Insurance Coverage and Uber

The holidays are almost here, and so is the new year. New Year's Eve is one the biggest party nights of the year, and it is also one of Uber's biggest business nights. Uber has exploded onto the scene and for many is the perfect answer to safely getting home from a fun-filled evening or to make a few extra bucks on the side.

Many fear that should they be in an accident whilst riding in an Uber vehicle, they may not be properly insured. As it turns out, it appears that Uber provides good, but not great insurance coverage for its passengers and third-parties. The key here is that it provides good insurance some of the time!

If a driver is en route or actually on a trip with a passenger, Uber's coverage provides $1 million in liability, $1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist injuries, and contingent collision and comprehensive up to actual cash value with a $1,000 deductible.

In other words, if there is a crash while on the way to a pick up or while actually transporting a rider, Uber provides $1 million in coverage for liability to the rider or any third-party affected by the Uber driver. Should the third-party have caused the collision and lacks sufficient coverage for personal injuries, the rideshare company will provide $1 million in coverage.

Where things get less clear is the coverage for its driver's injuries or property damage to the vehicle. Uber claims to pay for damage to its driver's vehicle 'if the driver maintains auto insurance that includes collision coverage for that vehicle."

It gets murkier for drivers who have their app activated, but are not on an accepted trip. Here the liability insurance is provided where deemed "necessary." The coverage applies only when a driver's insurance does not and appears to include coverage for third-party liability only.

In short, Uber's insurance is focused on protecting its passengers and third-parties. Uber's coverage does very little to protect its driver, and furthermore, when one signs up to drive for Uber, standard exclusions will likely void your typical auto insurance policy leaving you without coverage. Essentially, you now have thinly applied coverage from Uber as a driver, and by signing up to be an Uber driver, your own policy has likely changed leaving you even more vulnerable.

So what's the take home message here? Should you be riding in an Uber vehicle as a passenger, it appears that Uber has in pace coverage of at least $1 million to cover the costs associated with your injuries or property damage.

If you are an Uber driver, and have failed to notify your insurance company that you now drive for Uber and have purchased additional coverage for commercial use of your vehicle, you are likely uninsured.

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