Uber, Lyft, Sidecar Toe-to-Toe With Insurers State-by-State

By Don Jergler | June 27, 2014

  • June 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm
    Ace Richards says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    An ordinance going to Miami-Dade commissioners for second reading and adoption
    on July 9 2014, eliminates the loophole for Lyft where they claim they are working
    for donations. Tips & Donations will be considered compensation, period.
    Further more “all for-hire” vehicles, that operate within the county shall be taxis, period.
    Currently there are “apps” being developed for use by commercially insured,fully inspected,
    taxicabs, that will improve the ride experience and remove the unfair competitive advantage
    that rogue “gypsy drivers” working with “Uber, Lyft” have had since they began illegal operations
    in the county. These drivers should have there cars impounded, and on second or third offenses
    should be jailed.

    • July 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm
      pmacafee says:
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      Checking the Miami-Dade county web site, I can only find a relevant meeting scheduled for tomorrow, and that posted agenda shows a resolution to create rules and regulations to allow services like Lyft and Uber. Can you point me to the ordinance that you are referring to?

      • July 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm
        Don Jergler says:
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        If you mean the map there was a state bill in Florida that has died. Give me the number of this county ordinance and I will look into this for you.

        Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.

    • July 15, 2014 at 3:42 am
      JD_1985 says:
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      Uber – Lyft
      I have the Uber and LYFT insurance certificates provided to those divers who request it. If I can post the photo of Certificate of Insurance, I will. Please take note that James River Insurance is same for LYFT and Uber.

      1. The insurance coverage is symbol 10 liability which means that the driver of the vehicle is not covered for damages to their car.

      2. Notice that liability appears on the document as an EXCESS basis over the primary coverage.

      3. Excess basis of the primary coverage means that the driver’s insurance imposes a “Minimum Underlying Limit” for the primary policy prior to the excess policy kicking into place (usually $300,000 or $500,000).

      4. Since the underlying primary auto policy will not provide coverage while being used for commercial purposes, (any type of ride by which the driver gets paid) there would likely be a large liability gap that would have to be paid out of pocket by the vehicle owner. – Their own personal insurance will not cover them as in all policies it states clearly any type of “for profit / income” must have commercial insurance”.

      5. Who is the typical rideshare driver? kids in college, people who need supplemental income – not the rich – In other words the little people, the blue collar, the unsuspecting ones who would have to declare bankruptcy because they would have no where to get those first $300,000 – $500,000

      6. Uber and Lyft take 20-30 percent off the top of the credit card charge for the ride. Nice chunk, at Uber there are no tips, their website say they are included, but they are not. Uber and LYFT drivers pay for gas, repairs, oil changes and insurance. The DRIVERS pay for everything.

      Ask a high end insurance agent you trust to verify what I have written here. I got this information from an insurance genius. (20 years in auto business and knows how to read the fine print).

      I hope you will take this information and investigate. I’m not against any rideshare, but LYFT and Uber and all the companies need to place their entire insurance policy online. Full disclosure. Then, and only then, can we analyze the policy and know exactly what is and what is not covered. Remember again the word “in EXCESS”. These rideshare companies are NOT liable insurance / financially until the driver coughs up the first $300,000 to $500,000 depending on their own personal policy.

      Someone said to me recently “if they (the drivers) are so stupid not to realize that, it’s their own fault”. I hope you don’t feel the same. The drivers are not sophisticated and they have no idea of their real obligation. Bankruptcy takes years to get off your credit reports. We both know Uber, LYFT and the others are not going to explain it.

      THEIR “ONE MILLION DOLLAR POLICY” is “IN EXCESS”. That is why these companies don’t get lawsuits, it’s the driver’s responsibility the first 300K to 500K -

