Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are becoming more and more popular ways to get around Memphis, Jackson, and other nearby Tennessee locations. These services offer convenience such as scheduling the time for a pickup, choosing the type of vehicle you prefer, and picking a place for pickup. Uber and Lyft claim to have lower fees because riders can join with other riders headed in the same direction. Riders make a reservation though a smartphone app, their laptop, or a desktop computer.
Every rider who gets into a car is risking personal injury. Rideshare drivers are just as likely to get into an accident as any other driver. Uber and Lyft drivers often aren’t vetted as much as taxicab drivers. Drivers and rideshare companies must both have liability insurance to protect Uber and Lyft passengers.
What are the insurance requirements for Uber and Lyft?
First, Uber and Lyft drivers must have the minimum liability insurance required by Tennessee law. This means the driver must have:
- Bodily injury insurance for one accident victim: $25,000
- Bodily injury insurance for multiple victims: $50,000
- Property damage insurance: $15,000
Since even one night in a hospital can cost tens of thousands of dollars and many newer cars can cost more than $20,000, the minimum requirements are usually not enough to pay for all your damages if you’re injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
There is a catch though. Drivers who use a car for their business may not be covered under their personal policy – even if the accident occurs when the driver isn’t on duty. The safer option for the driver is to obtain rideshare insurance.
Uber and Lyft are also required to have insurance in case a passenger is injured. There are several conditions which affect which insurance pays for passenger injuries and how much the insurance companies pay:
- Insurance applicability when the rideshare app is off/inactive. In this scenario, only the driver’s insurance applies if the driver injures any passengers or anyone else including other drivers, passengers in other vehicles, bystanders, and pedestrians.
- Insurance applicability when the rideshare app is on and the driver is waiting for a request for ride, but there are no passengers in the vehicle. In this situation, Uber and Lyft should provide the following insurance coverage if the driver injuries people in other cars, pedestrians, and bicycle riders:
- $50,000 bodily insurance for one accident victim
- $100,000 bodily insurance for multiple accident victims
- $25,000 property damage insurance
- Insurance applicability when the rideshare app is on and a ride has been accepted. This condition applies:
- While the driver is in route to pick up the passenger
- While the passenger is in the vehicle
Uber and Lyft must have $1,000,000 (one million) in coverage to cover any injuries to the passenger, to the driver, or to anyone else – caused by the rideshare driver. In essence, once the driver accepts the ride, the driver is fully working for the rideshare company, so the rideshare company’s full insurance coverage applies.
- If the Uber/Lyft driver caused the crash, then the passengers (and any injured pedestrians or bicycle riders) can recover damage from the Uber/Lyft policy once the negligence of the driver is established.
- If another driver caused the accident, the one million in coverage acts like a UM/UIM policy. This means if another driver causes the accident but doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay your damages, then the Uber/Lyft policy pays the difference up to one million dollars. The passengers and drivers can both use the Uber/Lyft policy in this way – again, if another driver caused the crash.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis Uber and Lyft accident lawyers have the experience and resources to help confirm which insurance policies cover passenger damages in a rideshare accident. We demand compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, call our Memphis and Jackson lawyers at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form to schedule a consultation. We handle Uber and Lyft accident cases on a contingency fee basis.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
Read more about Thomas R. Greer