Thanks to the huge growth in rideshare possibilities in recent years, most of us have used rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft at one time or another. Many of us rely on them frequently to go about our personal and work lives, but how many of us ever think about what insurance policies might be in place to cover us in the case of an accident?
Should an unfortunate accident occur while riding in an Uber or Lyft rideshare vehicle, there are a number of potential avenues for filing a claim. Speaking generally, the insurance policy behind the at-fault driver, whether it’s their own personal policy or a policy held by Uber or Lyft, should hold the ultimate financial responsibility. But how does it all break down?
Ahead, we’ll take you through all the ins and outs of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft’s insurance policies, and who will bear ultimate responsibility when an accident occurs. Both rideshare companies do insure their drivers with large policies that can cover you if you need to make a claim, but liability and claims can be complicated. That’s why it’s crucial to work with the best personal injury attorney.
If an Accident Occurs, Whose Insurance Covers It?
If you become injured while taking a ride in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, then the driver’s own car insurance coverage will cover the incident. It is important to note though that the driver must have either a commercial insurance policy or a personal car insurance policy that includes a special provision for continuing to provide insurance coverage while working as an Uber or Lyft driver. What’s unfortunate, however, is that the majority of Uber or Lyft drivers most likely won’t have taken out a commercial car insurance policy that will cover your injuries, nor will their personal one which probably has a “business use exception” that doesn’t cover any injuries or damages that may occur while insured and working as a for-profit driver.
What about insurance coverage offered through Uber and Lyft? Both companies have third party liability insurance coverage which can pay as much as $1 million for any personal injuries or property damage that may occur if you are unfortunately involved in an accident while taking a ride in one of their vehicles. Uber and Lyft’s policies will only kick in once the driver’s own insurance, assuming that he or she has an applicable policy (which Uber and Lyft do require), has been exhausted. As a passenger suffering from an injury in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you’re covered under their liability insurance when an accident occurs as the fault of the driver.
Should a third party be responsible for an accident, the rideshare driver and Uber or Lyft are not liable, and instead, the damages would have to be recovered from the at-fault driver. Either a third-party car insurance claim would have to be filed against the carrier of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, or a personal injury lawsuit would have to be filed.
Of course, there are many drivers on the road with no insurance at all, or without enough insurance coverage to pay for any injuries sustained in the accident. So what happens then?
This takes us to the next possible insurance shaped road to go down. Both Uber and Lyft will have uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance coverage, which just like their third party liability insurance, will cover you for up to $1 million if the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough to cover your injuries, or is unknown.
Should it come to any of these insurance policies not being enough to fully compensate your injuries or any damage, or if the insurance companies refuse to payout, then you can attempt to go after Uber or Lyft themselves.
As you can see, Uber and Lyft accidents have the potential to become very complicated. This is why you should work with a ridesharing accident attorney in Los Angeles during the process.
The Details of Uber’s $1 Million Insurance Plan
As stated before, should you or anyone sustain an injury while taking a journey in an Uber vehicle, Uber has a $1 million partial liability coverage plan, along with a $1 million uninsured/underinsured plan that you can take advantage of. There are many different rules for passengers, drivers and third parties, and it’s always a good idea to understand this information.
The $1 million insurance policy that Uber has offers coverage to passengers as a three-part plan based upon the activity of the driver at the time of the accident occurring.
The driver is not available for hire: If the driver is not using their vehicle for business and is instead using it for personal reasons then Uber’s insurance policy does not apply. The driver’s own personal policy will be covering them in the case that any accident should occur. The coverage limit, in this case, is obviously based on his or her personal policy.
The driver is working and out for hire, however, they have no passenger: If the driver is out and about, plying for work, but yet to pick up any passenger when an accident occurs, then the driver’s own insurance policy will be the primary insurance policy. Uber does, however, provide additional liability coverage of up to $50,000 per injury, with a maximum of $100,000 and a maximum of $25,000 for any property damage. The driver will have to request this cover before it can kick in, and it won’t do so unless the driver’s own personal liability insurance cannot cover all of the damages sustained.
The driver is working and carrying a passenger: This is where things come down to Uber’s $1 million liability insurance cover. At any time when an Uber driver is carrying a passenger, both the driver and the passenger are covered by Uber’s policy. In addition, any third parties that also become injured in the accident are also covered in this instance. If Uber denies the claim, however, the driver and the passenger will be denied by the driver’s own personal insurance unless it has the aforementioned commercial insurance cover or the special provision for working as an Uber driver as mentioned at the outset.
Have you been injured in a rideshare accident as a passenger? The best personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights and explore legal options. Contact a ridesharing accident attorney in Los Angeles today to discuss your case.