    • August 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm
      Stush says:
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      I am pleased that there is so much thought going on for this subject. Folks are only focused on the money, who can make some and who can save some. We in the industry are concerned about who pays when something goes wrong, either the driver or the client gets injured or someone’s car is damaged, Who pays for the liability, property damage or physical damage is a very real concern that Uber and Lyft do not address. What is even more disturbing is that this was supposed to be ride “sharing”, that is, someone who is going across town decides that he can make an extra buck by sharing the expenses. Instead we have a cottage industry of folks who operate their vehicles almost full-time! This sounds like a taxi to me but without the regulation, the certificate to operate, the license to collect money and the “priviledge” of paying taxes on the ride “sharing” expense money, which in any other discussion would be called “income” or “revenue”, not shared expense or donations. The fact is that this was not a well-thought out idea. this business model relies on only the good, positive side without looking into the consequences. My kids think like this, only seeing the positive outcome without regard for the rest of the story. Nothing in life is free; a ride and driver give up certain things when taking part with this service. And when something goes wrong, they will see the wisdom in the status quo. Clients pay less than a cab, but get less when a loss/claim occurs. Drivers whose cars are damaged will be paying for that out of pocket. Insurance is not intended to cover this kind of exposure. So if we change to the ride-sharing model, and determine the hidden costs and make an adjustment to satisfy the issues now being discussed, we might just find out we already have a good model now: TAXI!

  • June 29, 2014 at 5:31 am
    esemon idinye says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
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    Why is the author using the word ridesharing companies?
    Who asked them to deal with it? all over the countries,cities,states etc.
    The issue between ridesharing and the insurance industry can be solved wisely.
    By asking ridesharing companies and insurance industry their criteria,what do they want and what they dont want before matter wil be solved wisely

  • June 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm
    Greg Heitmann says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
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    All the articles seem to address solely the liability exposure. What about the physical damage exposure to the owner of the vehicle when his personal insurance is not going to cover him/her when he/she is “working” for one of these services? Go another step and what about the banks, finance companies and leasing companies who hold an insurable interest in the vehicle(s) that is/are damaged?

  • June 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    CSP says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
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    If we adopt Uber’s reasoning, a contractor with a commercial vehicle would only need commercial insurance when he is not on the job. Going to the lake on the week-end using the company vehicle would only require personal insurance.

    Sorry, Uber, etc. are commecial enterprises and the drivers are commercial operators with commercial vehicles. They are just too cheap to pay for the insurance they are using.

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:07 pm
    Spokesperson for a better California says:
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    Uber consistently lies to regulators and anyone else that stands in their way . Laws, rules and regulations don’t apply to them .

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:08 pm
    Spokesperson for a better California says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    I drove for Uber for slightly under two months and here’s what I
    found………….Uber is dangerous for public safety .
    Having to tap a small icon on the Uber device ( phone ) to accept,
    cancel, arriving, etc., and more takes your eyes completely off of the
    road . You are oblivious to traffic for those few seconds your looking
    at your Uber device which can easily cause head – on collisions
    resulting in immediate death & injury . Even if you, yourself
    cancels you must proceed with why you are canceling to the little icons
    on your Uber device and doing so makes you oblivious to traffic and the
    road ahead of you while driving . There are 6 icons on your Uber device
    stated on you why your cancelling & you must select one by
    tapping on one of the little icons . This is frequently done while
    driving diverting your eyes off the road ahead of you . You are not
    paying attention to traffic while your concentrating on these little
    icons on your Uber phone. When driving to get to the the client ( this
    happened frequently for me ) the client cancels for one reason or
    another . Because your on the way to pick up your client you receive the
    cancellation notice while your driving and while your driving your
    eyes are taken off the road so you can respond to the beeping sound
    coming from your Uber device . This beeping sound indicates that the
    client has cancelled the fare . While driving, searching then tapping
    the icons is like texting . Furthermore, there is no time
    limit to driving . Unlike Taxi drivers who are limited to a ten hour
    driving period in, San Francisco an Uber driver can drive for 20 hours
    straight or more . Too much driving creates fatigue often leading to
    confusion, , falling asleep, hallucinations, dozing off and
    considerably more inattentiveness which can cause accidents resulting
    in injury and even death .. In my case I was required to take 9
    passengers, including myself which would have been 10 people all in a
    mini van . The weight itself is enough to cause my tires to rub against
    the wheel wells of my van creating sparks from stones trapped in the
    threading of my tires which could ignite the fuel tank causing an
    explosion even killing all those passengers that are trapped inside my
    mini Van .Because I refused to take the legal amount of passengers I was FIRED by Uber because the passengers were upset & gave me a ” one ” rating .

