Top Things Uber or Lyft Drivers need to know before they have a Baltimore car accident
1. Will my automobile policy cover me and my passengers if I am in an accident?
A. Most personal automobile policies do not provide coverage when a driver accepts payment to drive others.
B. Maryland law permits insurance policies to exclude all coverage for injuries and damages that occur when you are driving for Lyft, Sidecar and Uber.
C. This is different than carpooling.
D. You will need to purchase a commercial policy in order to have the appropriate coverage. These policies may be offered by the ride sharing company you work for like Uber or Lyft.
E. If you do not have coverage, you may be personally responsible for payment of medical expenses and other damages for anyone injured and any automobiles that are damaged in an accident that is your fault.
F. If you are considering becoming an Uber or Lyft driver you should do the following:
1. Ask your insurance company if your current policy provides coverage, and, if not, whether your company sells that coverage;
2. If you are making payments on your automobile, check with your lender or lessor to see if they permit you to drive for Uber or Lyft under your loan or lease agreement;
3. Before you sign the Uber or Lyft agreement, review it carefully to find out whether Uber or Lyft will be providing insurance, what it covers, and whether the coverage differs based on when the accident occurs (for example, when you have a passenger in the vehicle versus when you are going to pick up a passenger). Also, make sure you know what the deductible is and what the coverage limit is.
G. When you are driving without a passenger your regular car insurance should provide coverage and the amount of coverage will depend on the amount of coverage you purchased. Therefore, you must keep your personal insurance policy in force at all times. You will not be able to use your Uber or Lyft insurance if you have an accident and you are not logged in.
H. Once you log into the Uber or Lyft app and are available for business, the Uber of Lyft insurance will usually take over.
I. The amount of insurance provided by Uber and Lyft typically exceeds the Insurance most drivers carry on their personal cars.
J. When you have an accident, you should report it to both insurance companies.
K. Uber or Lyft will often require a denial from your personal insurance company before they will accept responsibility.
L. Reporting the accident as required by Uber or Lyft could result in your insurance company cancelling you so you should advise them in advance and make sure you are not violating their policy.
For more info on auto accidents in Maryland, CLICK HERE.