Flexible hours and a “guaranteed” first month’s pay of $5000?! It seems too good to be true. It is. Don’t get me wrong, I am huge fan of Uber. I regularly use the taxi service in New York CIty, Washington DC, and even West Chester, PA.
For those of you who have yet to hear of Uber, it is essentially a taxi service run from your smartphone. You use the app on your phone to request a driver; they pick you up, take you wherever you want and you get out. The app securely stores your payment information and pays the driver. There is never a need to exchange money. It is safe, secure and convenient. One of the most unique aspects of Uber is that each driver works for themselves. Almost anyone can install the app and, assuming they pass safety rules and regulations, can begin driving for Uber and work as little or as much as they’d like.
But, and there’s always a but, who is responsible for liability and damage coverage for the driver, their car, and their passengers? Well, that is a very good question. Most insurance companies are trying to determine the answers to those questions too. There are three “phases” of coverage when driving with Uber. The first phase is the time when you do not have the app open. This is considered “offline” and you are required to carry personal auto insurance. The second phase occurs as soon as you open the app and in between trips. As soon as you open the app, your personal insurance policy will no longer provide coverage. Uber will provide bodily injury up to $50,000/individual/accident with a total of $100,000/accident and up to $25,000 for property damage. There is no coverage under your personal auto policy or Uber for damage to your car during this period. The final phase is while you are on a trip. Uber provides $1 million of liability coverage for drivers. Uber also provides coverage for physical damage to the vehicle as long as the driver has collision or comprehensive coverage on their personal insurance. Uber provides great coverage while “on a trip” but be careful when you do not have a rider.
At the end of the day, driving for Uber can be a great way to make some money. It is very important that you speak with your agent or insurance company to ensure that you are protected during all periods of driving. The last thing you want is to injure someone in phase one and be on the hook for a thousands of dollars.