Uber and Lyft offer hefty insurance coverage for riders and drivers, but be warned: there are a lot of situations in which this insurance will not cover either one.
Common causes of accidents involving Uber or Lyft rides include:● Distracted driving – unfortunately, the benefits of these ridesharing apps can lead to serious distractions. Looking at the GPS too much, putting on a podcast, checking a notification, and responding to a text while driving are all common causes of car accidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers.● Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Hopefully this will only be a problem with the OTHER driver, but drug and alcohol abuse when behind the wheel can be a problem for ridesharing drivers too, and it remains a leading cause of all auto accidents.● Driving in bad weather – Unfortunately, accidents caused from low visibility, slippery roads during the rain, or snowstorms are very prevalent in ridesharing accidents.● Speeding – This remains a universal problem on the roads and increases the chances of more serious accidents.● Running red lights – Impatience to get to a passenger to a destination as quickly as possible can lead to some reckless driving and endanger everyone on the road.
All in all, Uber’s fatal accident tally has consistently recorded about fifty deaths per year involving its fleet.
When does Uber and Lyft coverage for drivers work and when does it not cover drivers?
The good news is that driver liability coverage for Uber and Lyft is up to $1 million. There are three different coverage periods denoted by both companies that determine whether or not this insurance coverage will kick in.
Period 1: The app is on but there is no passenger or accepted request
Period 2: A ride has been requested and accepted and the driver is en route
Period 3: The passenger is in the car en route to the destination
If an accident occurs during the second period, then for Lyft drivers, any accident that occurs on the way to pick up a passenger but before the passenger is in the car will be covered with up to $50,000 per person in bodily injury, up to $100,000 per accident in bodily injury, and up to $25,000 per accident in property damages.
During the third period, Lyft is the most generous with their insurance coverage. If a passenger is in the vehicle at the time of the accident, then Lyft will cover up to $1 million per occurrence. Uber follows the same policy
In both cases, however, whether in period 1 or period 2, a Lyft driver is still responsible for a $2,500 deductible, meaning they will have to pay the first $2,500 in costs before the insurance can be applied.
What about accidents when the app is on but the driver isn’t on the way to a passenger?
Unfortunately, if an Uber or Lyft driver is using the app but isn’t currently matched with a passenger or carrying a passenger, then any accident they get in will be up to them to deal with. Neither ridesharing service offers coverage that will help out drivers when they are not actively using the app. In these cases, drivers need to have their own insurance provider to cover their damages and liabilities.
What do I do if I am a driver and get in an accident during the first period?
In this case, it will entirely depend on who is at fault, what state you live in, and what your insurance or the other driver’s insurance is willing to offer you. If the insurance is giving you a hard time, not covering your bills, or refusing to cover additional costs such as pain and suffering or lost time from work, you may need to get a lawyer.
Before setting out to file a claim on your own, keep in mind that a consultation with a car accident lawyer is free. It’s worth taking the time to ask an attorney about your rights and legal options.