If you need a ride to get somewhere, you may naturally reach for your phone and order an Uber or a Lyft. While there are many benefits of rideshare companies, there are also a few safety concerns regarding rideshare insurance and liability.
Rideshare drivers are exposed to insurance risks because their personal insurance could be dropped if they are using their car for profit by transporting others, and Uber or Lyft might not extend coverage to the driver in every circumstance.
If you are a rider, you could also be exposed to insurance risks because if your driver’s insurance company has dropped his policy and you are involved in a crash, you may not have any benefits to cover your medical expenses. Essentially, you are buying an unknown product because you don’t anything about your driver. There are some very tangible risks with rideshare companies as opposed to traditional taxi or livery services.
Ridesharing Exposes Riders to Insurance Risk
Before you call an Uber or a Lyft, you need to consider the risks that you face when you climb in that vehicle. Drivers for rideshare companies have variable coverage for personal injury protection. That means their personal auto insurance may not cover a crash that happens while they are acting as a rideshare driver. Uber coverage is only good while the driver is signed into the app. What happens if there is a problem and the driver’s cell phone dies or the driver is unable to connect to the Uber app? Because their coverage is conditional, you can easily be on the hook for your medical bills in the event of an accident.
Ridesharing Exposes Drivers to Risks
There are many car insurance providers who can and will drop you for using your vehicle for commercial use. If you are using your car for rideshare, that qualifies as “commercial use.” If you are only driving part-time, buying commercial auto insurance may be too expensive for you, and without the proper coverage, you could be in big trouble if you are involved in an accident.
You may have to pay for your automotive repairs out of pocket and you could be liable for the medical bills and other expenses incurred by your passengers if they are injured in the crash. This is a risk that most people cannot afford to take.
Rideshare Companies Sell an Unknown Product
While you may think the product you’re using is simply transportation, there is a lot more involved when it comes to ridesharing companies. Unlike taxis and livery services, Rideshare companies are not regulated by the government. Companies like Uber and Lyft, provide background checks on their drivers but they aren’t that stringent. You are putting your life in the hands of your driver, so it is important to know the risks and take proper safety measures.
This article was written by Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing information about personal injury cases and the personal injury claims process. This article is intended for informational purposes and is not to be construed as legal advice or opinion.