Uber and Lyft have become a worldwide phenomenon, with a presence in locations that range in distance and culture, from Miami, Florida, and Melbourne, Australia, to Bangkok, Thailand. Many factors attract drivers to the ride-sharing platform, but several negative considerations must be taken into consideration before signing up to drive for Uber. Among the liabilities of driving for Uber, anywhere in the world, is the potential for a car accident.
The Best Laid Plans
Both companies have instituted safety procedures and standards to lessen the risk that a driver will be involved in an accident while “on duty”. Part of this safety policy includes checking drivers’ records, conducting background checks, and requiring breaks, or time away from the wheel. However, an accident can happen in a split second despite any precautions Uber might put into place.
Out on the road, other drivers, unruly or interactive passengers, checking directions, and other distractions can happen simultaneously as Uber and Lyft drivers transport their passengers from point A to point B. What many of these drivers do not realize is that if an accident does happen, it is unlikely that Uber has provided enough protection from liability in terms of insurance or indemnification.
Your Insurance Is Questionable Assurance
In Florida and other states in the United States, the consequences of an accident while driving for Uber could be complicated and costly. Car insurance policies that cover your privately-owned vehicle are very unlikely to cover the costs of an accident while driving for Uber. This is because as an Uber driver, you are engaged in a business activity, while your car insurance policy is specifically for non-commercial activity.
This is not the only insurance-related risk Uber drivers are unaware of. Not only is your car insurance company not going to cover an accident while you were driving for Uber, but the provider may also drop you from the plan altogether. As your car is being used for commercial and business purposes, many insurance companies feel the vehicle should be covered by a commercial insurance plan. The problem many Uber drivers encounter is that very few plans exist on the market for vehicles used for ride-sharing.
What Does Uber and Lyft Give You?
Most drivers for Uber and Lyft assume that if their personal car insurance does not cover a collision or accident, then Uber or Lyft will provide the gap in coverage. This is not always the case. At the start, Uber provided very little auto insurance coverage for its drivers, and there was no coverage for liability or collision when the driver did not have a passenger in the vehicle. Over the years Uber has increased the level of liability coverage it offers to its drivers.
Now, Uber has different levels of coverage based on whether a driver has the app activated and whether the driver has a passenger in the car. There is minimal insurance provided when the app is activated and additional coverage kicks in once a driver picks up a passenger. Yet, the deductible tied to this coverage is high and if you are involved in an Uber car accident as a driver, Uber still does not offer collision coverage when driving without a passenger in the car. This means Uber drivers could shoulder a lot of the costs of an accident, especially if their personal car insurance denies coverage.
What’s an Uber or Lyft Driver to Do?
Whether you were involved in a Florida car accident or are considering driving for a ride-share platform and want to know more about the extent of your risks and liability, you should speak with an experienced Florida car accident injury lawyer. Our Miami personal injury law firm works with clients involved in all types of automobile accidents, including those with unique considerations and concerns about drivers at Uber and other ride-sharing companies. Call our office at 305-441-0440, or toll free at 1-866-597-4529 or send us an email with a brief description of your case to [email protected]. We are ready to help you receive the compensation you deserve.