Am I Covered if My Uber or Lyft is in an Accident?
Since 2017, the growth of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft has hit “hyper-growth.” . Getting a taxi seems a thing of the distant past. Especially for the younger generations. And getting into a strangers car to get from one place to another is beyond normal these days.
But one thing that we all take for granted is a safe trip. Injuries in a rideshare are no different than other accidents. But insurance coverage might be. This will depend on what “mode” the driver’s phone was in at the time of the crash. The coverage will either be the driver’s personal coverage or the rideshare company’s.
Rideshare insurance policies only kick in when the driver has the app turned on. For example, if the driver isn’t actively driving for the company then their personal insurance applies. If they’re transporting a passenger with the app off, same thing. But if it’s a confirmed rideshare ride, then the company’s insurance applies.
Depending on where the driver is in the process will determine the amount of coverage provided to you. As of 2015, California law required (https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/best-ridesharing-insurance/) Uber and Lyft to strengthen their coverages.
This is how the “phases” or “periods” work for rideshare insurance coverage:
Period 0: App is off. Coverage is the driver’s personal coverage or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Period 1: App is on and the driver is waiting for a ride request. Personal insurance without ridesharing doesn’t apply to the driver. Period 1 has a policy of $50,000/$100,000 and $25,000 property damage.
Period 2 and 3: Period 2 is a when a request is made and the driver accepts and is en route to pick up. Period 3 is when the passenger is in the vehicle. The Uber and Lyft company policies of $1,000,000 per incident are in force.
The exact coverage will depend on a few different things and will likely vary from case to case. The best way to prove the accident occurred while the app was on is the app’s trip history. Don’t worry if you’re the passenger in a rideshare and it’s your driver’s fault. You’re covered by their rideshare policy as long as it’s a confirmed ride.
What To Do After an Uber or Lyft Accident
The most important thing is to try to stay calm. Check yourself and others for injuries and call 911. Call an ambulance and have everyone checked for injuries. This is important not only for your health, but for your claim as well. Documenting the accident with police and seeking immediate medical attention are important pieces of evidence. Both of these will help prove your claim.
You should also try to get the contact information from the drivers and witnesses. Use your cell phone to take pictures of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, registration, injuries, the cars themselves and the surrounding scene. Also try to immediately write down a narrative in your phone about what happened. Don’t assume anything, but write down the facts you remember. If you were the driver, make sure to notify your insurance.
You may get a call within a day or two from an adjuster trying to help you “take care of things quickly.” It may seem tempting to accept some fast cash. But they’re looking to settle the claim right away and far under its value.
San Diego Uber Accident Attorney Daniel J. Hanecak
You’ll want to make sure you see a doctor to assess the full extent of your injuries. We also recommend meeting with a car accident lawyer who can help discuss your options. We offer no-cost case evaluations over the phone, in person or via video conference. Please give us a call today at (858) 206-4326.