Uber has had made a grand entrance into the city markets of public transportation. The flexibility Uber offers has allowed the company to make billions of dollars on tens of millions of rides.
The new rideshare market has also created numerous concerns about liability insurance. Uber has been unclear about whether its drivers are covered by their personal insurance policies. Normally, professional drivers are NOT covered by their personal insurance. Instead, it is the norm that corporations and professional drivers must procure policies to cover their business practices: including driving a car. For instance, taxi drivers must always get insurance to cover their cab.
Historically, the difference between “personal” and “professional” driving has been very clear. Professional drivers – taxi, bus, cargo transport, etc. – were just that: professional drivers. The two never mixed.
Ridesharing creates a new dynamic. Individuals are using their personal cars to act as commercial drivers. Many times, it is unclear whether a car is “personal” or “professional.” A driver may switch back and forth between personal and professional many times during a single afternoon. This distinction is very important when determining what insurance will cover an accident. Frequently, personal insurance will not cover an accident that occurs in a professional or commercial setting.
Lack of coverage can be a major problem for individuals injured in an accident. For instance, if an Uber driver’s personal coverage does not
A legislative solution is still far away and many drivers still use personal insurance. Meanwhile, many drivers hide the fact they are a commercial driver from their insurer. Fortunately, Uber has now released information relating to its commercial insurance policy. This policy insures drivers who injure others up to one million dollars. In the meantime, be sure to always get all the information from the other driver if you are ever in a car accident. Also, be sure to call the police and make a report.