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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Uber and other TNCs and Personal Auto Insurance in MA

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 09:48 AM

    Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Lyft and Uber are growing like crazy, and insurance in Massachusetts is finally coordinated with the Uber / Lyft experience.  Until recently a major gap in coverage existed.   

    What's the problem?

    The Massachusetts auto policy excludes coverage for "livery", which makes sense when you think about it.   Livery means driving for hire: A cab, a limo, even paid ride sharing to work counts as livery ...if the driver gets paid.  

    TNCs are a new iteration of 'livery', and its effect on the value of taxi cab medallions - based on the limited supply of cab licenses - is well known. What is less known are some of the challenges Uber drivers face. One challenge is insurance: when a driver's Uber app is on and signals that the car is available for a fare or trolling for a fare, the personal insurance is suspended.

    In August 2016 Governor Baker signed a new law placing more stringent background checking systems and other regulations on Uber drivers, but not quite to the extent in place for cab and limo drivers. However, one feature of the law was a requirement for Uber drivers to notify their existing insurance company of their Uber status.  Until recently, many companies would simply not renew coverage for TNC drivers once notified that a driver was working with Lyft or Uber.   That's a problem.

    What about coverage Uber provides its drivers?

    Uber provides insurance as shown in the box below for when a rider has been matched, and while riding (meaning during the actual fare):   Once the person getting a ride gets into the car, and until they depart, Uber insurance fills the gap in the personal auto policy.

    What Uber insurance does NOT do is provide coverage when it is first suspended: when the "I'm available" app begins.  This is referred to as Period 1.

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    Today, to keep continuous coverage while you're driving your car, any Massachusetts policy needs to be endorsed.  And we offer a solution.  

    What's the solution?  

    Until recently, most carriers stuck with the existing "livery" exclusion, with no way to quantify the cost of a trolling driver.  Now gap coverage is available, 

    We represent many companies, both Massachusetts specific and national, and we have one of the earliest providers of a solution.  If you would like a quote for Uber or Lyft gap protection, give us your contact information below, and we'll let get you to a solution.

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    Tags: Uber, Gordon Atlantic Insurance Uber, Uber and the MA auto policy

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