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Does Uber’s insurance actually cover you in an accident?

If you are like most people nowadays, you likely rely heavily on Uber and/or Lyft to take you where you need to go when you need to go there. These ride-hailing services admittedly save you significant money over traditional taxi services, but will their insurance cover your injuries in the event you wind up in a car crash while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

Even if your driver assures you that he or she has liability insurance coverage, unfortunately, the “driver-partner insurance” that Uber and Lyft offer to their drivers contains many gaps.

Liability coverage

In general, Uber’s and Lyft’s own liability insurance covers you, the passenger, up to $1 million in the event of an accident. However, this coverage applies only if all of the following apply:

  • The driver purchased this insurance.
  • The driver caused the accident.
  • The driver has his or her own commercial auto liability policy that applies when he or she transports a passenger for hire.
  • The driver’s commercial policy has already reached its limit for this accident.

What you need to know is that few, if any, Uber and Lyft drivers actually have a commercial auto liability policy. In addition, their personal auto insurance policies almost always exclude liability coverage if and when they engage in drive-for-hire activities.

Uninsured motorist coverage

Uber and Lyft likewise offer uninsured motorist coverage to their drivers. While you can avail yourself of this coverage if the other driver caused the accident in which you received injuries, you can only do so if your driver purchased this insurance and one of the following applies:

  • The other driver remains unknown, such as in a hit-and-run situation.
  • The other driver has no auto insurance.
  • The other driver has insufficient auto insurance to pay for your injuries, i.e., an underinsured driver.

Bottom line, you cannot assume that Uber’s or Lyft’s insurance will pay for your injuries, let alone adequately pay for them. Instead, your ride-hailing accident may leave you with serious injuries and not a lot of coverage.