I drive for Uber and Lyft, do I have enough insurance coverage?
Updated: Mar 25
Many of our clients who drive for a Transportation Network Company (TNC), such as Uber or Lyft, have asked us this question:
“If I get in an accident while driving for Uber, do I have enough coverage?”
The answer is:
“It depends on when you got in the accident.”
The insurance industry in California primarily relies on these time-frame definitions.
Personal Use: You’re driving the private vehicle for personal reasons, and the TNC app is off.
Period 1: You’re driving the private vehicle, the TNC app is on to show that you are available, but you have not accepted a fare yet.
Period 2: You’re driving the private vehicle, the TNC app is on, you’ve accepted a passenger/fare, and you are on your way to pick them up.
Period 3: You’re driving the private vehicle and transporting the passenger(s), or the passenger(s) has arrived at the destination and is exiting the vehicle.
Here is a graphic that will help explain.
Your very own personal auto coverage will only cover you during the period of time called “Personal Use”.
The insurance that your TNC provides for you, only provides full coverage during “Period 2” and “Period 3”.
What about “Period 1”?
Your personal auto policy will not cover you at all during this period. The coverage your TNC provides is limited during Period 1, and you may be liable for damage done to your own vehicle if you are at fault. You also may be liable for additional property damage and bodily injury costs for the other vehicle and passengers.
What do I do to better protect myself?
To fill in potential gaps for Period 1, you will need to buy your own Ride Hailing coverage. If you already have a Mercury Insurance auto policy, you can add this on as an endorsement. This will protect you with high quality insurance if your ride-hailing app is on, but you have not yet accepted a fare. While it is considered secondary to the coverage provided by your TNC, it will protect you from having to pay for any expenses not covered by your TNC’s coverage if you are in an accident during that “Period 1” time frame.
If you have more questions about this, please give us a call and one of our licensed agents will help you.
At Woodland Park Insurance, we make the process of buying or amending your insurance feel ‘like a walk in the park”. Our friendly and knowledgeable licensed agents will take the time to look at what you have and identify potential areas of vulnerability. We are an authorized agency with Mercury Insurance and several other companies, so we can find the best rate for you. We don’t charge a fee because we are an independent agent and not a broker.
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For informational purposes only. The actual terms of an insurance policy and related law prevail over the information provided here.