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What insurance coverage is there for Uber and related services?

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Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and other ride companies have become major successes in the personal transportation industry and, in cities across the nation, have become rivals to traditional taxi cabs. Drivers for the services have found it to be a good way to make money working flexible schedules in their own areas and driving their own cars. Those who pay for the services have found it a convenient way to get where they need to go. This success has led to questions about insurance coverage.

Are limits of liability for these services higher or lower than what taxi drivers carry?

It varies per city, but typically it is higher with these services. Of course, it is important to contact the service and ask them about their coverage before contracting with them.

Is insurance coverage affected by fault in an accident?

In terms of what insurance coverage is applied to an incident, yes. For example, if your driver is at fault, UberX provides a liability policy with a $1 million limit. Lyft and Sidecar also have $1 million liability policies in those cases.

What if the driver of the other vehicle is at fault?

In those cases, the driver of the other vehicle’s liability policy will cover the costs incurred in an accident to the extent of their coverage and the determination of their culpability for the accident. If that driver is not insured or is underinsured, Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have uninsured/underinsured motorist policies which may be available to cover costs. The extent of coverage and the circumstances in which it can be applied are specific to each service and to the each area in which they operate. For that reason, it is important to research their coverage further and consult with your attorney if you are in an incident.

Source: WalletHub, “Insurance Coverage For Uber, Lyft & Sidecar Passengers,” Joshua Taylor, accessed April 20, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.