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do i need to tell my insurance i drive for lyft or uber

2020 took a toll on all of us. A lot of people lost jobs and as a result had to find work elsewhere. Uber and Lyft became more necessary options for those folks looking to earn an income.

If you are thinking about driving for Uber and Lyft, you should think about your personal automobile insurance coverage.

As a new driver, it’s quite common to wonder, Do I need to tell my insurance I drive for Lyft or Uber?

In a word, the answer is Yes. Most auto policies now disclaim coverage if someone is engaged in “driving for hire” — in other words, driving for a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft. Your insurance company could cancel your policy altogether, or refuse to renew it, if it were to learn that you’re using your personal vehicle for hire without disclosing this to them.

Explore Supplemental Insurance

Fortunately, most insurance companies now offer supplemental insurance to cover you when you are driving for Uber and Lyft.

Our recommendation is that you call your insurance company and ask about adding supplemental insurance onto your policy. It’s not very expensive — approximately $15 per month.

Supplemental rideshare insurance can take the place of your personal auto policy while you’re driving for hire — whether the app is on or off. This is a hybrid form of insurance policy designed to supplement your personal auto insurance policy for instances when you’re not covered by Lyft or Uber’s insurance. This insurance may also be responsible to pay out before Lyft or Uber’s policies are activated.

Whatever you do, don’t think you can avoid supplemental coverage and then make a claim for a crash that occurs while you are driving for Uber and Lyft. Your insurance company will probably find out and deny coverage in that situation.

Consider Insurance Offered by Uber and Lyft

The thought process shouldn’t end with supplemental insurance. Remember that Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage to drivers and their passengers while rides are active.

The rideshare insurance coverage offered by Uber and Lyft depends on the driver’s status. The following questions determine what kind of coverage is available from Uber and Lyft:

  • Is the app on and you are looking to pick up a ride?
  • Have you accepted a ride and are you currently on the way to pick up passengers?
  • Do you have passengers in your car and are your transporting them to their destination?

In terms of coverage amounts offered and ride status, these rideshare companies’ insurance plans are, on the surface, equivalent, as of March 2021:

  • App is off: Your personal auto policy covers you and your passengers.
  • App is on: A low level of liability coverage is provided by Uber or Lyft. This is $50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. Learn more about the differences between bodily injury and property damage coverage in auto insurance policies.
  • You’ve accepted a trip: A higher level of coverage is provided, including $1,000,000 in third-party in uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
  • Passengers in your car: Same as above. Uber used to treat driving with passengers separately from driving without passengers separately. Now, Uber’s insurance policy to covers drivers and passengers once a ride is accepted.

You can compare each company’s policies here:

You May Need a Commercial Driver’s License

You might not have thought about the possibility of needing a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if you decide for Uber and Lyft. Yet, some states are now requiring that you have a commercial driver’s license if you drive for Uber or Lyft as your full-time occupation.

A commercial driver’s license is a separate test that you have to take with your department of motor vehicles. It typically requires getting a medical evaluation as well. Check with your DMV for its requirements so that you don’t put yourself into jeopardy.

Further Reading: Rideshare Accident Claims

You now know the answer when a friend or colleague asks you, Do I need to tell my insurance I drive for Lyft or Uber? But do you know what to do when you’re involved in an accident as a Lyft or Uber driver?

The process of filing an insurance claim involving a rideshare accident is no different from filing a claim with an insurance company for a personal accident. At Negretti & Associates, we have prepared a series of articles that highlight potential issues that may arise when filing rideshare insurance claims.

When making a rideshare accident claim, whatever you do, mind what you say, so that your answers are not used against you later. The same thing goes when reporting the accident claim through a rideshare company’s app. Be careful about what you write. A personal injury attorney can provide you with valuable advice before reporting your accident.

