Whether you are a rideshare driver or considering to be one, you need to know the fundamentals of rideshare insurance. Driving for Uber and Lyft has certain requirements, one of which has nothing to do with Uber and Lyft, it is State defined.
Uber and Lyft created the need for a new definition of the driving sector, and the current definition is Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). This is a snazzy way of saying an app operated taxi service.
TNC’s are required by law to own a special insurance coverage plan that takes into account passenger transportation. Basically, you need a TNC version of taxi insurance coverage. When I say you, I mean you, the driver, not Uber or Lyft. As a rideshare driver working for a TNC, you are required to purchase rideshare insurance.
Why Do I Need Rideshare Insurance?
As a rideshare driver, you are performing commercial operations, by driving people for money. You are being paid for a service, and the service is driving. Once you convert your car hours to professional commercial hours, your coverage changes too. Not only do you need to file IRS forms and cover your expenses with receipts. You also need to have the proper licensing and insurance coverage too. Just like any commercial business.
Uber’s policy is not enough, you will need full coverage to assure that any incident or accident is covered fully. Uber’s insurance also only covers accidents that happen in period 3, which is the instance when you pick up the passenger to when you drop the passenger off.
Periods 1 and 2 are not covered by Uber or Lyft, and as such, you need full rideshare insurance coverage for those moments too. Which, in many cases, are equal in time to the actual driving period 3.
Take for example an instance where you are driving to your shift, this is period 1, you get into an accident, you don’t have a passenger et and Uber is not covering you. What do you do? Without the proper rideshare insurance policy you end up paying everything out of your pocket, and if you were the cause of the accident, and if there are injured parties, you can forget about Uber’s income to cover all your expenses.
Where Can I Buy Rideshare Insurance?
There are a lot of companies all over the US that offer rideshare insurance policies. Since over three million drivers work for or worked for rideshare income, this particular sector has grown over the last five years.
What was once hard to find is now commonplace. Here is a partial list of some companies that provide rideshare insurance.
- Erie Insurance
- Geico Insurance
Another insurance option is HyreCar.
Hyrecar is not an insurance company, it is a service provider that links a driver to your car. This means that you can let your car work for rideshare by renting it out to a rideshare driver. The moment you take this route, your car is automatically covered fully by Hyrecar’s rideshare insurance plan.
The Hyrecar plan is a pay as you drive system, which means that it covers the car from the moment it starts period 1 till the moment the shift is over. You only pay coverage while it is in a shift. This is a great choice for car owners that prefer to rent out their car than to actually drive it themselves.
How Much Does Rideshare Insurance cost?
Due to the massive influx of drivers and competition, the market has evolved a flexible pricing system. Rideshare policies are not limited to a fixed time and can be as short as 2 days or as long as a year. In most cases, the additional cost is around $10 a month. So, this is an affordable mandatory addition that makes driving for Uber and Lyft or hiring the car via Hyrecar a viable and secure means of income.
What happens in an Accident?
Uber and Lyft will have no part in your accident. Other than require you fix the car before you continue driving. As an independent contractor, all the issues with insurance coverage and dealing with it are on you, the driver.
As with any accident, make sure no one is injured, if there is an injured party you need to call 911 first to take down an accident report. If there is no injured party, you swap information. You notify Uber and Lyft (whichever one you were working for) and take your car in for fixing.
Your insurance coverage (if you bought a rideshare policy) will cover everything just as a standard car insurance policy covers you in non-commercial times.
If you are a driver working with Hyrecar, you will need to press the ‘Contact Support’ option on the dashboard, or by calling (213), 805-8677 between 6 am and 11:30 pm PST.
These are the best rideshare insurance companies you should contact to get more information and compare their policies to see what suits you best.
- Allstate, a relatively cheap and strong company,
State coverage: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, RI, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
- Geico, slightly more expensive, but offers a good service.
State coverage: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
- Progressive, not a lot of covered areas, but comprehensive.
State coverage: AZ, CA, GA, IL, NV, OK, TX
- State Farm, another good firm, but with less coverage than Geico or Allstate.
State coverage: AZ, CO, IL, IN, KS, MN, MS, OK, OR, TN, UT, WA, WI
- USAA (United Services Automobile Association), if you live in CA, your Rideshare policy will cost you only $6.
State coverage: AZ, CA, CO, IL, MA, OH, TX, WA
Aman Bhangoo is the co-founder of Uber Driver Forum who helps rideshare drivers and riders to find answers to their most pressing questions. With over 3.5 years of experience, Aman brings a vast amount of knowledge, style, and skills to help fellow drivers. He has given over 18,000 rides with Uber and more than 6,800 rides with Lyft.