Transportation Network Companies, Uber Gap Worries Insurers

By Don Jergler | January 10, 2014
Lyft Driver
(AP Photo)

  • January 11, 2014 at 4:24 am
    nelson kenzo says:
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    UBER is EVIL !!!!!

  • January 13, 2014 at 11:35 am
    Erik says:
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    It seems the question is not whether the UBER contractor was between rides but was he “on call”, and thus in the course and scope of potentially being available to provide a ride through the UBER service. I recently spoke with some local parents about their college age children using their vehicles through UBER to make some spare cash and I brought up this very point regarding coverage issues with their personal auto policies. During the discussion I learned the “UBER Driver” will let UBER know when they are available, as in between certain hours. Thus, if the driver in this case was available to be assigned a ride, then he could be considered in the course and scope. Conversely, if he was no longer available, then I would say his personal auto coverage is in play.

    Although, instead of creating difficult and taxing regulations, approach the industry about providing a type of “new” insurance product whcih would cover this potential gap of being “in between runs”. In that respect, we keep the legislators out and create new products and revenue streams for the industry.

    • January 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm
      ClaimAdjuster says:
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      No, the personal auto insurance does not switch on and off depending on whether Uber says the vehicle is on call. The commercial activity exclusion means that if there is any use of the vehicle as a taxi cab then there is no coverage. This is why UberX/Sidecar/Lyft drivers hide their business use from their insurers. They know that their policies will be cancelled and their claims will be denied if the insurance company finds out what they are up to.

      In my area UberX drivers can get a commercial policy for $4,000 a year. This compares very favorably with a taxi which starts at $6,500 and goes as high as $13,500. But the UberX drivers don’t won’t to pay $4K. As for your new prodict, I doubt that any insurance comapny is going to want to pick up that extra liability for less money.

      The regulators have to get involved. These drivers will continue to cut corners on insurance unless the law makes them do the right thing.

  • January 14, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    P says:
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    Erik is right on target both as to liability and as to creating a proper product. I would add also as to liability the to and from consideration. If the driver had gone to a client and was returning to his prior circumstance he could be on duty. Unless the driver was clearly not on call or to and from Uber is on the hook. I wonder who arranged the coverage for Uber?

  • January 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm
    henry king says:
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    most pucs regulations recognize that if the receiving data appliance such as radio,on board computer or the ability to accept work the driver is on duty,taxi drivers have 2 different aspects of on duty one is actual driving time the other is total on duty hours or the ability to accept fares,so I say if his app was up,running and he had the ability to accept work he was then in fact on duty

  • January 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm
    Holly Rose says:
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    I am a Personal Lines Agent and I can’t tell you how funny it is that I JUST yesterday received a solicitation from one of the UberX Drivers. She gave me a card good for my first ride free up to $20. And I asked her what if I wanted to make some extra cash and be a driver. But, now since reading this article…all I can think is WHY, WHY why didn’t I ask her to quote her insurance as well?…and this concept never crossed my mind either way. If I was to write her a policy or if I were to become a part time driver!! I should have been banging my head over which type of coverage would it be anyway? Boy, I have a lot to learn. Thanks for sharing Ken!



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