Ride-Sharing Insurance Coverage on the Rise

Feb 10, 2015 09:30 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Considering becoming an Uber driver as a side job? Take a look at your insurance options first.

If your vehicle is involved in an accident while driving for Uber, Lyft or other ride-sharing services, ordinary insurance providers can deny your claims, according to NerdWallet.com.

Most companies that carry personal car insurance plans won't cover claims from drivers who are transporting customers for a fee. But if you opt for commercial driving insurance, it can be as much as 10 times more expensive than regular car insurance.

"I'd guess that 95 percent to 98 percent of drivers are lying or hiding," Kelly Dessaint, a San Francisco-based UberX and Lyft driver, told Forbes. "It's a whistling-past-the-graveyard attitude." 

State Farm, Geico and Allstate, which are the biggest car insurance providers in the country, are probably insuring hundreds of thousands of ride-sharing service drivers, whether they are aware of it or not, Forbes reported.

Some ride-sharing companies offer insurance to fill in the gap. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar each provide at least $1 million in insurance coverage for drivers who transport customers.

Auto insurance providers are increasingly offering ride-sharing coverage. NerdWallet lists Erie Insurance, Metromile, Geico and USAA as insurers that are experimenting with coverage plans intended for drivers who work for Uber, Lyft and the like. The plans will cover drivers until they pick up passengers, which is when the ride-sharing company's insurance coverage will kick in.

Erie Insurance has started offering ride-sharing insurance coverage in Illinois and Indiana in a plan that costs $9 to $15 per month. The coverage plan, which will be available in other states if it succeeds, insures drivers until they are transporting passengers. When the app is turned on, Erie becomes second to Uber's insurance.

Still in initial phases, Geico's plan for a yearlong commercial insurance policy is being tested in Virginia and will reportedly make its way to Maryland soon. 

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