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Whose Insurance Covers a Ridesharing Accident?

Whose Insurance Covers a Ridesharing Accident?
Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

Know Your Rights in a Rideshare Accident

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are more common than ever. With convenience at your fingertips, it is crucial to understand the insurance coverage available in the unfortunate event of an accident. Uber and Lyft offer several layers of insurance with varying degrees of protection, but they are only active during certain times. Continue reading to learn more.

What Insurance Coverage Do Uber and Lyft Offer in the Event of an Accident?

Uber and Lyft, two of the most well-known ridesharing companies in the nation, provide several layers of insurance that protect both sides involved in the event of an accident, and the types and amount of coverage available vary depending on when the accident took place:

  • Uber and Lyft do not cover accidents if a driver is off-the-clock.

  • If a driver is clocked in and searching for a passenger to drive, Uber and Lyft offer $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage and $25,000 per accident in property damage coverage.

  • If the driver has matched with a passenger and is driving to pick them up, Uber and Lyft offer $1,000,000 in third-party auto liability coverage, first-party coverages (including uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, etc.), and contingent comprehensive coverage up to the cash value of the vehicle.

  • Uber and Lyft offer the same coverage if a driver is carrying a passenger and gets into an accident.

  • Uber and Lyft may also be liable for injuries or deaths caused by their drivers for claims that exceed the $1,000,000 liability insurance. Although California voters determined through the passage of Proposition 22 that Uber and Lyft drivers were not “employees” for purposes of benefits and other labor protections, the law did not decide whether Uber or Lyft could be held legally liable for the negligence of their drivers.

There are also state-mandated minimum insurance policies for all drivers who partner with Uber and Lyft nationwide.

However, these haven’t always been their standards. Uber and Lyft have come under immense scrutiny since an incident in 2013 that prompted them to reform their policies, including adding liability insurance coverage for passengers and drivers who use their services.

Exploring the 2013 Incident That Caused Major Changes to Ridesharing Liability Insurance Policies

In 2013, a tragic accident involving an Uber driver killing a 6-year-old pedestrian contributed to the overhaul of ridesharing liability insurance policies. At the time, The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigated Uber's existing liability coverage. Through their comprehensive analysis, the CPUC determined that neither Uber nor Lyft provided enough coverage for injured parties or victims in some cases involving an at-fault driver affiliated with either service.

As a result, additional policies and a minimum required liability policy were implemented to ensure proper protocols were in place in the event of another similar accident. These heightened safety measures ultimately set higher standards regarding ridesharing company liabilities and serve as a reminder of how important it is to address any issues within this industry swiftly and efficiently.

How Does Liability Coverage for Ridesharing Accidents Differ from Other Types of Transportation Accidents?

Liability coverage for ridesharing accidents differs from more traditional forms of transportation in that the driver is theoretically classified as a contractor rather than an employee, creating a unique insurance dynamic. This means that Uber and Lyft provide their own insurance policies in addition to any policies the driver may have independently. Both companies now offer $1 million of liability coverage to protect their drivers, riders, and bystanders during an incident — with additional uninsured and underinsured protection available for passengers in many cases.

Additionally, Uber and Lyft may also be liable for injuries or deaths caused by their drivers for claims that exceed the $1,000,000 liability insurance. The issue of whether Uber or Lyft is legally responsible for the negligence of their drivers - a legal principle called vicarious liability - is unsettled and hotly contested. Once again, this issue would only arise when the value of the harm caused by the driver exceeds the $1,000,000 insurance that is mandated.

Understanding Your Rights as a Passenger Involved in a Ridesharing Accident

In recent years, ridesharing services have become increasingly popular and more widely available, creating new risks for both drivers and passengers. Understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial if you are involved in a ridesharing accident. Uber and Lyft offer liability insurance coverage in the event of an accident, which creates an additional layer of security specific to the company's services.

Both companies now provide reliable protection with comprehensive coverage options such as contingent comprehensive and collision, personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), and death/dismemberment benefits for passengers. As a passenger or driver involved in a ridesharing accident, it is vital to be aware of the company's protections, which can help ensure that any damage can be addressed quickly and easily.

Get In Touch With a Ridesharing Accident Attorney

Passengers and drivers involved in Uber or Lyft accidents should familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities before getting into a rideshare vehicle. Both companies offer liability insurance coverage in the event of an accident, but this coverage can vary by type of incident and individual situation. Passengers should always make sure they are dealing directly with a registered driver through the official app to guarantee the company's policy covers them if something unexpected should happen.

The presence of liability insurance for Uber and Lyft passengers is a welcome development; however, being treated fairly by the insurance companies is an altogether different issue after an accident occurs. If you have been involved in a rideshare accident involving serious injury or death, you will need a qualified attorney to represent your interests from the outset to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation.

The team of ridesharing accident attorneys at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook is here to help you file a claim and obtain the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.

Learn more about how we can help with ridesharing accident claims or schedule a consultation by calling (925) 275-5592 or visiting our website.