Commercial Insurance Coverage For Uber, Sidecar, Lyft Called Into Question
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Department of Insurance ready to review new auto insurance policies for drivers of Transportation Network Companies like Uber, Sidecar and Lyft
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – November 13, 2014. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that his department is ready to accept insurance company filings to create new commercial coverage or endorsements to personal auto insurance policies that will provide coverage for Californians who transport passengers for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.
“In January my department issued a notice to drivers that personal auto insurance policies would not likely cover claims arising from transporting passengers for money,” said Commissioner Jones. “A new law, while not perfect, requires TNCs to provide coverage or make sure their drivers have coverage during all time periods the TNC application is on. In order to get drivers covered as soon as possible, we are prepared to review new auto insurance coverage for TNC drivers, ahead of the deadlines set by the new law calling for this insurance coverage.”
A new law, Assembly Bill 2293, authored by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, encourages insurers to create a new type of insurance coverage for these drivers. Transporting passengers for hire, also known as livery, has long been excluded from coverage under the personal auto insurance policies most Californians maintain on their personal vehicles. The new law allows the creation of endorsements to drivers’ personal automobile insurance companies to cover some of this TNC use.
- AB 2293 provides that TNCs like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar and/or their drivers must maintain $1 million primary insurance coverage from the time the driver accepts the match to the time the passenger exits the car. The recent fatal Halloween collision involving a Lyft driver in suburban Sacramento was a post-match collision.
- AB 2293 mandates a minimum of $50,000 for injury to one person, $100,000 for injury to multiple persons, and $30,000 for property damage for the pre-match period. The fatal UberX 2013 New Year’s Eve collision involving a family in a San Francisco crosswalk occurred in the pre-match period.
- TNC drivers should read these new endorsements carefully to make sure they buy one that not only provides liability coverage to protect passengers and third parties, but that also provides the optional coverages drivers need to protect themselves and their cars such as: uninsured/under-insured motorist; comprehensive; collision; and medical payments coverage.
- Link to AB 2293.
- Link to Commissioner Jones’ comments to CPUC and Legislature: www.insurance.ca.gov/tnc.