Your car insurance coverage may not have been at the forefront of your mind when you signed up to drive for Uber or Lyft. You were probably just excited to start making extra money, but a call to your auto insurance policy provider to check your coverage levels is a good idea.
Ride-sharing services have quickly become an easy way for car owners to make money either on a part-time or full-time basis.
If you assumed Uber or Lyft took responsibility for any car accidents or injuries that may occur while you’re on the clock, you’d be partially correct. There are two instances when Uber or Lyft will cover you during your work time. First, when you have your ride-sharing app open and are marked as “online,” the company will fill in the gaps in your auto insurance coverage if you get into an accident and are considered at fault. Also, when you’re online with riders on board, you are covered.
Still, you have to pay a large deductible for this coverage, and it will only come into play once your personal coverage has been exhausted. Meaning, you’re likely to have to pay two deductibles.
An important exception to the ride-sharing service’s coverage offering is when you have the app open, you’re marked as “online,” but you haven’t yet accepted a rider, the ride-sharing service will not bear any of the injury costs or lawsuit liabilities that result from an accident. And if your personal auto policy provider finds you were driving for a ride-sharing service at the time of the accident, you may face trouble.
If it seems unfair to you to pay for a commercial auto insurance policy if you only drive for a ride-sharing service part-time, you wouldn’t be the only one to feel this way. You may not need the extensive liability of a comprehensive commercial policy, but you need more coverage than your personal policy provides.
Given that this new job opportunity is becoming widespread, many major companies now offer policies that are specifically designed for ride-sharing drivers.
One thing to always remember is that your personal auto policy is based on the information you provided at the time you signed the contract. Your insurance company may be able to release you from that contract if you are reclassified as a commercial driver. Always keep your policy provider informed about your ride-share activities, because it’s not a given that your insurance will go up, and it’s the right way to proceed.
Talk to Four Seasons Insurance if you need to make changes to your car insurance coverage and you have questions about how ride-sharing services will affect your monthly bill. Whether you opt for a commercial policy or you want a personal policy that includes ride-sharing coverage, give us a call today. We make sure you’re protected every time you get behind the wheel.