In most instances, Uber and Lyft accident cases are settled with insurance companies. In the event that a ridesharing driver or company is liable for an accident, the accident claim would be covered by their insurance coverage.
All Lyft and Uber drivers must have their own insurance and, as we mentioned previously, ridesharing companies are now legally required to have insurance when operating in California. Whether a driver’s coverage or the ridesharing company’s coverage would cover an accident claim typically depends on the rideshare period during which the accident took place.
Rideshare periods are the different steps of the ridesharing process. Uber and Lyft have insurance that provides different levels of liability coverage based on the rideshare period in which an accident occurred:
Period 1: The rideshare driver has turned their rideshare app on but they are waiting for a ride request.
During Period 1, Uber and Lyft have insurance on behalf of the driver that has 50/100/25 coverage, with liability limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 for any accident involving bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.
Period 2: The rideshare driver has accepted a ride request and is on their way to pick up a passenger.
During Period 2, Uber and Lyft have insurance on behalf of the driver that has $1 million third-party liability coverage. Uber and Lyft’s insurance coverage for this period includes uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision (up to cash value of car, $1,000 deductible). This contingent comprehensive and collision coverage applies to damage to a driver’s vehicle if they have personal insurance that includes comprehensive and collision coverage.
Period 3: The passenger is in the rideshare driver’s car being transported to their destination.
During Period 3, Uber and Lyft offer the same coverage as in Period 2.
No Period: The rideshare driver is not logged into the rideshare app.
If a rideshare driver is not logged into the ridesharing app, they’re not in any rideshare period and they are not at work for the ridesharing company. In this case, the ridesharing company cannot be connected to a claim. If an Uber or Lyft driver is involved in an accident when they’re not working for Uber or Lyft, this accident would be treated like any other auto accident. Claims related to the accident would be covered by the driver’s personal auto insurance policy.