If I decide to drive for Uber or Lyft, does my current auto policy cover me?
Not only is your personal auto insurer unlikely to cover any accidents that happen during your ridesharing gig — it could even cancel your policy if it finds out you haven’t disclosed you drive the car for money. (This is also true if you drive for other ridesharing companies or app-based delivery services.)
Additionally, if you have Uber insurance or Lyft insurance, coverage is minimal while you have the app on and are waiting for a request — known as Period 1. Fuller coverage kicks in once you’ve accepted a ride and are carrying passengers.
Here’s how the rideshare insurance periods (sometimes called “phases”) work:
Period 0: App is off. Your personal policy covers you.
Period 1: App is on, you’re waiting for ride request. A personal policy without ridesharing coverage doesn’t cover you. Uber and Lyft insurance limited to liability coverage.
Period 2: Request accepted, and you’re en route to pick up a passenger. Your rideshare employer’s policy is in full force.
Period 3: You have passengers in the car. Your rideshare employer’s policy is in full force.
When the driver has accepted a trip/ride, Uber/Lyft provides liability coverage in the amount of $1 million. So, this liability coverage would apply to injuries sustained by an Uber/Lyft customer who is riding in an Uber/Lyft car whose driver causes an accident. It would also apply to injuries and vehicle damage sustained by anyone who is hit by an Uber/Lyft car when the Uber/Lyft driver is found to be at fault for the accident. But again, it won't cover injuries and vehicle damage sustained by the Uber/Lyft driver, and once the accepted trip/ride is over, so is the $1 million liability liability protection, until the driver accepts another trip/ride via the app.
Keep in mind that, in the rare event that an Uber/Lyft driver has his or her own commercial liability insurance, or if their personal car insurance policy specifically covers ridesharing, then Uber's/Lyft's coverage will only act to supplement that coverage -- the driver's personal insurance will probably pay first, up to policy limits, and Uber/Lyft's coverage will pay any amount left over between the value of the injured person's claim and the driver's personal insurance limits.
"Contingent" collision/comprehensive coverage. Uber and Lyft also provide "contingent" collision/comprehensive coverage as long as the Uber/Lyft driver has his or her own collision/comprehensive coverage. This "contingent" coverage will pay for damage to the Uber/Lyft driver's own vehicle, regardless of who or what caused the underlying incident, up to the vehicle's actual cash value, subject to deductibles (Uber's is $1,000, while Lyft's is $2,500).
* Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your agent for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you