Car accidents occur unexpectedly and even to the most careful drivers. That’s why it is important to carry insurance on your vehicle. However, if you’re a rideshare driver, don’t make the mistake of assuming your personal insurance or employer-provided commercial insurance provides full coverage in the event of an accident. Instead of relying on standard coverages when you’re driving for a company like Uber or Lyft, opt for additional rideshare insurance. Read ahead to discover more about how rideshare insurance works and whether you should invest in this supplemental coverage.
What is rideshare insurance?
Rideshare insurance is supplemental coverage that fills the gap between your employer-provided insurance and your personal car insurance. Personal insurance policies do not cover the transport of paying customers from place to place, and employer-provided policies often only cover the minimum and set restrictions on when you are covered. For example, Lyft insurance and Uber driver insurance only extend additional coverage during certain periods, so if you, your vehicle, or other people are injured outside of those windows, you may incur exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses as a result.
Though rideshare drivers are not legally required to purchase extra coverage, they can elect to add rideshare insurance for added protection from accidents that cause damage or injury to themselves or third parties. Rideshare drivers are constantly on the road; driving is their livelihood, so it makes sense that they should invest in more extensive than coverage than the average commuter.
Who needs rideshare insurance?
If your job includes driving paying customers from one place to another, then it is advisable for you to obtain rideshare insurance. Since you’ll be left with periods of non-coverage if you rely only on your personal and commercial auto insurance policies, rideshare insurance provides the additional coverage needed to keep you protected at all times.
Employer insurance policies do not keep rideshare drivers covered from end-to-end, but rather only extend to you and your vehicle while in the process of picking up and dropping off a customer. Ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft typically divide coverage periods into the following categories:
- Offline: When you’re not logged in to your rideshare driver app or you’re using your vehicle for personal business, you are not covered by Uber car insurance or Lyft insurance. Instead, offline driving is typically covered by your personal insurance policy.
- Period 1 – Waiting for Request: If you’re logged in for work with your rideshare company but you have not been assigned a customer yet, you are ineligible for employer-provided coverage. And since you’re technically on the clock during this time, your personal insurance is also likely to be inactive. This leaves a gap in your insurance coverage, making you and your vehicle vulnerable should an incident occur.
- Period 2 – On the Way to Pick Up a Customer: Your commercial insurance kicks in once you accept a customer and start driving to pick them up. However, even though you are covered during this period, rideshare companies tend to only provide limited liability insurance. Both Uber driver insurance and Lyft insurance provide coverage of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per incident and $25,000 for property damage.
- Period 3 – Ride in Progress: Like period two, you’re also covered by your commercial auto policy after you pick up the customer and for the duration of the ride. Upon dropping off your customer, you return to period one status, where you most likely do not qualify for either your personal insurance coverage or your employer-provided coverage.
The top rideshare insurance companies
Many of the best insurance carriers offer rideshare insurance. In some cases, insurance companies offer a separate endorsement, while others simply add a TNC extension (Transportation Network Company, also known as a ride-sharing business) onto your personal car insurance policy. Some of the top providers for rideshare insurance include:
- Allstate ride for hire endorsement
- Geico rideshare insurance
- State Farm TNC driver coverage endorsement
- Farmers rideshare endorsement
- USAA rideshare endorsement extension
- Progressive rideshare insurance
Rideshare insurance is not available in every state, so it’s crucial to research different providers to determine whether or not this supplemental coverage is an option where you live. If you live in a state where rideshare insurance coverage is unavailable, you should consider purchasing commercial insurance to keep you protected at all times.
How much does rideshare care insurance cost?
Coverage varies from state to state and costs fluctuate based on your driving history, geographic location, credit history, and other factors that are typically taken into consideration when determining your car insurance premium.
See below to examine the differences between Transportation Network Company policies for these car insurance providers, including states that offer the policies and the increase in premium price with added coverage:
- Type of coverage available: Ride for hire endorsement
- States available: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Washington D.C.,
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium: $15-$20 annually
- Type of coverage available: Ridesharing Policy that replaces existing personal policy
- States available: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium: ~$25 per month
- Type of coverage available: Transportation Network Company (TNC) Driver Coverage endorsement
- States available: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium: ~15-20% above annual premium
- Type of coverage available: Rideshare endorsement
- States available: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium: ~$15 per month, 8% in California
USAA (only available to US military members and their families)
- Type of coverage available: Rideshare endorsement extension of personal policy
- States available: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wyoming
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium: ~$6-$8 per month
- Type of coverage available: PA: Commercial policy for Lyft drivers, TX: Personal policy endorsement for TNC drivers
- States available: Pennsylvania and Texas
- Cost in addition to personal policy premium:Calculated based on miles driven while working as a rideshare driver
How to buy rideshare insurance
Some car insurance providers allow you to extend your personal insurance policy or add a new TNC policy through their websites or online portals. Others, like Farmers Insurance, require you to call and speak to an agent. When discussing coverage options with your insurer, be sure to tell them you are working as a rideshare driver.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I need to tell my personal car insurer that I am driving for Uber or Lyft?
If you want your insurance policy to keep you covered from the start of your workday until the end, you should certainly inform your auto insurance provider that you are a rideshare driver, so you can add on extra endorsements or extensions as needed.
What if rideshare insurance isn’t offered in my state?
If rideshare insurance isn’t an option in your state, consider purchasing a commercial insurance policy. Though commercial policies are more expensive, they provide the needed coverage to keep you and your assets protected.
Do I really need extra rideshare insurance if I already have personal and employer-provided policies?
Yes, even with both personal policy coverage and employer-provided insurance, you can be left vulnerable during certain parts of your workday as a rideshare driver. Rideshare insurance bridges the gap between those two policies, keeping you safe even when you aren’t in the act of transporting a customer.