Rideshare companies (e.g., Uber, Lyft) offer undeniable convenience to customers. A rideshare app on a cell phone, a click, and a driver arrives in minutes. Rides are frequently cheaper than a taxi, too.
But remember that rideshare drivers are independent contractors, not employees. A rideshare driver pays self-employment taxes, does not receive job benefits, enjoys more job freedom, and uses their own vehicle. That last wrinkle is where things can get dicey for those involved in accidents with rideshare drivers.
Rideshare companies tout “$1 million insurance policies” in their marketing — bodily injury coverage, third-party liability coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. Rideshare passengers are typically covered under this max policy. However, that may not be the case for other motor vehicle operators/passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, etc.
When A Rideshare Company's Insurance Policy Is Involved
For example, if an accident occurs while a rideshare driver is awaiting a ride request, the company’s insurance coverage is substantially less. If the rideshare driver is not actively accepting rides or their app is off, the rideshare company’s insurance is not involved at all. Insurance coverage would be available through the rideshare driver’s personal auto insurance policy.
But here’s the rub. Personal auto insurance policies generally won’t provide coverage for accidents occurring in the course of business use (wise rideshare drivers will seek supplemental insurance). Victims of negligent rideshare drivers may seem to have no avenue to pursue compensation if the rideshare company is off the hook and the rideshare driver’s own insurance company refuses coverage.
Contact A Peachtree City Car Accident Attorney
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help, but only up to the policy limits. Rideshare accidents can be complex. If you are harmed by rideshare driver negligence, contact our office for expert guidance.