Do you work for a ridesharing company, such as Uber or Lyft, where you schedule passengers via an app and transport them in your personal vehicle? You may already know that your personal auto insurance doesn’t typically cover this type of business use of your vehicle.
Personal auto insurance covers private passenger use of a vehicle, not commercial use. As a ridesharing driver, you’ll want to make sure you have coverage while you’re working.
Insurance for ridesharing employees
Your ridesharing employer may provide a policy with varying levels of coverage and stipulations around what is not covered. Keep in mind you are not protected from the time you start driving your car until your passenger has been dropped off. Typically, your driving time is split into periods that have a direct effect on your insurance.
- Period 1 — When the app is on, you don’t have a passenger and you’re not going to pick up a passenger, you may have no coverage or reduced coverage through your ridesharing company.
- Period 2 — When you’re driving to pick up a passenger; you may have more comprehensive coverage through your ridesharing company.
- Period 3 — When you reach the pickup point, pick up the passenger and transport them to their destination point; you may have more comprehensive coverage through your ridesharing company.
Limits and deductibles included under ridesharing company policies differ for these driving time periods, so it’s a good idea to read your policy thoroughly.
If you don’t have the right coverage and you’re in a car accident while on the clock, you could end up paying for vehicle repairs or medical bills out of pocket. Ridesharing endorsements are available with many insurance companies. These policy endorsements, or riders, can fill some of the coverage gaps left by ridesharing company policies. Most personal auto policies cost less than a commercial auto policy, but talk to your agent about quotes on both options. Depending on your protection needs and assets, you may need more coverage than you think. If a commercial policy is cost prohibitive, ask your agent about adding an umbrella policy. These are fairly inexpensive and are intended to cover you when your other policy claim limits are reached.
There are two main types of ridesharing policies:
- Gap coverage — Extends your personal auto coverage through period 1
- Extended coverage — Extends your personal auto coverage through all three periods
Verify the type of coverage that is provided by your rideshare employer. Tell your agent or broker that you drive for a rideshare company, and how often. They will give you the information you need on the policies available and laws specific to your state.