In a matter of years, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way people get around. With a mobile app and a few clicks, you can have an Uber or Lyft driver at your service within minutes. Getting from point A to point B has perhaps never required such little effort, but there’s another side to this booming ridesharing industry: uncertainty and confusion surrounding insurance coverage after an accident. The industry is so new and has grown so quickly that even the insurance adjusters and courts are navigating unfamiliar terrain. However, there is still a lot of information out there that everyone needs to know whether they work for Uber or Lyft, or just utilize the services. Read on for the answers to common questions about what you can do following an accident involving Uber or Lyft.
Are Lyft And Uber Drivers Required To Carry Their Own Insurance Policy In Florida?
Uber and Lyft drivers in Florida are required to carry $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability. These requirements are laid out in House Bill 221, which was signed into Florida law in 2017 in an effort to address the growing number of insurance-related problems involving rideshare companies.
Does The Uber Or Lyft Driver’s Personal Insurance Policy Cover A Passenger’s Damages In An Auto Accident?
Many people assume that if the Uber or Lyft driver was at fault for causing an accident while in the process of transporting a passenger, then they will be held personally liable through their own insurance policy for the damages suffered by the passenger. This, however, is not necessarily true, since most personal auto insurance policies don’t apply to accidents that occur while the insured is being paid for operating the vehicle, such as by transporting a passenger for a fee. Whether the personal auto insurance policy would apply to accidents that occur while the Uber or Lyft driver is available to provide rides but not actively providing one remains unclear, and may depend on the specific insurance provider at hand.
At What Point Will Uber Or Lyft Cover An Injured Passenger’s Damages?
The answer to this question is heavily dependent on the context in which the Uber or Lyft driver is operating the vehicle.
Scenario #1: If the Uber or Lyft driver is actively transporting a passenger when they cause an auto accident, or is on their way to a destination to pick up a specific customer, then $1 million in single limit bodily injury liability and $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage should apply. To be clear, this coverage is provided by Uber and Lyft in place of coverage by the driver’s own insurance policy.
Scenario #2: If the Uber or Lyft driver is not actively on their way to pick up a specific customer, nor in the process of transporting a passenger, but is available through the ridesharing app when they are involved in an accident, then Uber and Lyft will provide $50,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage, $100,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This is true ONLY if at least one of the following are true:
- The Uber or Lyft driver does not already carry this amount of coverage via their personal auto insurance policy.
- The claim is rejected by the Uber or Lyft driver’s insurance company, which may very well be the case if the insurance company considers the driver to have been driving for the purposes of conducting “business” at the time of the accident.
What Damages Are Available To A Passenger Who Was Injured In An Uber Or Lyft-Related Accident?
Regardless of the source of compensation, an injured passenger may be entitled to receive a settlement for the following damages:
- Past and future medical costs associated with the injury, including therapy and long-term medical needs
- Loss of income due to time off work
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage, if applicable
Is An At-Fault Uber Or Lyft Driver Entitled To Recovery For Their Personal Losses?
An Uber or Lyft driver could find themselves unable to recover financially after an accident for which they were at fault, despite the large amount of coverage provided by Uber and Lyft for passenger damages. For this reason, it’s important that an Uber or Lyft driver—or anyone who is considering becoming one—speak with a representative at their insurance company to determine whether they would be covered in the event of an accident. With the rising popularity of companies like Uber and Lyft, some insurance companies are offering add-on insurance designed specifically to protect rideshare drivers.
Contact the Uber and Lyft rideshare accident experts at Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., 1-800-TellRobert.
Offices located in the following Florida cities:
- Hallandale (Main office)
- Fort Lauderdale
- West Palm Beach