Prior to May 1st only one company (USAA – market share 3.39%) offered an endorsement that would remove the TNC (Transportation Network Company-aka Uber, Lyft etc.) exclusion on every Massachusetts Auto Insurance policy.
The exclusion that IS ON YOUR POLICY stops all insurance coverage as soon as you the driver turn on the TNC app making yourself available to pick up fares aka the “standby period”. Uber and Lyft do provide some coverage during this standby period but it’s minimal at best.
Many insurance companies are now offering coverage via a Driver Coverage Endorsement which needs to be added to your current auto insurance policy. It DOES NOT automatically get added. You need to request that it be added (if available from your current insurance company or you’ll need to change insurance companies to one that does offer the endorsement) to your policy.
Uber and Lyft currently provide the following limits and coverages during the standby period. Again the standby period is when you are logged in and waiting for a fare.
Uber and Lyft provide the following coverage during the “standby period”:
- Bodily Injury to Others with a limit of 50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident (maximum total for all people injured) and $30,000 for property damage. If you own a home or anything of value these limits are ridiculously low. If you hit another car for example and the damage is more than $30,000 (not difficult to do) you are legally libel for the difference.
- There is NO coverage for Collision (in an accident they will pay for the damage to your car) or Comprehensive (Fire, Theft, Vandalism etc.). This is a huge issue.
- There is NO Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists coverage during this period. This would provide coverage If you are in an accident and you are injured by an Uninsured Driver or an Underinsured (someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the value of your injuries) driver. If the other person who is responsible for the accident has no insurance, the hospital is still going to make you responsible for the medical bills. If you don’t have health insurance or large deductible/copayments this could be a serious issue never mind pain and suffering, lost wages etc.
Uber and Lyft provide the following coverage while you are heading to pick up a scheduled fare or transporting that fare to the final destination:
- Bodily Injury to Others Property and Damage Liability up to $1,000,000 for injures to anyone (not you the driver) in your car, the other car, pedestrians and any property damage you cause.
- Collision and Comprehensive coverage with the following deductibles: $2,500 (yikes) with Lyft and $1,000 with Uber.
Again the Endorsement needs to be added to your policy. The cost for the endorsement is 7% of your premium and well worth it. There are a few eligibility guidelines but most of them are the same as the qualifications to drive for Uber or Lyft.