    After I complained to my Uber representatives via email
    numerous times about having to take too many passengers so I could be reinstated i received absolutely no response .My UBER reps ignored my continued requests . No
    response from other Uber drivers complaints will encourage these
    drivers to do violate the law to maintain a high rating . If you refuse to take all 9
    people when there are only 6 seat belts the clients ( in my case were
    upset ) gave me a “ one “ rating and if your rating is too low you
    will be FIRED by Uber . This would even include getting fired by Uber because you refused to run red lights at your customers request due to the rating system . You
    must also drop drivers off at the designated location the client(s)
    request creating the impeding of traffic & the sudden slamming of
    your brakes so you won’t miss the client(s) destination . Again if you
    don’t you will be graded on your performance from 1 to 5 and in most all
    cases you will be given the lowest rating such as a “ one “ and you
    will be FIRED. This encourages drivers to violate the law in order to maintain a high rating .

    There are no vehicle inspections required by Uber drivers meaning if
    your car’s brakes are failing or wipers not working it’s still OK to
    drive in the rain . Does Uber care your brakes are failing or wipers
    aren’t working ? Probally not . They just want their 20% share of your
    fare and will probally claim no responsibility if your involved in an
    accident, your brakes fail and wipers don’t work while driving in the
    rain . In the eyes of Uber you are an independent driver . It is
    illegal to use your vehicle commercially unless you get commercial
    registration and insurance . Uber drivers do not have commercial
    insurance and probally most don’t get commercial registration for their
    vehicles or the proper insurances so driving commercially for Uber is
    technically illegal .

    • July 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm
      E&O Agent says:
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      Out of curiosity, what kind of background check did you have to go thru with Uber to become a driver? Did they conduct any criminal background checks or do anything to verify your operator’s license or vehicle? Or did they just take your word for it with what you entered on their website to sign up?

  • July 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm
    CommercialAutoAgent says:
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    Actually, Uber & Lyft are banned in Virginia:

    http://www.thewire.com/technology/2014/06/lyft-uber-get-banned-from-virginia/372367/

    http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2014/06/16/uber-lyft-arlington-police/

    Would encourage the author to re-check on the states to ensure accuracy. As an agent who deals with commercial auto from state to state, it would be nice to have this article and map be correct to use as a resource! Thanks!

    • July 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm
      Don Jergler says:
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      CommercialAutoAgent thank you for the headsup. We have updated the map to reflect this change. We will continue working to ensure every state is as up-to-date as humanly possible as new events unfold, as we appreciate that this is an important story for many of our readers.

      • July 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm
        Don Jergler says:
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        Additionally, to see the update you may need to clear your browser’s cache.

        • July 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm
          CommercialAutoAgent says:
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          Thank you very much – I certainly appreciate it!

    • July 15, 2014 at 3:44 am
      JD_1985 says:
      Like or Dislike:
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      Uber – Lyft
      I have the Uber and LYFT insurance certificates provided to those divers who request it. If I can post the photo of Certificate of Insurance, I will. Please take note that James River Insurance is same for LYFT and Uber.

      1. The insurance coverage is symbol 10 liability which means that the driver of the vehicle is not covered for damages to their car.

      2. Notice that liability appears on the document as an EXCESS basis over the primary coverage.

      3. Excess basis of the primary coverage means that the driver’s insurance imposes a “Minimum Underlying Limit” for the primary policy prior to the excess policy kicking into place (usually $300,000 or $500,000).

      4. Since the underlying primary auto policy will not provide coverage while being used for commercial purposes, (any type of ride by which the driver gets paid) there would likely be a large liability gap that would have to be paid out of pocket by the vehicle owner. – Their own personal insurance will not cover them as in all policies it states clearly any type of “for profit / income” must have commercial insurance”.

      5. Who is the typical rideshare driver? kids in college, people who need supplemental income – not the rich – In other words the little people, the blue collar, the unsuspecting ones who would have to declare bankruptcy because they would have no where to get those first $300,000 – $500,000

      6. Uber and Lyft take 20-30 percent off the top of the credit card charge for the ride. Nice chunk, at Uber there are no tips, their website say they are included, but they are not. Uber and LYFT drivers pay for gas, repairs, oil changes and insurance. The DRIVERS pay for everything.

      Ask a high end insurance agent you trust to verify what I have written here. I got this information from an insurance genius. (20 years in auto business and knows how to read the fine print).

