I WAS IN A CRASH WHILE RIDING IN AN UBER CAR. WHOSE INSURANCE PAYS?

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As the use of Uber becomes more and more common across the country, so do crashes involving Uber drivers. In that situation, will the driver’s personal auto insurance cover any injuries or property damage caused by the crash?

In general, the driver’s personal auto insurance will not provide coverage for any “driving for hire” activities such as driving for Uber or Lyft. Auto policies specifically exclude coverage for a vehicle which is “used as a public conveyance”. In fact, a driver’s personal auto insurer might well cancel the driver’s policy if the driver fails to tell his insurer that he is driving for Uber and pays the extra premium for a commercial policy.

However, according to Uber’s website, it maintains a $1 million liability insurance policy that covers all of its drivers, from the moment a driver accepts a trip until the time the trip is over and the passenger exits the vehicle. This is better insurance than most individual drivers carry. It is also much better insurance than what most taxi drivers carry.

And what happens if you are driving your own car and you get rear-ended by an Uber driver? If there is a passenger in the Uber car or the driver is on the way to pick one up, there is plenty of insurance. Uber’s $1 million policy should cover any claims for injuries or damage to your car.  But if the driver is logged into Uber and waiting for his next call, Uber provides only $50,000 in liability coverage, and that is all there is, because the driver’s personal auto policy will not cover him at all. This is why it is so important for everyone to have “full” coverage on their own auto insurance policies.

– Paul Johnson, Esq.