A few weeks ago I wrote an article on the legal exposure that companies like Uber and Lyft might face for car accidents. One of the grey areas was when is an Uber X driver “under dispatch” and therefore when does the commercial policy apply and when does the driver’s personal coverage apply.
At least for that situation, it looks like Uber is addressing the issue. They released the following statement:
“[I]n order to fully address any ambiguity or uncertainty around insurance coverage for ridesharing services, Uber is becoming the first and only company to have a policy in place that expands the insurance of ridesharing drivers to cover any potential “insurance gap GPS -0.14%” for accidents that occur while drivers are not providing transportation service for hire but are logged onto the Uber network and available to accept a ride.
Starting today, if a driver’s personal insurance policy is found not to cover an accident during this period, this new policy will provide contingent coverage for a driver’s liability at the highest requirement of any state in the U.S: $50,000/individual/incident for bodily injury, $100,000 total/incident for bodily injury and $25,000/incident for property damage.”
This does not resolve the outstanding issue of whether Uber itself can become a defendant through an agency theory, but it will quell the concerns of a few drivers. One obvious warning though. Even though $50,000 in liability coverage is better than the crummy $25,000 minimum coverage that cabs have, there is still a risk of being underinsured as a passenger.