vehicle, damages to other vehicles or property, and medical bills for anyone injured. Although these ridesharing programs advertise their huge insurance policy coverage, there are serious loopholes and limitations, with drivers being the ones to suffer the major consequences.
Meet Fred, he decides he wants to make extra money for vacation. He starts driving on the weekends for Uber. One beautiful Saturday, he is driving and gets a message to pick up his next client. On the way to get this client, Fred rear ends the car in front of him driven by Shirley. Fred contacts Uber, but is told because he didn’t have a customer at the time of the incident he isn’t covered under their policy. So Fred gives Shirley his personal car insurance information. The claim is denied because his policy does not cover driving for business obligations. Shirley was badly injured in the accident and in addition to her medical bills, she is out of work for a month. Shirley sues Fred for her losses. Don’t let this happen to you.
If you are currently driving for one of these companies or are thinking about doing so, please check with us to make sure you are properly insured. There are policies available that can provide you with the coverage you may need. We are always here to answer any insurance questions you may have.
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