Compared to regular car and commercial insurance, ride-share insurance has some unique features that are not available on other policies.
Ride-share insurance is a supplementary insurance plan available to Uber and Lyft drivers which covers them against possible losses and damages that regular car insurance doesn’t cover. It covers loss that can result from accidents that occur when drivers are not carrying passengers but are logged into Uber or Lyft.
Differences Between Ride-share Insurance and Regular Car and Commercial Insurances
Drivers who drive for Uber and Lyft use their own vehicles and are required to have personal car insurance. However, ride-share insurance companies provide supplementary insurance coverage that becomes effective only under specific conditions.
If a driver is driving a car but is not logged into Uber, they are only covered by their own personal car insurance. In a case where the driver uses the vehicle for personal use, the Transportation Network Company’s (TNC’s) insurance does not take any responsibility if an accident occurs.
The supplemental liability insurance, “Ride-share Insurance”, becomes active only when a driver is logged into a ride-share app and isn’t carrying any passengers. Property losses in such situations are not covered by the driver’s personal insurance policy.
When a driver accepts a trip, a higher level of coverage becomes active with Uber or Lyft. This covers the car, drivers and passengers and remains active until the passenger exits the vehicle.
Ride-share insurance covers damage to your car if you are at fault in an accident during the period between turning on the Uber or Lyft app, and getting a ping for a ride. Regular and commercial insurance policies do not have such special conditions.
Drivers are not required to be logged in for the insurance cover to be active.
Some of the companies that provide ride-share insurance include:
- USAA – A company that provides ride-share insurance in Colorado and Texas and requires drivers or a family member to be a military servant. It is one of the best ride-share insurance providers in the US. I have heard that they are available in Oregon, but have not confirmed it myself. https://communities.usaa.com/t5/USAA-News/Insight-Ridesharing-Requires-Coverage/ba-p/61343
- Metromile – Metromile provides ride-share insurance to residents of California, Washington and Illinois. If you are not an Uber driver, then you ought to be a veteran or a member of a military family.
- Farmers – Farmers currently provide insurance to ride-share drivers in Colorado. They do so for an additional 25% fee on top of their regular premium.
- GEICO – Is a company owned by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway and was the first to announce a nationwide, comprehensive ride-share insurance product. However, it is currently only available as a pilot program in Virginia. Contrary to most other policies, GEICO’s is a comprehensive auto-insurance policy covering all key segments. This includes the driver’s personal use of the car for transportation.
- Erie – Erie provides ride-share services in Indiana, Chicago and Illinois. They are the sole ride-share provider in Chicago.
- MetLife – Is currently available to Colorado Lyft drivers only. With MetLife, drivers’ premiums are based on the number of miles they drive.
- Progressive Insurance – Is one of the cheapest ride-share insurance companies. It launched an insurance service for Lyft drivers in Pennsylvania in March 2015. Progressive covers all the three stages of ride-share liability but the program is available to Lyft drivers only.
- State Farm-This company allows you to use the regular insurance if you drive less than 50% of the miles on your car for Uber. If you drive more they have a special addition that may cover the gap.
Why it is important to have ride-share insurance
Having ride-share insurance is very important if you’re a driver with Uber or Lyft. Some of the key benefits include:
- Open about what you are doing: Some people do not tell their insurance company that they are doing Uber or Lyft and then get dropped if there is an accident. Getting ride-share insurance is open and honest; everyone knows what’s going on.
- Cover for physical damage of the vehicle: There is a gap in insurance in covering your own car if you are at fault in an accident when you have the TNC app on but have not yet gotten a ping. Ride-share insurance covers this gap.
Having ride-share insurance is very important for any ride-sharing driver. From working at a Portland Personal Injury attorney’s office, I know that accidents are real, hence it is wise to ensure you’re always covered just in case the unfortunate happens. The more miles you drive the more chance you have of getting in an accident.
If you’re a driver working with companies such as Uber or Lyft, do not hesitate to contact the nearest ride-share provider. Get insurance cover today and keep yourself, and your passengers safe.
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