If you have been involved in a rideshare accident as a driver in Arizona, California, or California, reach out to Negretti & Associates. Call us at (602) 531-3911 in Arizona, (619) 777-3370 in California, or (720) 636-3444 in Colorado. You can also contact us online or send us a text.

uber insurance claims

Whether you’re the driver or a passenger in an Uber accident, or if your car has been in an accident with an Uber driver, the process of filing an Uber insurance claim is no different from filing a claim with an insurance company.

Yet, the key thing to remember is be careful about what you report to Uber or the company handling the insurance claim. Insurance claims adjustors may seem to be on your side as they collect information from you. Behind the scenes, they are looking for ways to reduce liability and save money.

Therefore, before starting your claim, consult with a law firm that is familiar with rideshare accidents and Uber insurance claims. At Negretti & Associates, we have handled many Uber claims and are familiar with Uber’s claims-handling process.

We have prepared this list of answers to common questions as a way of highlighting the potential issues that may arise when filing Uber insurance claims.

How do I file a claim with Uber?

James River Insurance Company is the claims handling company for Uber. You can Visit JamesRiverIns.com for more information. New claims must be submitted in writing by mail, email, or fax.

Before initiating a claim with Uber, however, Negretti & Associates suggests that you contact us first. This is because insurance companies can use a variety of techniques to limit payouts.

Negretti & Associates can provide you with valuable advice that may end up saving you a lot of heartache later. We can help you avoid the potential for your answers to be used against you later.

If an Uber driver hit my car, and it’s the Uber driver’s fault, whose insurance covers the accident?

If you are in an accident with an Uber driver, the driver’s insurance and Uber’s insurance — or a combination of the two — should cover your damages.

There are varying levels of coverage provided to Uber drivers. Coverage depends upon the status of the driver at the time of the accident. Still, the driver’s personal insurance may apply. Uber may also be required to cover additional losses, depending on different factors.

If you get in an accident involving an Uber driver, contact Negretti & Associates first, and we’ll help unpack the details of your situation.

If I am the passenger in an accident, should I report the accident to Uber? Do I call Uber customer service?

Ultimately, a claim will need to be reported to Uber if you intend to pursue a claim against them. Remember, what you say and how you say it is important!

Contact Negretti & Associates before starting an Uber insurance claim. We will prepare you for that conversation. If you end up hiring us to represent you, we will contact Uber on your behalf.

I am an Uber driver. How and when does Uber insurance cover me?

Uber discusses its insurance program in the Help section of its website. The company provides varying levels of insurance coverage at different phases of a ride.

Uber’s automotive liability coverage “starts the instant you tap ‘go’ on the Uber app to wait for a ride request.”

As the driver waits for the ride request, Uber maintains automobile liability coverage to drivers on their behalf in amounts of at least:

  • $50,000 for the driver’s liability for bodily injury per person case of a covered accident.
  • $100,000 per covered accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage for which you are responsible for in a covered accident.

While the driver is traveling to pick up the rider, and while the passenger’s ride is in progress, Uber provides:

  • Third-party liability coverage: This encompasses bodily injuries or damages caused to riders, people in other vehicles, pedestrians, or property.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: This insures driver and riders while a passenger trip is in progress, and another driver is at fault, but either does not have sufficient insurance coverage, or flees the scene of the accident (a “hit-and-run” accident).
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage: Uber writes that this will “kick in” for a driver “as long as you maintain comprehensive and collision coverage on your personal auto insurance.” Uber states it will “provide physical damage coverage for your car up to its actual cash value, regardless of who is at fault.” For the coverage to apply, the driver must pay a deductible of $1,000.

Uber also tells drivers that, “If you’re in an accident during this time, you don’t need to file a claim with your personal auto policy. You can submit a claim directly from the Uber app or by contacting support.”

As an Uber driver, do I need to report my accident to Uber? Will Uber notify my insurance company of the accident?

If you are an Uber driver, you might have an affirmative duty to report your accident to Uber, pursuant to your agreement to drive for Uber. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you lose your rights.

