It’s important to note that we do not only represent Lyft / Uber passengers, but Lyft / Uber drivers as well. We are experienced Uber personal injury attorneys who represent anyone injured in a car accident, at least partially due to the fault of another. Uber drivers have important rights that need to be protected and may be entitled to significant compensation for their car-accident related injuries (past and future medical bills); lost-wages (time not driving for Uber or working any other job); and pain and suffering.
Our uber driver clients have expressed confusion over the new Florida law that impacts Lyft drivers and Uber drivers. I want this article to explain what the new Uber law does and address the most frequently asked question I get from my Lyft or Uber driver clients: Do I need to purchase additional auto insurance?
Brief Overview of the New Uber Law
On July 1, 2017, HB-221, which created Florida Statutes, 627.748 related to Transportation Network Companies, became the law in Florida.
First – don’t get confused by the jargon: “Transportation Network Companies” (TNCs) is just the Florida Legislature’s term for any and all ride-share providers such as Uber and Lyft. Florida lawmakers fully expect competitors to enter the market and wanted to create uniformity over minimum requirements that must be met by Uber, Lyft and any other ride-share company that might want to do business in Florida.
HB-221 / Florida Statutes 627.748 sets forth uniform requirements pertaining to: insurance, what to do in a car accident, what TNCs such as Uber and Lyft must provide during an Lyft or Uber claims investigation. The law designates Lyft, Uber and any other TNC drivers as an “independent contractors,” but requires rideshare companies to run specific rideshare driver criminal background checks and implement zero-tolerance policies if a rideshare driver is caught abusing drugs, alcohol or engaging in discriminatory activities. The TNC / ridesharing company must disclose fares before riders enter the vehicle and provide the Lyft / Uber driver’s license plate number and driver’s photograph. There are other components to the law – most do not impact Uber drivers, just the corporation itself.
There is much confusion, especially among Lyft and Uber driver’s, over this law’s direct impact on them. But, there is one question I get more than any other from Uber drivers: Do I need to purchase new commercial insurance because of this new law?
Insurance Requirements for Uber Drivers in Florida
While the rideshare driver is logged in to the app, but not engaged in a ride, HB-221 / F.S. 627.748 requires a minimum of $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person ($100,000 per incident) and at least $25,000 for property damage and uninsured motorists coverage.
While with a passenger, an Uber driver must be covered by a $1,000,000 bodily injury / property damage / wrongful death insurance policy.
If involved in a car accident, an Uber driver (or Lyft driver, or any TNC driver) must present proof of this insurance to the police who arrive at the scene (same as you would do with your personal car insurance).
Do Uber Drivers Need to Purchase Additional Insurance as a Result of the HB-221?
Not necessarily, but if you drive for Uber, Lyft or any other TNC, you may want to. Let me explain. First, the above insurance requirements are burdens placed on Lyft and Uber themselves, not the Lyft or Uber driver. In fact, Lyft and Uber have been providing you with similar coverage all along, even before the passage of the new Uber law.
So, the good news is that you, the Uber driver do not need to purchase your own $50,000 or $1,000,000 insurance policy – Uber does that for you.
But, your personal car insurance policy (the one that is in effect if you are not logged into the Lyft or Uber app) may be at risk. Almost all personal auto insurance policies have language that provide exceptions to coverage in certain situations, one of them being if you use your car as part of your employment or on a “driver for hire” basis. If your personal insurance carrier finds out that you drive for Uber or Lyft, they can drop you (and refuse to cover you) for making a “material misrepresentation” (i.e. lying to them). This could be a problem if you are involved in a car accident while not logged into the Uber app (so Uber’s policy would not provide coverage). The remedy is to ask your carrier for a rideshare endorsement.
What is a rideshare endorsement?
You would have to call your personal insurance carrier to find out if they offer rideshare insurance. In Florida, as of the date of this article, it can be hard to find. Currently GEICO and Progressive Insurance companies do not offer ride sharing insurance in Florida. If you tell them that you are driving for Uber or Lyft, you may be dropped.
State Farm, Infinity and Farmers (through their subsidiary, Foremost Insurance), are top auto insurance carriers that offer rideshare insurance in Florida. Remember, that when you drop off a passenger to their destination, and waiting for the next ride request (or just logged into the app but have not received a ride request) you are not fully covered with Uber’s $1,000,000 policy. With rideshare coverage, you avoid a potential gap in coverage.
With these policies you essentially turn in your personal auto insurance for a hybrid policy that works in conjunction with the policy provided by Uber / Lyft to cover you in every driving situation (whether you are logged on or off the app or in the middle of a ride or in-between rides).
Uber Driver Car Accident Lawyer
As a Lyft or Uber driver, getting into a car accident can be stressful, and you’ll likely have plenty of questions. Let us take the burden off you while you recover and fight for the compensation you deserve. We, very proudly, represent Lyft and Uber drivers who have been injured in a car accident. Call now for a free consultation. We only get paid if we win.
Uber Insurance Related Resources