Two recent headlines caught our attention:
"Injured Uber driver not covered for auto accident on return trip", (Business Insurance)and
"She was hit by an Amazon Flex driver — and left in the ditch by auto insurers" (Boston Globe)
Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Lyft and Uber, and similarly, Amazon Flex, are still growing like crazy, and insurance in Massachusetts has become more complicated for drivers. Without taking specific (but easy) steps, a major gap in coverage leaves drivers exposed.
What's the problem?
The Massachusetts auto policy excludes coverage for "livery", which 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 form of 'livery'.
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. And Uber's standard insurance has not yet kicked in. This is when the driver is driving without insurance.
In August 2016 Governor Baker signed a law with more stringent background checks and other regulations on Uber drivers. One feature of the law was to require TNC drivers to notify their existing insurance company of their Uber driver status. The purpose was to notify the agent or company to fill the gap through the driver's personal insurance.
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 with a passenger: Once the passenger is matched with a driver, and until the passenger leaves, Uber insurance fills the gap in the personal auto policy.
What Uber insurance does NOT do is provide coverage when it is when the "I'm available" app opens. This is referred to as Period 1 in the chart below.
Today, to keep continuous coverage while you're driving your car, a Massachusetts policy needs to be endorsed. We offer a solution.
What's the solution?
We represent many companies, both Massachusetts specific and national, and we have several providers offering gap coverage solution for attractive rates. For a cost estimate for Uber or Lyft gap protection, tell us who you are (on left side, above) and we'll get you to a solution.
For more information:
Please visit our auto page: agordon.com/auto