It is possible that Uber will notify your insurance. With the advent of blockchain technology and smart contracts, insurance companies are investing in new, innovative ways to handle insurance claims processing. Regardless, we would not count on Uber notifying your insurance provider.

If you hire Negretti & Associates to handle your claim, we will put your insurance on notice of the claim that we have made against Uber. This is important because your insurance coverages may also apply in the event of an accident involving Uber.

The experienced accident lawyers at Negretti & Associates can help you successfully navigate your Uber insurance claim. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and evaluate your case. Contact us online, call us at 1-833-827-3535, or send us a text.

rideshare accidents

Have you been in an accident involving a rideshare company such as Uber or Lyft?  Were you the passenger? Were you in the other vehicle? What if the driver was on his way to pickup a passenger? Is there insurance coverage in these situations? It depends.

As millions of people use rideshare companies to get around, there is a lack of understanding of what happens and the potential issues arise when being injured due to a rideshare accident involving a driver from a rideshare company. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have transformed the public transportation industry.  Riders love the low cost, the convenience, the choices (luxury vehicle, SUV, fuel efficient vehicle), the overall friendly service and ability to rate their drivers.

When ridesharing companies first started about ten years ago, it was common practice for their drivers to use the driver’s own personal insurance policies for accident coverage. The problem with this practice was that most personal insurance policies did not cover the driver or their passenger(s) if the driver was operating the vehicle for commercial use. This left the victims of these accidents without a source of recovery.

As more serious accident began to occur, such as the death of a California woman while riding in a Lyft vehicle outside of Sacramento in 2014; rideshare companies and their drivers began to be more closely scrutinized by the public. The conversation about who was ultimately responsible for coverage (the driver or the rideshare company) forced changes in the industry.

Ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft now provide their drivers with a $1 million dollar liability policy in the event of an accident. This means that the driver and their passenger(s) may be covered for damages. However, it is not that black and white. The coverage still depends on a variety of factors.

Both Uber and Lyft cover their drivers with a three-part insurance plan, which states:

  1. Driver Mode Off: If the rideshare driver is not driving for Uber or Lyft at the time of the accident, their personal insurance policy will provide liability coverage for accidents caused by the driver. This means the $1 million dollar policy does not apply.

Many insurance companies now offer specific coverage for rideshare. However, it is up to the rideshare driver to look into their personal insurance and add rideshare coverage to their  policy. If the driver fails to do so, they could be personally liable if they are involved in an accident.

  1. Driver Mode On Without a Passenger: If the rideshare driver has the driver mode on and is waiting for a ride request when they are involved in an accident, the driver is covered under both Uber and Lyft’s contingent liability coverage. The contingent liability coverage is used in the event the driver’s personal insurance does not provide coverage or does not provide enough coverage. Lyft’s contingent liability coverage is $50,000.00 per person or $100,000.00 maximum per accident and $30,000.00 for property damage.

However, some states, including California, have created legislation (Assembly Bill 2293) to mandate a higher excess liability coverage when accidents occur during this phase of a rideshare driver’s employment. In 2015, California mandated that third-party liability insurance covering the costs of injury, death, and property damage must be at least $200,000.000.

Additionally, the law clarifies that driver’s personal insurance can no longer cover this time period. It must be covered by the rideshare company.  The new regulations have been put into place to prevent ridesharing companies from claiming their insurance policies should not kick in because drivers have personal coverage.

  1. Driver Mode On With a Passenger: If the rideshare driver has the driver mode on and is driving a passenger at the time of the accident, the driver and the passenger are generally covered by the ridesharing company’s liability coverage. Both Uber and Lyft have $1 million dollar liability coverage policies as well as $1million dollars in uninsured and underinsured coverage.

Rideshare accidents may be complicated, involve multiple insurance companies and need expert investigators.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a rideshare company it is important to contact an attorney at Negretti & Associates for a free consultation.