Uber and Lyft isn’t like the traditional car service. But how does car insurance work in an action against an Uber and Lyft driver? Who has the insurance policy -is it the driver or the company? Whom will the injured person hold the claim against? Read on to get the answers.
What is Uber and Lyft?
Uber and Lyft is new car services that compete with taxis and also with the existing car services. They are similar to many taxi services that but these companies do not own, operate, or control of their vehicles, and do not directly hire their drivers. The main differences between the Uber and Lyft, and taxis and traditional car services, the price structure and how customers arrange rides with Uber and Lyft drivers.
Unlike taxis, a potential passenger of the Uber and Lyft service wave car on the street. Instead, a passenger must download the Uber and Lyft application on their smartphone and engage the services of a driver to pick them up through the app. Prices for a Uber or Lyft ride varies. Some trips can be cheaper than a regular taxi, and others can be more expensive than a standard cab. Uber has a pricing style called surge pricing, which means that prices vary with demand. At peak times, an Uber ride can be much more expensive than an off-peak time. Lyft is known for its quirky pricing system – passengers do not pay for their special trip. Instead, Lyft drivers theoretical ” receive gifts” from their passengers. How Does Car Insurance Work for Uber and Lyft Drivers?
Uber and Lyft require all drivers to have their car insurance. Further, Uber and Lyft provide some extra coverage for their drivers as additional insurance for personal insurance of drivers.
However, Uber and Lyft drivers should be aware that Uber and Lyft is still evolving services and their policies and procedures. As Uber and Lyft have recently changed their collective insurance provisions. If you are an Uber and Lyft driver, you must check with Uber and Lyft to determine what kind of insurance Uber and Lyft offer currently.
An Uber and Lyft personal Insurance cover for the driver does not include them.
Uber and Lyft drivers should note that their own insurance policy does not provide coverage for them while they drive the Uber and Lyft. Because many private car insurance policies specifically disclaim coverage for accidents that occurred while the driver was driving for pay. Each standard car insurance policy has a list of exclusions from coverage, and one of the exclusions in many state is driving for pay.
If the policy does not cover or specifically exclude driving for hire, the driver will not have personal auto insurance when he or she gets into an accident while driving for Uber and Lyft. The driver needs to buy insurance additional commercial cover for an additional fee.
If you are an Uber and Lyft driver, you need to check your personal auto insurance policy to see if it relates to driving for pay (i.e., commercial hire). But because the reading and understanding of insurance can be tricky, you should also check with your insurance agent and confirm from him or her if you have additional insurance as you need protection while driving for Uber and Lyft. Take this into consideration when deciding whether you should or can drive Uber and Lyft.
Uber and Lyft Drivers need a license as Commercial Driver.
Uber and Lyft drivers are professional drivers, which means that they drive for money when picking up passengers. Although they are independent contractors and not employed by Uber and Lyft, the drivers are riding on behalf of Uber and Lyft. Therefore, the state should consider them to be business drivers.
Although laws in each state is different, Uber and Lyft drivers should be aware that their state would require them to have the license of a commercial driver. For example, some states require only driver’s licenses for commercial driver and drivers that do it as full-time occupation. So, if an Uber and Lyft driver only run 10 hours per week, the driver might not need the authorization of a commercial driver. Contact the department of motor vehicles of your state to see what the requirements of your state as regards business driving.
If your state requires you to license a commercial driver because you are driving for Uber and Lyft, and you do not have a commercial driver license, you could be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident. Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident your auto insurer may disclaim coverage if you are involved in an accident, irrespective of the fact that you have commercial driver’s policy.
What do you do in case of an accident?
With all boring but necessary background information out of the way, here’s what you should do if you are involved in an accident during a trip request from Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.
Keep your wits – The first minutes after an accident had occurred. Here’s what you need to collect.
- Registration – Make sure you copy the other car license plate in case they decide to run.
- Exchange information – Take a photo of the other person’s insurance card and driver’s license. Allow them to do the same.
- Listening – It is important to collect information than it is to provide information. If you are not sure what happened, don’t be scared to say, I do not know. Also, pay close attention to what the other person or parties say about the accident. Individuals who know they are at fault, but do not want to admit that, will often lie to avoid been blamed. Often time this lies contradict the evidence, but it is important to note if the other party changes the story several times after the accident had occurred.
- Witnesses – If there are witnesses, ask for their information and if they are willing to speak to the police and insurance companies if asked. If the other party is protesting that she is not at fault, and they were clear, you’d be surprised how many people will come to your aid.
Police – Yes, they need to be mentioned, but do not rely on the story of the police to help at all in the determination of guilt or to assist in repairing the damage. I have more than one occasion the police had been an obstacle to the insurance claim process.
- Be friendly and open – irrespective of who was at fault, be calm. Tempers will be high, so it is best to ease a situation that can bring exactly the opposite of peace.
- do not admit error – unless it is evident, do not admit fault. You do not blame the other, but it is not necessary to either fall on the sword.
- Notes or recording – Record your thoughts if it will help soon after the accident, remember small details. Things happen quickly. Taking a few moments to repeat what’s in your head soon after the crash is an excellent idea
Insurance Basics – Things to know before an accident
Let’s talk a little about how the insurance works in general when you’re involved in an accident. I will point out only on states that mistake. No error reports to simplify things as your insurance company will always pay your damages regardless of fault, but most states assign blame and financial responsibility.
If you’re at fault
It means that you and your insurance company to bear the brunt of the financial responsibility. Here are the different components of the policy are and what they apply to:
- Liability – This part of your policy covers damage to other cars, real estate, and the people who were involved in the accident. Any injured individuals who were in the car that is not immediate family members fall under the responsibility too. There is no deductible for any damage claims.
- Collision – This part of your policy covers damage to your car. There is a deduction for collision insurance, and it goes from policy to policy.
- Medical – This is one of the most misunderstood parts of the insurance. Medical insurance covers you and someone else in the car for medical expenses before the allocation of debt.
If the other driver is at fault, it is better than the first example, but this is where most people get confused. Packages are applied differently.
- Liability – Not used here, because you are not at fault.
- Collision – This coverage is used temporarily until your insurance can get pay from the other insurance company. With most insurance, you will be subjected to a deduction to another insurance company.
- Uninsured or underinsured – This cover is to protect you, and that includes your passengers in an accident with an uninsured driver. This coverage will pay in case the other person is at fault but has no insurance.
- Medical – This covers you and your passenger’s to the point where the other insurance company makes payment.
In a situation the other driver is at fault, your insurance should pay for the damage (mostly) and has a legal right and responsibility to collect the insurance company of the at-fault party. This is a valuable service to carry out insurance when you enable them if the damages exceed your collision deductible and if there are injuries.
When determining error needs, then it is treated as the other person is at fault, until the responsibility is priced for the accident.