Ridesharing awareness moment? What does this even MEAN?
In today’s world, we are finding various companies, including Uber and Lyft, that provide a “ridesharing” service for folks. It can be convenient, fun and lucrative. It can also have some downside implications that sound like scenes from every midnight mystery movie you’ve ever seen. I’m not here to sing those songs to you today.
But the INSURANCE implication is one that I urge you to consider before you take on the idea of being a driver. What are my tips?
- Learn what the company will cover from top to bottom, in and out, and even upside down. Have your attorney view it if you don’t understand it. Realize there are limitations and concerns when you participate as a driver. While there is some coverage provided by the service, it is not fully inclusive for the coverage gaps that exist and you could be left in a pickle in terms of coverage if you are counting on that part to take care of everything for you.
- Be straight with your insurance carrier. Many insurers specifically exclude coverage when you use your car “for hire”. There are lots of fancy names for it, but it means you are using your car to make money by carrying people in it. It is a risk different than commuting to your job or taking the kids to the ice cream shack. There ARE some carriers that WILL extend coverage to you when you amend the policy in a certain way. If your carrier is willing to do this, jump on it, even if it costs a few bucks to do it. Why? Because the cost of YOU filling those coverage gaps out of YOUR pocket could be far greater than the small premium upcharge to have your insurer bear the risk.
- Be hyper-vigilant with your registration, license, insurance documents being covered. Maintain your vehicle in all ways.
- Go back and read bullet point #2 again.