Insurance is obviously a critical resource for those who are harmed in a motor vehicle accident. Because of this, it is important for every driver to periodically review their policy to ensure they have an appropriate amount of coverage available in the event of an accident.
One tricky issue that has come up with the increasing popularity of ridesharing services like those offered by companies such as Lyft and Uber is that driver participating in these services may not have a good idea of where they stand in terms of insurance coverage. Does their own insurance policy cover them if they are injured while offering ridesharing services? At what point does the insurance offered by these companies kick in? These are important questions with very real consequences.
Generally speaking, a motorist’s insurance company will not provide coverage in the event of an accident, though some insurance companies are beginning to offer pilot programs which offer ridesharing insurance. These policies are aimed at providing coverage for drivers for the time before they have picked up a customer. This gap exists because ridesharing companies do have insurance coverage for motorists, but these policies don’t kick in until the driver has picked up a passenger. This typically means that there is a period of time where motorists participating in ridesharing are not covered either by their own insurance carrier or the company’s insurance, though the gap may be larger for some drivers, depending on the terms of their own insurance policy.
Because insurance is so important for those harmed in a motor vehicle accident, it is prudent for those involved in ridesharing services to make sure they have a thorough understanding of the limits of their coverage, and to seek out additional coverage to protect themselves.
Having a clear understanding of one’s own insurance coverage is also important in cases where the insurance company refuses to provide coverage to which the policyholder is entitled. We’ll explore this issue further in a future post.