What are rideshares like Uber and Lyft?
Are Uber and Lyft commercial vehicles?
No, drivers participating in rideshare apps do not have to register or insure their car as commercial vehicles. These services provide commercial and taxi-like services that enable passengers to arrange rides on short notice using a smart phone app, however they are exempt from following the same guidelines. Rideshare companies often argue that rideshare vehicles do not operate like traditional taxis; a single taxi is on the road upwards of 70,000 miles annually, whereas rideshare cars are used considerably less. However, some rideshare drivers drive full-time, placing them on the road equally as much as taxi drivers.
Continually, these apps claim that their businesses are just that, “just an app”. They claim to be just a technological start up that is the middle man between a person willing to give someone a ride and a person willing to take that ride. Because of this loophole, Uber or Lyft are not required to operate as a commercialized vehicle for-hire entity
Uber Accident Lawyer
Whether you’re the passenger, the driver, or the other motor vehicle involved in an accident involving a ridesharing company like Uber or Lyft, there are certain rights and concerns that are essential to the insurance and claims process.
While you’re online with Uber and before you accept a request, you are covered for your liability to a third party if you are in an accident when you’re at fault. A third party is someone other than yourself. Coverage includes your liability to pay another person’s medical bills or to pay for property damage (like a damaged fence).
Coverage Limits vary by state, but are at least:
$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property damage
If you are not at fault, you may make a claim against their insurance. Your personal insurance policy may also cover you in this situation. Please check your personal coverage for more information.
On your way to pick up a rider and during a trip
While you drive to pick up a rider after accepting a request and during an Uber trip, you are covered for three things:
1. Third party liability coverage
This insurance covers your liability for damages to any third party such as another driver, pedestrian, or property in case of an accident when you’re at fault. Coverage limits vary by state, but are at least $1,000,000 per accident.
2. Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
This insurance covers you and anyone else in your vehicle in case of an accident where another driver is at fault, but does not have sufficient insurance. This also covers hit and run accidents where the at-fault driver cannot be identified. Coverage limits vary by state, but are at least $1,000,000 per accident.
3. Contingent collision and comprehensive coverage
This insurance covers your vehicle in case of an accident whether it was your fault or not, as long as you maintain auto insurance that includes collision coverage for that vehicle while not on an Uber trip. Coverage limit is up to the actual cash value of your vehicle. There is a $1,000 deductible.