Driver Announcements

Insurance Update for California Driver-Partners

June 16, 2015 / California
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At Uber, we are continually expanding on our commitment to the safety and well-being of our valued riders and driver partners. That commitment extends to the $1 million commercial liability policy we maintain for every ride taken on Uber’s rideshare platform. Today we’re announcing an update to our insurance policy in California in accordance with a new law, AB 2293, that goes into effect July 1, 2015. This law, which is unique to California, sets insurance coverage requirements for all Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and driver partners in California while they are logged in to the Uber platform and waiting for a trip request, also known as Period 1. Here’s how it works: The new California law will require either the TNC, Uber’s affiliate Rasier-CA LLC, or the rideshare driver partner to maintain primary third-party liability insurance that provides coverage in the amounts of $50,000 per individual with a total of $100,000 per accident along with up to $30,000 for property damage during Period 1. Uber will also maintain $200,000 of excess liability coverage in Period 1 as required. There are no changes to the coverage Uber maintains for drivers from the time a trip is accepted until its completion (during Periods 2 and 3, as shown in the graphic below). Under the new California law, automobile insurance that rideshare driver partners currently maintain under their personal policies will no longer apply while a driver is logged in to a TNC app, unless the driver has purchased insurance that covers ridesharing. This is the important change brought about by the new law. It means standard and optional coverages a driver may have purchased on their own personal auto policy will no longer apply (in California only). These include comprehensive and collision, which protect against damage to the driver’s vehicle; medical payments coverage, for injuries drivers might sustain in an accident; and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. uber_insurance-graphics_700x560_r10_CA Insurance Graphic Additional Insurance Options Drivers, however, have options. Uber has partnered with one of the insurance industry leaders, Farmers Insurance, that offers cost-effective personal insurance policies in California designed specifically for rideshare drivers. Their policies offer a broad range of mandatory and optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive, in Period 1. California TNC driver partners looking for additional coverages beyond what is provided by Uber’s policy should reach out to Farmers Insurance.



Insurance coverage maintained by Uber from trip acceptance to completion: Periods 2 & 3

Importantly, nothing has changed for drivers once a trip is accepted. From that moment, until the trip is completed, Uber still maintains commercial auto insurance that provides the following coverages:

  • $1 million of liability coverage for a driver’s liability for third-party bodily injury and property damage for each accident. This coverage is expressly primary to any other personal auto insurance except for coverage that specifically recognizes the driver’s provision of ridesharing in connection with a TNC.
  • $1 million of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per incident. This covers accidents when another party is at fault for an accident and lacks sufficient insurance. This covers bodily injury to all occupants of the rideshare vehicle, including the rideshare driver.
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance. If a rideshare driver holds comprehensive and collision insurance on his/her vehicle, this coverage will provide protection against physical damage to the driver’s vehicle that occurs on a trip, up to the vehicle’s actual cash value, subject to a $1,000 deductible.

AB 2293 and ridesharing insurance do not apply to limousine/livery (TCP) partners in California.

Frequently Asked Questions What are these periods about? The included graphic details the three periods that are important for drivers to understand. But what really matters right now is that the law is changing how insurance works in Period 1: from the time a driver goes online with Uber until the moment he or she accepts a ride from a passenger. It’s important to understand that every time a trip ends and the driver stays online, they’re back in Period 1. Starting July 1, two important things are happening (1) Uber’s insurance will provide primary coverage during Period 1, as required by law and (2) personal insurance will no longer cover drivers during that period unless they purchase a new policy that offers explicit coverage for ridesharing. Are drivers required to purchase rideshare insurance or purchase insurance from Farmers? No. If drivers decide to take no action, they will still be able to drive with Uber. We will maintain California-compliant insurance with primary third-party liability coverage should a driver choose not to purchase rideshare-specific coverage. We will maintain coverage limits of $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 in California for rideshare driver partners’ liability to others for bodily injury and property damage during Period 1. That said, drivers should fully understand their options by reading through these questions and answers. And, of course, driver partners must still maintain personal auto insurance for when they are not driving with Uber. What are the advantages of purchasing rideshare insurance from Farmers? Once the California ridesharing law becomes effective July 1, 2015, a driver’s personal automobile insurance policies will no longer provide any coverage during Period 1 unless a driver has purchased an auto insurance policy that covers ridesharing. This means any optional coverages a driver may have under their personal auto policy will no longer apply while logged in to the partner app. Drivers who want additional coverage beyond the California required third- party liability limits of $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 should consider purchasing a rideshare-specific personal automobile policy. These policies can also provide optional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive insurance, which protect against damages to a driver’s vehicle. Drivers can also select liability coverage limits above the $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 maintained by Uber’s policy in California to meet their own individual protection needs. Does the Farmers policy replace my existing policy or are they in addition to my existing policy? These are stand-alone policies that would replace a rideshare partner driver’s existing personal automobile insurance. Please contact a Farmers agent with any questions or to purchase one of these policies. Upon canceling an existing policy, an insurance company will generally refund the unearned premium for that policy. Drivers should contact their current agents or carriers to confirm any refund of premium before choosing to cancel the existing policy. What kind of Period 1 insurance is Uber maintaining until July 1st? Prior to the new law, Uber maintained contingent third-party liability coverage in the amounts of $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 during Period 1. Because this insurance was contingent prior to now, it acted as a “backup” to drivers’ own policies. From July 1st onward, it will be the primary policy unless the driver explicitly purchases one of the rideshare-specific policies from Farmers.

To learn more about auto insurance in general, we recommend reading this guidebook by United Policyholders, a non-profit focused on providing consumers with education related to insurance. Note: Uber maintains automobile insurance policies in California underwritten by James River Insurance Company through its affiliate, Rasier-CA, LLC.