Does Uber’s Insurance Policy Cover You as a Driver?
As personal injury attorneys we get a lot of questions from rideshare drivers about Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage. “How does Uber’s insurance give me coverage?” “Will Uber’s policy cover my passengers or am I personally responsible?” “Do I need insurance if Uber has their own policy?” “Does Uber’s insurance only cover when I have passengers?” We’re here to answer these questions, and many others.
The Way Ridesharing Insurance Policies are Categorized
Insurance requirements fall under three different categories, or periods:
- Period 1: The first period covers the time when your app is on and you are waiting for a ride.
- Period 2: The second period covers the time between acceptance of a rideshare on the app and the passenger(s) getting in your vehicle.
- Period 3: The third period covers the time between the passenger(s) getting in your vehicle and exiting your vehicle.
With Uber, the coverage for these periods fall into two different categories:
- Category 1: The time when the Uber app is on and you’re waiting to be matched with a ride. (Period 1)
- Category 2: The time between accepting a ride and the passenger(s) exiting your vehicle. (Period 2 and 3)
Uber’s Insurance Coverage Under the Two Categories
Uber has posted three different Certificates of Insurance on their website, in effect between March 1, 2021 and September 1, 2021. The first two policies give coverage for category 1 above. The third policy covers category 2.
These essentially say that prior to picking up a passenger, if you are the cause of an accident, the insurer will initially cover bodily injuries up to $100,000 for an accident, with a maximum of $50,000 for each individual. Property damage will be covered up to $30,000. If your personal injury or property damage liability exceeds these totals Uber has an additional policy that will cover up to $200,000. Your own injuries or property will not be covered by Uber’s policy in this situation.
After picking up a passenger and prior to dropping them off, Uber has personal injury/property damage coverage up to $1,000,000. Uber’s policy may cover property damage to your vehicle, but only if you also carry comprehensive/collision coverage. If you qualify for that coverage it will come with a $2,500 deductible. The difference here, for you, is that Uber has uninsured/underinsured coverage. Up to $1,000,000. Which means that if you were not at fault in an accident and the at fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your expenses, Uber’s policy will cover your injuries, as well as your passengers, up to $1,000,000.
The big takeaway here is that the majority of Uber’s policy is not particularly designed to your benefit. It’s designed to protect other drivers and your passengers. To ensure you are prepared in the event of an accident, you need to consider the type of coverage you should carry for yourself.
What Coverage Should a Driver Have?
First and foremost, when you aren’t using the app, you still need the minimum insurance requirements under California law (per California Insurance Code §11580.1b):
- $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
- $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
The additional coverage you can obtain includes:
- PROPERTY DAMAGE
This covers the damage done to another person’s car. Although less frequent, it also covers damage done to buildings or objects that you hit with your car.
- MED-PAY or PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)
Medical payments coverage (Med-Pay or Personal Injury Protection) will cover medical expenses for you and your family members no matter whose fault the accident was. Med-Pay coverage can range between $500 and $100,000 per person injured.
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle as a result of an accident. Coverage occurs whether you or the other driver are at fault, so even if the at-fault driver is uninsured your car can be repaired.
Comprehensive coverage insures against damages to your car not resulting from a collision. It also insures against theft. As a sort of flip-side to collision coverage, it is almost always required when leasing or purchasing with a loan, and is not required by the state.
- UNINSURED and UNDERINSURED MOTORIST
Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage protects you against drivers who fail to carry insurance or have insurance with premiums below the damage they caused in an accident.
For a more detailed explanation of the different types of insurance coverage outside of Uber, read here.
The information provided in this blog is not meant to be legal advice. It is provided as an informative guide only. If you have any questions regarding a personal injury, contact a lawyer today. An experienced attorney will have a strong understanding of the process and usually can inform you at no cost. The attorneys at Haffner & Morgan offer no cost consultations and are happy to answer any questions you may have.