Technology continues to make life easier. Most people can be reached in seconds by text, email, or phone. You can have food delivered, set up appointments, make dinner reservations and request a ride all from your smart phone.
Uber generated approximately $1.5 billion to $2 billion of net revenue in 2015. Most people under the age of 40 in a major metropolitan area have used Uber or Lyft.
Driving for services like Uber and Lyft have become popular ways for some people to supplement their income, or to generate their primary income. One thing Uber drivers don’t always consider is the interplay between their personal automobile insurance and using their personal vehicle as a car-for-hire.
If you get into an accident and your personal automobile insurance carrier finds out you were acting as a car-for-hire, it’s just about guaranteed that they will deny coverage for the accident. This means if you were at fault for the accident you could be left having to pay for any damage to property as well as medical bills and pain and suffering if anyone was injured.
Uber carries insurance in most states as a secondary policy to your policy. This means, if your insurance carrier denies coverages, Uber’s insurance may provide coverage. However, there is some fine print: a) usually, Uber requires that you were running the Uber app at the time of the accident, meaning you were acting as an Uber driver. If you weren’t, their insurance won’t cover you; b) in most states, Uber only carries the minimum amount of insurance coverage required in that state; c) Uber’s policy generally covers only its liability obligations. This generally will not include the damage to your vehicle.
In order to make sure you’re not on the hook for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for injury and property damage, contact your insurance company. More and more carriers are offering additional coverage for their insureds who drive for Uber, Lyft, etc.