Uber And Lyft Expand Insurance, Now Cover Drivers Between Jobs

UberX and Lyft are services that let ordinary drivers ferry strangers around for extra cash. When there’s a crash or other disaster, there can be a gap between where the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage ends and the ride-sharing service’s coverage for drivers begins. Today, competitors UberX and Lyft announced extra insurance for drivers who are technically off-duty. 

Driving for a ride-sharing can be a fine opportunity to earn extra cash and get some quality eavesdropping time in. However, the way these services work raise the question of when drivers are or aren’t on the clock. Drivers open up the company’s app, which broadcasts their location to potential fares, who can electronically hail the vehicle. Liability insurance kicks in as soon as the driver accepts a fare and starts driving toward the person.

This system worked pretty well until a horrific incident where an UberX driver hit a family with his car between jobs, killing a 6-year-old girl. The family has filed lawsuits against Uber and the driver, and the driver is also facing criminal charges.

The new insurance does a little bit more to fill in the gaps between a ride-sharing driver’s personal auto insurance and the coverage provided by the companies they contract for. You should carefully check your own auto insurance policy before you apply to become a semi-pro cab driver. You may need a professional policy in order to be fully covered while driving strangers around for pay: though, as some readers have pointed out to us, such policies can actually be less expensive.

Uber Expands Insurance Program for Community Drivers [NY Times]
On-Demand Ridesharing Startup Lyft Adds Insurance Between Rides [TechCrunch]

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