2016 was the year that ridesharing broke out in a big way. In the gig economy Uber and Lyft broke the car barrier as well as the taxi barrier. A majority of respondents in the 16 to 24 age group and the 25 to 34 age group consider these ridesharing services as an alternative to driving themselves. Even among the Gen X cohort – currently from 35 to 54 years of age – between 35 and 41 percent have considered giving up driving completely. This is an enormous shift away from seeing car ownership as a necessity. And, for rideshare company drivers, it creates a necessity for the proper insurance. You might think that your company has you covered, but that would be an error. Let’s break it down.
- Uber and Lyft only cover their drivers during the point at which a ride request has been accepted, and the driver is on the way to pick up the passenger – this is called period two. The next period begins when the passenger gets in the car and you proceed to the destination – this is known as period three.
- Period one is you are signed into the app as a driver, are online, and waiting for a ride request. This is the gap in coverage where you are most at risk if you are involved in an accident. Your regular insurance company will not cover you if you are signed into the app as a driver and awaiting a request, nor will your personal auto policy cover damages that occur while you are working for a rideshare service.
- Ridesharing insurance covers you in the gap, and may also be extended to cover the ridesharing company’s collision deductibles – which run $1000 for Uber and $2500 for Lyft.
If you are going to be driving, then you need insurance. That is a no-brainer whether you are driving your personal vehicle for private use, or driving a company vehicle for company purposes. If you are going to drive for a ridesharing company, you need coverage that protects you from sign in to sign off. You may also want to get ahead of the curve that Tallahassee may be about to throw ridesharing companies. A bill is making its way through the Florida legislature that will set statewide standards for background checks and insurance. Taxi companies and other ground transportation companies are expected to put up stiff resistance to mainstreaming ridesharing.
Keep a close eye on this legislation at the state level, and at the local level either by counties or by municipalities. Not everyone is rideshare friendly in Florida, despite the obvious advantages that it offers when local transportation is lacking, or wait times are exceedingly long. Not every insurance company is providing ridesharing insurance for drivers, but you can find a great deal talking to your independent E&L agent. We will get you the right coverage for your driving needs, no matter what they are. Give us a call and set up an appointment with one of our independent agents.