If you live anywhere close to a metropolitan area, you’ve probably seen vehicles with the pink Lyft light or Uber logo in their window. Maybe you’d like to become a driver yourself. Whether driving would be a side job to supplement your full-time job or your full-time gig, Uber and Lyft could bring in some serious cash for you.
Before you take the leap, answer this: did you know that your personal insurance policy may not cover you while you’re on the clock? Many personal auto insurance policies contain exclusions for ridesharing. If you are contemplating becoming an Uber or Lyft driver, you may want to double-check your policy and consider purchasing commercial auto insurance for your protection.
What to do if your personal policy is not enough
The easiest way to check your insurance policy information is to call your carrier. A representative or agent will be able to tell you if you have the coverage you need or if there are exclusions. If ridesharing is excluded, you have a couple options:
- Your personal auto insurance carrier may offer commercial auto insurance that could cover you. Visit your carrier’s website or ask a representative or agent what they have available or which partner carriers they work with that could give you the protection you need.
- Uber and Lyft offer their own auto insurance that you could take advantage of. If your personal policy doesn’t apply while you’re available or waiting for a ride request, Uber has third-party liability. There’s also a higher limit third-party liability if you are on your way to pick up riders or in the middle of a trip. Lyft offers similar liabilities during these different times. However, these liabilities may still depend on your personal policy. They could require that you maintain certain coverages, like comprehensive and collision, or that certain deductibles be paid first.
- If your personal auto insurance carrier does not offer commercial auto insurance, and you want more coverage than Uber and Lyft offer, you may want to research rideshare insurance. This coverage extends your personal policy to cover you when you are on the clock but have not yet accepted a ride request. Once you accept a ride, the Uber or Lyft coverage takes over. Rideshare insurance also protects you from your insurance carrier, preventing them from canceling your policy for being a rideshare driver.
Other information to know
To make sure you are completely covered, one question you may have is, “Do I need personal injury protection?”. In addition to the Uber and Lyft liabilities listed above in number two, Uber also offers Optional Injury Protection through a partner carrier. For injuries that are covered through this optional insurance, you would receive disability payments, medical expenses, and survivor benefits. Each of these has a limit, which you can read about on their website.
Depending on where you drive, some states may consider you to be a commercial driver. Even though Uber and Lyft drivers are technically independent contractors, your state may require you to have your commercial driver’s license (CDL), especially if you drive as your full-time occupation.
Driving for Uber or Lyft could be a great way for you to bring in some extra cash, whether to help pay the bills or pay for that extra night out. Ultimately, the decision to be an Uber or Lyft driver is yours. Remember though, that the consequences of not having adequate auto insurance while driving are also yours to bear. We want you (and your passengers) to be safe on the roadways. Get the coverage you need today.