      I hope you will take this information and investigate. I’m not against any rideshare, but LYFT and Uber and all the companies need to place their entire insurance policy online. Full disclosure. Then, and only then, can we analyze the policy and know exactly what is and what is not covered. Remember again the word “in EXCESS”. These rideshare companies are NOT liable insurance / financially until the driver coughs up the first $300,000 to $500,000 depending on their own personal policy.

      Someone said to me recently “if they (the drivers) are so stupid not to realize that, it’s their own fault”. I hope you don’t feel the same. The drivers are not sophisticated and they have no idea of their real obligation. Bankruptcy takes years to get off your credit reports. We both know Uber, LYFT and the others are not going to explain it.

      THEIR “ONE MILLION DOLLAR POLICY” is “IN EXCESS”. That is why these companies don’t get lawsuits, it’s the driver’s responsibility the first 300K to 500K -

  • July 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm
    renoscs says:
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    I think this whole deal with UBER will self destruct in 3 years or less. This will be the end result of deaths and serious injuries to people before everyone wakes up to what’s actually going on. It’s really too bad that people have to learn the hard way. Greed is not good in these situations!! Hopefully the owners of UBER will lose everything and wind up in jail!! THIS WOULD REALLY BE JUSTICE!!

  • August 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm
    srg says:
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    The Broomstick Transportation Corp-SBMTS rideshare vanpool service- doesn’t need the phone app service for commuters.

  • October 3, 2014 at 11:56 am
    Markrhaz says:
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    As a rideshare driver for 1 month for Lyft and a commercial truck driver with extensive customer service work history I can tell you that the people especially young professionals and collage students absolutely love the service and most would never even think of taking a cab. I am certain that TNC’s have prevented innumerable DUI/DWI accidents. So why is this FACT not part of the discussion? How many millions have insurers saved in just the last month because just me alone in a 4 door mid size have transported over 200 people who were under the influence in 3 weekends. Now if TNC’s weren’t there you think they would have called a cab ? Maybe , Maybe not….but if just one of them drove and killed someone what is the cost of the liability ? I rest my case. New innovations come alonge all the time old insures need to adapt to the changing times or retire and get out of the way of progress and i’m 50 years old.

  • October 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    Stush says:
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    We’ll just have to wait for this to play out. what are your plans should you have an accident while involved in this altrustic endeavor? Will your auto insurance cover any injuries to your passengers? Will Lyft cover those medical bills and the threat of a lawsuit? These are the issues I am concerned about. I have no doubt this is quite convenient and cheap for your riders but this isn’t a perfect world and things will happen. I just think that this has not been thought out well. And why are you doing this, if not a a JOB! this isn’t ride-sharing, this is just an unregulated taxi. Not some big innovation, but a rebranding of the business, without the other “costs”. Someone will pay though when a good lawyer gets his teeth in it and YOUR assets will be exposed. Own a home? better be sure you protect it or it could be the subject of a seizure, to satisfy a settlement…nuff said.

  • October 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm
    Stush says:
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    I was in a meeting and our legal folks talked a lot about this and accepted that “ride-sharing” was not something that was contemplated in neither our commercial or personal underwriting and has to necessarily be excluded. Then someone from the millenial generation related that their friends in one of our larger cities on the east coast uses a TNC whenever possible because it was inexpensive and easier to get than a cab. So now we finally found what the issue is, that the market is just trying to find a better model than the current taxi business. It was then that someone said that the taxi industry is digging their own hole if they expect to rely on the current safely insured but overly regulated model. So what is needed is for Uber and Lyft to take their model a little further and address the lack of rides by finding drivers or independent contractors who had their own insurance, had their backgrounds checked, paid their licensing, and develop a rate structure that would allow them to make money and be less expensive than the current companies are. Where is the enterpreneur who wants to roll out a fleet of vehicles and compete with the current taxis, and not let them push him out of the market? I can’t imagine that taxi business has to be closed club that doesn’t allow for competition. Regulation should not be just to keep the current rates in place. Why aren’t there lots of taxi companies like when they broke up Bell and now their are lots of smaller, leaner brands? Or how about Electricity providers? Why are there many to choose from now but only a few cab companies in any given market? Where are the new capitalists who understand that you don’t create a new model by trashing the old one that was at least safer?



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