Ridesharing has become a normal part of everyday life for many of us. Through the explosive growth of companies like Uber and Lyft, millions of people around the world are able to catch a ride from semi-professional drivers in their cities. The benefits of this innovation are many, including things like increased convenience and reduced DUI offenses in many areas. With that being said, the more they grow in popularity as a transportation option, the more they are involved in traffic accidents. These accidents can be more confusing for the passengers and other drivers involved than regular accidents,because liability is not as straight forward. It is crucial to know what you should do if you are involved in an accident as a driver working for a rideshare company, as a passenger in their vehicle or as the other driver involved.
uber & lyft accident claims
who is liable in a rideshare accident? is it the rideshare company, like uber or lyft? the driver?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not always simple. Florida Statute § 627.748, enacted on July 1, 2017, imposes new insurance requirements for ridesharing companies called Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) as well as for auto insurance coverage. One of the most important considerations in determining liability is whether or not the driver of the rideshare vehicle had their application turned on.
what is rideshare insurance? how does rideshare insurance work in florida?
In the state of Florida, Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) like Uber and Lyft have created a need for what has been called rideshare insurance. The individuals that drive for these companies purchase a rideshare insurance policy or add it to their personal auto insurance policy for coverage while driving for work. There are four different stages defined, each of which can lead to different levels of coverage.
The specific stages are:
- Period 0 - The driver is operating their vehicle with the application (Uber/Lyft) off. This would mean their personal auto insurance policy is covering their driving as standard use.
- Period 1 - The driver has activated the rideshare app and is waiting to be paired with a customer to transport. At this point, their personal rideshare insurance would provide their coverage, and Uber or Lyft would be providing a limited amount of liability coverage.
- Period 2 - The driver has been matched with a customer and is on their way to pick up a passenger. The rideshare company’s insurance will typically be active at this point, and a portion of the personal rideshare insurance coverage for the driver may extend to them.
- Period 3 - The rideshare has picked up their passenger and the rideshare company’s auto insurance coverage takes over. This continues until the passenger is dropped at their destination, at which point the driver’s coverage would return to period 1.
There are differences between the insurance policies for the different rideshare companies. Luckily the state of Florida requires both personal insurance coverage and rideshare companies to have insurance coverage for all periods of time when their apps are active, so drivers should be covered at all times whether they are signed into the application or not. It is important to check with the appropriate rideshare companies for their insurance specifics.
what does the rideshare company coverage provide?
The insurance information for the major rideshare companies are linked below:
what you should do if you are involved in an accident with a rideshare driver
Move your car to safety and follow these NEXT steps after you are involved in a car accident: