If you’re driving for a rideshare company in California and you haven’t updated your insurance policy, you may be driving illegally. California state laws require drivers for transportation companies like (Uber and Lyft) to be covered by additional liability insurance coverage any time the app is on. That means transportation network company (TNC) drivers have stricter minimum insurance requirements than regular drivers even when a passenger hasn’t been selected yet. The minimum rideshare insurance requirements in California vary for each section of the ride, and these requirements aren’t usually met with your personal insurance policy. Some rideshare companies provide drivers with insurance. However, it’s important to ensure this policy meets all of the requirements.

Whether you’re a full-time rideshare driver or working off hours for a little extra cash, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the minimum insurance coverage required by the state. Personal policies aren’t designed for professional drivers, and your rideshare insurance may only provide partial coverage. Our rideshare policy offers a simple way to get the right coverage for you and your vehicle during both personal and professional use.

Requirements for Rideshare Insurance in California

If you’re new to the world of driving for TNCs, it’s important to know what insurance coverage you need for the different sections of each passenger’s ride. A personal insurance policy often won’t cover the costs involved with rideshare driving. These sections are called periods, and requirements change for each one.

Period 1

When your app is on, but you haven’t been paired with a passenger, California law requires:

  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person injured in an accident
  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $30,000 property damage liability coverage per accident

During this period, your TNC is only required to carry a minimum of $200,000 extra liability coverage.

Period 2

When your passenger has been accepted but hasn’t been picked up yet, your TNC insurance will be active. California law requires rideshare companies to carry a $1 million bodily injury liability policy to cover you and your passengers during this period. Comprehensive and collision benefits vary between companies.

Period 3

When your passenger is in the car, your TNC insurance remains active until you safely transport the passenger to his/her destination. The requirements remain the same as those in period 2.

While state laws require your TNC to follow certain minimum insurance requirements for drivers, it’s important for you to take the time to understand exactly what type of coverage you have. For instance, insurance provided by your TNC will likely not offer collision or comprehensive benefits during period 1. The period when you aren’t using your rideshare app is referred to as period 0, and only requires your personal insurance which must follow state minimum requirements.

Additional Rideshare Laws in California

Your rideshare is also required by the state to meet certain obligations. All TNCs in California must disclose this information to drivers:

  • A full description of insurance coverage provided by the company, including limits of coverage
  • Full disclosure that a driver’s personal insurance will not meet the state requirements for rideshare drivers
  • An explanation that the driver’s personal collision and comprehension will not cover damages to the vehicle during an accident while using a rideshare app.

Additionally, all TNC companies and drivers are required to cooperate with all involved insurers in the event of an accident. If an accident occurs, TNC drivers must provide proof of both personal and commercial insurance.

Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage

If you use rideshare companies or are thinking of becoming a driver, you probably know that Uber and Lyft are the most popular options. The following coverage is provided by Uber and Lyft.

Uber

  • Period 1: Liability only – $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, $25,000 property damage per accident.
  • Period 2 and 3: Liability – $1 million per accident, Uninsured or underinsured motorist – $1 million per accident.
  • Comprehension and collision will cover the cost of your car if an accident occurs during periods 2 or 3. However, this coverage is only available to drivers who have collision and comprehension on their personal policy. Uber also has a $1,000 deductible for collision and comprehensive repairs.

Lyft

  • Period 1: Liability only – $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 bodily injury per accident, $25,000 property damage per accident. (This is contingent to your personal insurance in many states, but California is an exception.)
  • Period 2 and 3: Liability – $1 million per accident, Uninsured or underinsured motorist – $1 million per accident.
  • Comprehension and collision are available through Lyft. However, you will have to file the claim first on your personal policy. If your policy doesn’t cover the damages, Lyft comprehensive and/or collision will kick in.

It’s important to remember that your personal insurance provider should be notified of your participation in a rideshare company. Since TNC policies are often contingent on your personal insurance policy, you may be left holding the bag if you didn’t disclose your profession to your insurance provider.

The best way to avoid insurance gaps when driving for a TNC is to obtain a rideshare insurance policy. Personal policies often exclude “drive for hire” situations, and keeping up multiple policies can quickly get expensive and confusing. MIS Insurance ridesharing policy is an affordable alternative that covers your vehicle for personal use, ridesharing, and other on-demand services. This single policy works like personal insurance while the app is off and provides the proper rideshare coverage for periods 1 – 3. We also offer special insurance rates for Uber and Lyft drivers.

MIS Insurance provides ridesharing insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers in all cities in California including: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Riverside, Stockton, Chula Vista, Irvine, Fremont, San Bernardino, Modesto, Fontana, Oxnard, Moreno Valley, Huntington Beach, Glendale, Santa Clarita, Oceanside, Garden Grove, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Rosa, Ontario, Elk Grove. Call us today to get a free quote and avoid costly gaps in your rideshare insurance.

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Sources:

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/General.aspx?id=3802

https://www.valuepenguin.com/rideshare-car-insurance-california

https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/lyft-insurance.html