Whose insurance will cover me if I am injured in a car accident caused by an Uber or Lyft driver, or while getting a ride by Uber or Lyft?
The good news is that in Virginia, ride services such as Uber and Lyft, where the passenger arranges transportation in the driver’s personal vehicle by using a digital platform, are regulated as a Transportation Network Company (“TNC”). Virginia, which normally, doesn’t require motorists to carry insurance, has made insurance mandatory for Uber and Lyft drivers. In fact, the driver is required to carry primary liability coverage of $1,000,000 that is in effect from the moment the driver access a prearranged ride request until the ride is completed. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in the same amount is also required. However, the policy is only required to provide liability coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and death when there is no passenger on board. Moreover, no uninsured or underinsured coverage is required when there is no passenger on board. In the event that the lower limits apply to your scenario, other sources of coverage may exist, such as your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy on your personal vehicle.
How Can I Obtain Evidence of Insurance Coverage for the Uber or Lyft Vehicle I Was in at the Time of My Accident?
The driver is required to carry proof of coverage at all times and must provide proof upon request to any person involved in a collision with the vehicle. Further, Virginia law provides that a written request for information related to the insurance coverage can be made directly to the Uber or Lyft and they must respond within 30 days.
What Happens if My Uber of Lyft Driver Doesn’t Have the Insurance Required by Virginia Law?
If the insurance policy lapses, ceases to exist, of fails to fulfill the required obligations, the Uber or Lyft itself becomes financially responsible for the claim.
What Type of Car & Truck Insurance Are Property Carriers Like UberEats Required to Have?
What about property carriers like UberEats, Instacart, UberRush, TaskRabbit, Buddytruck? The rules that apply here are different and changes to the law in Virginia were made in 2018. These companies do not transport passengers, but the business model is similar to Uber and Lyft. How much insurance coverage is required depends on the type of vehicles the company uses to transport the goods and the status of the vehicle in the transportation cycle.
If the gross vehicle weight (“GVW”) exceeds 10,000 pounds the company must have $750,000 in liability insurance. If the GVW is less than 10,000 pounds but more than 7,500 pounds, then $300,000 in liability coverage is required. If the company uses passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, and vehicles that weigh less than 7,500 pounds then they are only required to carry a policy with liability limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. However, there must also be coverage in place that provides for $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence coverage for the time period between the acceptance of a request to transport property through final delivery. The motor carrier must verify that the driver maintains the appropriate insurance at the proper limit or it will become financially liable for any claims. As with TNCs, a written request for the identity of the insurance carrier and the last known address of the vehicle operator.
If you were injured by, or while in, an Uber, Lyft, UberEats or other company vehicle, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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