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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Uber is becoming a common mode of transportation these days. In fact, about 57 percent of millennials aren’t buying cars. Instead of visiting a dealership, agreeing to high-interest finance terms, and paying for things like gas and insurance, younger adults are opting to pay-per-ride with ridesharing service providers like Uber. That’s not good news for car makers but it is good news for Uber drivers.
If you live in a high-traffic area and you have a flexible schedule, you can earn nearly $20 per hour as an Uber partner.
Since you set your own schedule and you dictate how much you earn, driving is a nice alternative to traditional employment. Unfortunately, you do have to cover some non-traditional expenses as a self-employed taxpayer. One of these is insurance. Here’s what you need to know:
Your Standard Insurance Probably Doesn’t Cover You
You drive your private vehicle when you’re driving for Uber. Since the ride-hailing company doesn’t have to manage a fleet of vehicles, they can make money off of each ride and still pay you a decide fee per trip.
Even better is the fact that Uber has started encouraging their customers to tip so that they can compete with other services like Amazon.
There’s advantaging to turning your personal car into a money-making machine, but there are also disadvantages. The biggest drawback is that your personal car insurance probably won’t cover you while you’re taking clients around town for a fare.
You can commute to work in your car and maybe even drive around clients as a real estate agent, but there are strict exclusions that apply to Uber drivers and taxi drivers.
Personal Auto Insurance Exclusions
If there weren’t exclusions for commercial-related use, anyone could buy a personal insurance policy and pay lower rates for driving around in riskier circumstances. Companies protect their interests and lower their liabilities by building very detailed exclusions into the contract.
Two of the most common exclusions are for delivery of goods and public livery (taxi) services.
You can deliver some goods in your personal vehicle when you’re transporting people, you can’t earn money specifically for the ride that you’re giving. If the money that you’re earning is in exchange for the ride, it’s considered a commercial risk.
This is why ride-sharing and also taxi drivers cannot carry personal insurance and rely on it to protect them while they’re working. Even pizza delivery drivers should carry commercial insurance because of the delivery exclusions.
Surprisingly enough, some agents are able to drive their clients around in their vehicles without sacrificing their insurance coverage. That’s because it’s not against the rules to drive clients in your car as long as you’re not making money specifically for that trip. If driving is incidental to the business, it will be allowed.
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What happens if you get in an accident with personal insurance?
If you were not aware that your coverage did not protect you as you’re taking Uber riders around, you could be dealing with a legal headache if you get into an accident. You will never really find out how limited your protection is when you’re driving commercially until you have a loss.
Your auto insurance carrier is not obligated to pay for any claims that you present while you’re signed in and accepting rides for Uber. You could be paying for your liability and physical damage coverage regularly on time and still be denied payment because you were driving your car for a profit at the time of the accident.
Can you be sued?
If you run into someone in another vehicle for someone who’s riding their bike, they have the right to sue you. You’re liable for all of the damages that you cause while you’re driving your car. Your liability doesn’t disappear just because your insurance company says that you’re in violation of your contract.
When the insurance company kicks back the claim and says that they are off the hook for paying the claimants, you can be sued.
Even worse, the insurance company doesn’t have to defend you because you were not covered for the usage at the time of the accident. You’ll have to pay for your own legal defense, you may have your assets liquidated or your wages garnished. It could affect your financial health for years if your accident isn’t cover.
Does Uber provide you with insurance?
Uber does provide its partners with insurance protection. The level of the protection is dependent on whether or not they have a customer in the car at the time of the loss. Well there is coverage, it’s only coverage that protects Uber from being sued not the driver. Here’s how the protection works:
- While you’re waiting for a request – $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident in liability, and $25,000 in property damage
- One your way to get a rider – $1 million of total liability coverage and comprehensive and collision with $1,000 deductible
- While the rider is in the car – $1 million of total liability coverage and comprehensive and collision with $1,000 deductible, and $1 million in Uninsured Motorist Protection
See If Your Carrier Offers an Endorsement
Before Uber and other ride-sharing services became extremely popular, all drivers would have to carry commercial insurance. Commercial products for professionals who drive customers for a fare are extremely expensive.
To address the market concerns, companies have started to add endorsements on personal auto policies for Uber drivers. See if your company has this type of ride-sharing endorsement.
You have to show that you have at least a minimum amount of motor vehicle liability insurance when you sign up partner with Uber. Even though the proof is required, your personal policy isn’t going to cover you if you don’t update your insurance. See if an endorsement is available first. If it’s not available, get free online quotes today through a company that has low-cost auto insurance Uber drivers.