These days, a driver for hire generally has their own personal insurance as well as the coverage of the company they are driving for. If you’ve been in an accident with a driver for hire, a big question becomes, “which insurance company is going to cover this?”

Here’s how the insurance and rideshare companies break it down:

Off Duty

If the driver didn’t have their app on and was driving for non-rideshare reasons (i.e. on their way to work, or to visit friends), then even if, for example, they’re displaying an Uber placard on their windshield, they are still covered by their personal auto insurance company.

Period 1: On duty, waiting for a ride request

During this period, Uber and Lyft insurance is primary in some states and contingent in many others. Contingent means that their insurance only covers the driver if the driver’s personal insurance company doesn’t.

Rideshare companies’ full commercial liability coverage doesn’t apply until the driver accepts a ride.

Period 2: Has accepted a ride request, but no passengers yet

At this point, the driver is considered “en route” and on their way to pick up their passengers. During both Period 2 and Period 3, rideshare company coverage is the primary insurance.

Period 3: Carrying passengers

This is referred to as an active ride request. Again, Uber or Lyft are the primary insurance.

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