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Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft,  have taken the modern world by storm within the past few years. Quick, easy and convenient- a ride to the destination of your choice is available at the touch of an app on your smartphone. It’s become especially popular for party-goers and bar hoppers who use it regularly for a  safe ride home. Though rideshare services seem like “no brainers” for accident and arrest prevention (no DWI here!), people still need to consider the possibility of their  driver hitting or getting hit by another vehicle.. which can ultimately bring the passenger into the mix if they are injured.

 Here’s what to know in case that happens:

  • Rideshare drivers who are on the clock and NOT carrying a passenger are covered under a  “contingent liability insurance” policy if involved in an accident.  This includes $50,000 per person injured up to a cap of $100,000, and $25,000 in property damage. At the start of 2016, Texas state law made this amount of coverage a requirement for all rideshare drivers, which actually exceeds the basic minimum liability (30/60/25) required for all Texas drivers. An Uber or Lyft driver can always file a claim with their personal auto insurance, but they are always covered under this policy if they cannot.
  • If an Uber or Lyft driver is on the clock and they ARE carrying a passenger, they are covered under a “commercial insurance policy.” A whopping $1 million of third party liability coverage per incident is provided for the driver and passenger. The coverage is activated from the moment a driver accepts a trip to the time they arrive at the final destination.

 And what if you’re hit by a vehicle without insurance?

  • Covered. Excessively. Lyft and Uber provide $1 million in UIM (Uninsured Motorist Coverage) which covers all bodily injury to all occupants of the rideshare vehicle. This is especially important if the accident involves a hit and run.

Thinking about becoming a driver? Consider this:

  • All rideshare drivers are required to have minimum liability coverage in the state of Texas. If they live outside of Texas, they are STILL required to have auto insurance even if they live in a state with no official auto requirements.
  • If  an Uber or Lyft driver is NOT on the clock or logged into the app, then their personal auto insurance is the only coverage available to them if involved in an accident.
  • If an Uber or Lyft driver causes the accident, then Uber or Lyft will NOT cover the damage done to their vehicle. They will have to use their own insurance policy to cover the costs.

If you or someone you care about was involved in an Uber or other rideshare service accident, and needs a free consultation, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris to answer your questions: 713-364-0723.

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Jonathan S. Harris and Matthew D. Shaffer are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Other attorneys are not board certified.  Principal office is located in Houston, Texas.