Having auto insurance is a necessary part of the job for Uber and Lyft drivers. In the past, expensive commercial-driver insurance policies were the only option to ensure complete coverage. Now, insurance companies have expanded the scope of their offerings and introduced insurance policies that specifically meet the needs of this niche market.
If you are a driver, rideshare insurance is commonly added on as an extension of your personal auto insurance policy, but in many cases, it can be a separate contract on its own.
- Auto insurance companies are increasingly offering rideshare insurance for those who drive for Uber, Lyft, and other car services.
- Often an add-on to a personal auto policy, rideshare insurance is usually cheaper than commercial driver insurance.
- Geico, Erie, Farmers, Allstate, and State Farm all offer some type of rideshare insurance.
The first step to getting this type of policy is calling your carrier. Regardless of whether they can offer you a policy or not, notifying them that you are working as a rideshare driver is necessary: If you don't, it can be viewed as insurance fraud. When you become a rideshare driver, the risk of an accident increases as more time is spent on the road. Naturally, the insurance company will want to adjust the policy for the adjustment of risk. So if you don't inform them, the insurance company can take action to cancel the policy altogether.
Here’s a look at some policies with coverage for drivers who work for Uber and Lyft and other livery services.
One of the benefits of Geico’s rideshare insurance is that you can have a uniform policy whether you are driving for personal or business reasons. This means that whether or not you have a passenger in the car, you will be covered. Policies can be $150 a year or more depending on factors such as your age, state, vehicle, and driving history.
Geico’s rideshare insurance is available in all but 10 states.
Erie was one of the early adopters of rideshare insurance, introducing its coverage in 2014. Like Geico, this insurance policy covers you during the entire trip for personal or business reasons. The price, though, will be an add-on to your personal insurance policy. It can be anywhere from $9-15 extra per month.
Erie Insurance is available in only 10 states, however:
- West Virginia
- Washington D.C.
Farmers Insurance Group
Another common insurance heavyweight, Farmers offers rideshare insurance, but as more of a stopgap than full coverage. Basically, it offers an extension of your personal coverage from the time you log into the app to the time you accept a ride request. For example, if you logged in at 10:00 a.m. to the app, but didn’t accept a ride until 10:30 a.m., for that half hour you would still be covered under your personal auto insurance.
This coverage might best benefit drivers who work for Uber and Lyft as side jobs and don't log into the app all that often.
Allstate covers all ridesharing apps, but a significant aspect of their insurance is that you are NOT guaranteed continuous coverage when signed into the app. This means that a separate policy with outlined terms will be necessary for full coverage, which can range from $15-30 a year.
Although State Farm is known for having overall coverage on most auto insurance policies, their rideshare options are a little different. While they cover all ridesharing apps, they do not cover the driver for liabilities while signed into the app, but DO cover for other coverages the driver carries on a personal policy. This essentially means that the driver will have to ensure that their personal policy can sufficiently cover possible liabilities.
An add-on to a personal policy, the rideshare coverage generally increases premiums 15% to 20%.
They do offer an option called "TNC Driver Coverage Endorsement" to enable drivers to have their personal auto policies fill in any coverage gaps they might have with their Uber or Lyft insurance companies, like an add-on or addendum to their personal auto policy contract. This provides full coverage during the time the driver is "available for hire."
The Bottom Line
Rideshare insurance is available in most states where there are large concentrations of Uber and Lyft drivers. It is also often a cheaper option than commercial insurance.
Even though we've listed some leaders in the field, make sure to call your own carrier first. Even if they've no official rideshare insurance policies, they might be able to offer you some sort of coverage. And, in any event, they need to know if you've become a commercial driver.