Friday, November 3, 2017

Drivers are not adequately protected in ride-sharing accidents

Attention Parents: Do you know what your kids are doing with your car?

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

With the widespread adoption of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, many young drivers have found lucrative ways to make more money. Whether it is rush hour, late at night, or some other time that works within their schedule, these drivers have been zipping through traffic for extra cash unbeknownst to their parents. As a direct result, cities across the United States have witnessed an increase in automobile accidents that have placed many young drivers in financial jeopardy.

According to insurance experts, many parents do not even know that their children are working for a ride sharing company. Furthermore, since driving for companies such as Uber or Lyft is considered a business exposure, policyholders may be surprised to learn that coverage can be negated in the event of an accident. 

In an effort to keep your family safe, Blais Insurance has compiled a list of insurance facts related to the ride sharing economy.

  • Many drivers falsely believe that these companies pay for damages in the event of an accident while using the app. What they actually provide is limited liability for very specific scenarios.
  • Most ride sharing companies inform drivers that their personal auto insurance covers gaps in coverage when their policy is not in effect. These statements are inaccurate because most personal auto policies include exclusions that do not cover damages if the insured vehicle was used for business purposes like transporting people or goods for a fee. This means that a personal insurance policy would not cover damages in the event of an accident if the driver was actively looking for a passenger.
  • Many insurance companies have adapted to current market trends, and now offer ride sharing insurance policies in some states. These policies are more affordable than commercial policies, but drivers may choose not to elect either because they do not shop for the more affordable rates.

Navigating through insurance industry trends can be complex, but a Blais Insurance agent can help you find affordable policies that protect your family under any scenario. Before enrolling in a ride share program, speak with a Blais Insurance agent at 401-725-0070 for personalized packages that protect you and your loved ones from any dangers they could face on the road.