Uber & Lyft: Insurance Coverage Issues in Ride-Sharing Apps
Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Apr 01, 2015 in Auto Accidents
Uber and Lyft, the worlds foremost ride-sharing applications, have been facing widespread litigation since they first launched.
The most recent legal conflict facing the two California-based technology companies and competitors concerns the issue of insurance coverage. At issue is whose insurance policy applies when an Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an accident.
The problem arises because there are times when a drivers personal insurance policy does not apply and when the ride-sharing companies insurance policies also do not apply.
For example, when a driver who is carrying a passenger is involved in an accident, both the insurance policies of the ride-share app, be it Uber or Lyft, will apply. Additionally, if the driver is not carrying a passenger and is not working for Uber or Lyft at the moment of the accident, then the drivers personal insurance policy will apply.
However, if the driver is on the way to pick up a customer or is driving around waiting for a customer when the accident occurs, then neither Uber and Lyft nor the personal insurance policies will apply.
This creates a problem called gap-coverage, which is used to describe those accidents where no ones insurance policy will apply.
Gap Coverage Laws
California legislators have devoted substantial time and effort to creating legislation that resolves gap-coverage issues.
The California Department of Insurance, state insurance companies and legislators have cobbled together a new law that will go into effect July 1, 2015.
The law, AB2293, will address Period 1, which is used to identify that period in time when an Uber or Lyft driver is working but is not carrying a passenger.
The law calls for personal insurance policies to offer coverage policies that eliminate the gap in coverage. Minimum coverage rates include:
- $50,000 minimum for single personal injury
- $100,000 minimum for multiple person injuries
- $30,000 minimum for property damage
Keeping Everyone Safe
Regardless of how the ridesharing programs and applications are insured, the most important thing is that new policies and laws protect the rights of drivers and passengers.
Uber and Lyft, insurance companies and legislators have banded together to craft legislation that ensures the safety of California residents. Nonetheless, Arnold Law Firm attorneys will remain vigilant to ensure that car accident victims can still get the financial compensation they deserve after an accident.