Uber Safe ? Maybe!

I am sure that many of you have used the Uber and Lyft ride sharing services, but have you thought about what would happen if the driver was in an accident.  You might want to.

Insurance Networking News recently reported about a new coverage that one insurance company (Erie) is offering to provide coverage to people who use their personal vehicles as taxis and have an accident.  They don’t exactly call it Uber Insurance, but that is what it is.

Most likely, your personal auto insurance will not cover an accident if you are using your auto to drive for dollars – meaning it won’t cover damage to your vehicle or the vehicle you hit.  This is important to the Uber driver and not so much to the Uber passenger.

It also won’t cover costs for YOUR (as a passenger) medical care if you are injured.  This is the part that affects you the most immediately.  If it is the other guy’s fault and he or she admits it and he or she has insurance and you can get that company to accept liability, then you can get paid for your medical care.

Otherwise, you may be left to suing everybody involved, likely waiting years, and maybe getting some money.  But, all may not be lost, keep reading.

All that is from the Uber driver’s personal insurance company’s point of view.

Now from Uber’s point of view:

According to a blog post at Uber,  Uber provides $1 million of liability coverage per incident, which, they claim, is primary coverage, from the moment the driver accepts the trip to it’s conclusion.

Uber also claims to provide $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance.

Uber also provides $50,000 of contingent (secondary) comprehensive and collision insurance, ONLY IF the Uber driver has their own comprehensive and collision policy.

Lyft claims to offer similar coverage with slightly different rules/limits.

Hopefully nothing happens when you take that next taxi ride, but ….

Maybe this is much ado about nothing, but I suspect that there may well be kinks in the system yet to be worked out.  AND, you being knowledgeable about where your coverage is coming from (I would look to Uber or Lyft right away — the deep pockets idea), is probably very useful.

Certainly things to think about from both you as a Uber or Lyft passenger as well as a driver.

Mitch Tanenbaum