Insurance Tips for a Ridesharing Driver
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Posted by Lisa D. on May 12, 2017 in Auto Focus

If you are a rideshare driver, you are probably doing it to make some extra money (or maybe you just really like meeting new people!). With this in mind, you probably don’t want to go broke while on the job because of some fine print in an insurance policy, right?

 

Here are a few rideshare insurance tips to help you determine what to look for and how to get the proper coverage:

 

  • Know rideshare language.

If you haven’t already, get familiar with rideshare terminology and the process.

  • Rideshare is a general term in which a driver transports one or more passengers for a fee, and is arranged through a smartphone app.
  • TNC stands for “transportation network company.” It is a company that uses an online-enabled platform to connect passengers with drivers who use their personal vehicles. Uber and Lyft are examples of well-known TNCs.
  • There are three distinct time periods in the TNC rideshare process:
    • Period 1. Driver is logged in to a TNC app and is waiting for a ride request.
    • Period 2. Driver accepts a ride request and drives to pick up passengers.
    • Period 3. Passengers enter the vehicle and the driver takes them to their destination.

 

  • Check your auto insurance policy.

Even though you have a car insurance policy, it might not provide coverage while you are working for a TNC. Look at the exclusions in your policy. Most personal auto insurance policies have exclusions for when a vehicle is used “in connection with a transportation network company,” “as a public or livery conveyance,” or “to carry persons or property for a charge.” Also, look at the terms and conditions of the policy. Using your car for business purposes may be in violation and cause your policy to be cancelled.

 

  • Find out what insurance is provided by the TNC.

Before signing up with Uber or Lyft, review their insurance provisions for the coverages and limits they would provide if you were involved in an accident while logged in to their app. Take note of any differences between the rideshare periods. If coverage is contingent, the TNC will only afford coverage if your own auto policy has it. If you see references to primary coverage, the TNC will pay before any other insurance policy. Excess coverage means the TNC will pay only after all other insurance avenues have been used.

 

  • Look for gaps.

Compare any rideshare insurance you have with the insurance provided by the TNC. Is anything missing? If you only have insurance from the TNC, are you comfortable with minimum liability limits during Period 1? Do you want medical coverage? If your vehicle is wrecked, are the comprehensive or collision deductibles manageable? What about towing and labor or roadside assistance if you become stranded?

 

  • Purchase rideshare coverage.

You may want more insurance to fill in the gaps. Due to the popularity of rideshare and increase in the number of rideshare drivers, specific rideshare insurance endorsements and policies are available. Some insurance companies offer a separate commercial (or business) auto policy. Other insurance companies, like Acuity, offer an endorsement to a driver’s existing personal auto policy, which is often a less expensive option.

 

Before you log in and open up a rideshare app for business, make sure you understand and are comfortable with the insurance protection you have while on the clock. Contact your insurance agent to discuss the rideshare options available to you, or go to acuity.com to get a quote that includes rideshare insurance today!

Lisa D.
Lisa D. has over 14 years of experience in the auto insurance industry, including 12 years at ACUITY. She obtained her P&C license and sold personal insurance for two years before starting at ACUITY, where she focuses on researching new auto coverages, helping with the auto pricing system, and leading auto insurance-related projects. On top of that, Lisa has her Association in General Insurance (AINS) and Associate in Personal Insurance (API) designations. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys cooking, photography, and spending time with her family. The last two go hand in hand, as she takes pictures of her kids every day.


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Posted By: Lisa D. on June 15, 2017 in Auto Focus
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