In California all drivers of TNCs (transportation network companies), such as Uber, are required to have a rideshare insurance at all times when the app is on. When the app is switched on, the Uber driver’s time is divided into three periods. Uber then decides when its insurance is applicable based on the period the accident happened. Uber’s insurance coverages works different ways depending on which “period” the coverage falls under as it may impact your Uber accident claim.
The rideshare app is off: The driver’s personal insurance is active, which must meet California’s minimum auto insurance requirements.
- $15.000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured in an accident
- $30.000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
- $5.000 of property damage coverage per accident.
First Period – Uber App is Switch on While the Driver Waits for Ride Request
California law has the following minimum auto insurance requirements while rideshare app is on but the driver hasn’t been paired with a passenger.
- $50.000 of bodily injury liability coverage for a person hurt in an accident
- $100.000 of bodily injury liability coverage per one accident
- $30.000 of property damage liability coverage per one accident
Uber’s rideshare policy isn’t applicable for accidents that take place before a driver accepts a passenger, since Uber considers drivers contractors rather than employees. Consequently, they are not responsible for what happens while the driver isn’t on duty.
Second Period: Driver is On the Way to Pick up the Passenger
Once there is a ride request from a passenger and the driver accepts it, this puts the driver in “on duty” status and Uber’s insurance coverage starts. But in case the driver gets in an accident before he picked up the passenger, it follows that the passenger would have to cancel the ride. This adds a layer of difficulty when claiming the insurance coverage.
Third Period: Uber Passenger is in The Vehicle
The third period is the easiest one to claim insurance coverage from Uber. The passenger is in the Uber car, the driver is “on duty” and the Company must cover whatever happens during this period.
Consequently once the driver has been paired with a passenger and after the passenger has entered the Uber car, the company is required to carry a $1 million liability insurance policy. Uber provides its drivers with $1 million of uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. It also provides comprehensive and collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible as long as the driver has collision coverage on his personal auto insurance policy.
California law requires the driver to be covered by an auto insurance policy at all times. But since the TNC can help meet that requirement, not all rideshare drivers in California need to purchase rideshare insurance for driving legally. But, the driver may want to purchase an individual rideshare policy which will let to maintain some coverage, such as comprehensive, collision and medical payments, during the First period. Otherwise, the driver would have to pay the costs himself if he is injured or the vehicle is damaged in that period.
California Uber Accident Lawyer
It is in your best interest to consult with a California Uber accident lawyer about your Uber accident claim before speaking with Uber or an insurance adjuster. This way you will have more leverage in settlement negotiations with Uber and Uber insurance adjusters and get the compensation you deserve rather than getting lowball settlement offers. If you or a loved one have been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident we invite you to get in touch with our office. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.