Liability Insurance for Lyft and Uber Accidents

With ridesharing continuing to increase in popularity, auto insurance companies have been trying to satisfy the demand from Uber and Lyft drivers and passengers for coverage. Georgia rideshare customers can feel safe knowing that their drivers are insured. Rideshare insurance offered by insurers provides coverage for the time that drivers are on the job. Passengers are covered throughout their trips and in the event that a passenger is injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, he or she may be able to take advantage of the rideshare company’s insurance policy. However, there are different coverages for drivers, passengers, and third parties and based on whether the driver is on a rideshare trip or merely idle. Georgia rideshare passengers should be aware of these rules when they use the app to get a ride.

When do Uber and Lyft offer insurance to cover accidents?

Both Lyft and Uber base their insurance coverage on specific times of driver operation. In essence, if the driver is working, she’s covered by the company’s policy. The amount of coverage depends on whether or not she’s driving to pick up a fare, driving the passenger to their destination, or sitting idle. Lyft calls the time when a driver is not working as “Period 0.” Their company app is off and the driver is not ridesharing. In this period, the driver’s personal policy covers her because she is using her vehicle for personal use. Next, Lyft states that when its drivers have the Lyft Driver app on and they are available to accept a request, the company’s contingent liability policy is in effect. They call this “driver mode.” This is “Period 1”—the driver’s app is on, and she’s waiting for a ride request. The driver’s personal policy doesn’t cover this period without a ridesharing endorsement (specific extra coverage the driver purchased to be applicable when driving a rideshare). Both Uber and Lyft insurance limit their insurance to a minimum amount of liability coverage during this period. When the rideshare driver has accepted a request and is driving to pick up the passenger, it’s called “Period 2.” The rideshare company’s policy is in full force. Likewise, “Period 3” is when the driver has picked up the passenger(s), and the rideshare company’s insurance policy is again in full force.

What insurance companies cover Uber and Lyft?

James River, Progressive, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance all are Uber’s chosen commercial insurance providers for the millions of ridesharing trips Uber connects between drivers and passengers every day in the US. Georgia drivers are covered by Farmers Insurance. Lyft uses numerous insurance carriers across the country. It works with EICO, Farmers, USAA, Allstate, State Farm, American Family, and Mercury Insurance to cover its drivers and passengers in Georgia. Like Lyft, Uber states that every driver is covered while online—from the moment a driver turns on the app to wait for a trip request, while driving to pick up a passenger, and until the trip is finished.

What Are the Policy Limits for Uber and Lyft Accidents?

Both companies have identical policy limits. When the driver is available and the company driver app is on, liability insurance is provided by the company at $50,000 per injury, $100,000 total, and $25,000 for property damage. Neither company has a deductible for this period. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage motorist coverage protects a driver and passengers from damages in an accident caused by an at-fault driver with no liability insurance or insufficient liability insurance policy limits to cover all of the damages. Uninsured motorist insurance also provides coverage for hit-and-run accidents. When the driver is en route to collect a passenger or is on a trip, Uber provides $1M in liability coverage and $1M in uninsured/underinsured motorist injury coverage. Lyft’s policy coverage varies by state. There’s no deductible on the UM/UIM policies. Contingent collision and comprehensive coverage is paid for damage to the driver’s vehicle if he maintains auto insurance that includes collision coverage for the vehicle. This coverage is up to the actual cash value with a $1,000 deductible for Uber. Lyft has a $25,000 deductible and its contingent collision coverage will apply up to the actual cash value of the driver’s vehicle or cost of repair, whichever is less. Both companies also note that additional coverage is provided where it’s required by state or local laws. If a driver already carries commercial insurance or, as mentioned above, personal coverage providing specific coverage for ridesharing, the companies’ policies will continue to be excess to the driver’s insurance coverage.

Bottomline: What a Lyft or Uber Lawyer Knows about Accident Insurance

Georgia rideshare drivers should be aware that even though Uber and Lyft provide insurance coverage during all phases of the job—prior to, during, and after rideshare requests—their personal auto insurer may have an issue if they don’t disclose that they’re a rideshare driver. Rideshare passengers in Georgia should know the amount of coverage that’s available from the company to the driver and passengers for an accident. If you or a loved one is involved in a Lyft or Uber accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay, and perhaps also the rideshare company’s policy. Be sure to speak with an experienced accident attorney like those at the Law Offices of Butler Kahn in Atlanta, Georgia. If you or a loved one is hurt or killed in a rideshare motor vehicle accident, and you’re looking for legal help, please contact Butler Kahn.

Jeb Butler
Jeb Butler’s career as a Georgia trial lawyer has led to a $150 million verdict in a product liability case against Chrysler for a dangerous vehicle design that caused the death of a child, a $45 million settlement for a young man who permanently lost the ability to walk and talk, and numerous other verdicts and settlements, many of which are confidential at the defendant’s insistence. Jeb has worked on several cases that led to systemic changes and improvements in public safety. He has been repeatedly recognized as a Georgia SuperLawyer and ranks among Georgia’s legal elite. Jeb graduated in the top 10% of his class at UGA Law, argued on the National Moot Court team, and published in the Law Review. He is the founding partner of Butler Kahn law firm. Connect with me on LinkedIn



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