Uber has changed the way people in large cities get around. Anyone considering work as an Uber driver needs to take the time to understand the Uber insurance policy. In spite of the many perks and minimal requirements it takes to be a driver, an accident is all it takes to turn a lucrative job into a financial disaster!
If you don’t already know what Uber is, you probably don’t have Uber in your location. The rideshare company focuses on cities with large populations where owning, driving, and parking a vehicle is challenging. Uber operates in cities around the globe, providing residents with a more affordable and flexible option than traditional taxi services. Although there are some similarities in how Uber works in every location, there are also differences. Some of these differences are based on variations in the local and state law.
People who use Uber services for their transportation needs often learn quickly how it operates. All it takes is a smartphone and a payment method used to pay the company for the fare. After going to the company website, select the option to “Ride with Uber.” You’ll enter your first and last name and a PayPal or credit card account. Next, you’ll enter your phone number. You need a valid email address to create your Uber account. Finally, you’ll create a password that you’ll need to sign into the app.
Both your name and phone number will be used to verify your identity and contact you with information about your ride. You can also use your phone number to log into your account. If you have a promo code, you can enter it during the account creation process. It’s also a good idea to read the terms and conditions instead of just accepting them. The more you know about how Uber works, the better prepared you will be in case anything goes wrong.
Once you enter all of your information, hit the “sign up” button. You’ll receive a confirmation email soon after so you can start requesting Uber rides!
All types of people coming from different age groups have gotten on-board with the Uber platform. It’s a simple way to make a little extra money during your available time. Some people like the idea of being their own boss. Although Uber drivers are considered “independent contractors, you still have to meet the company’s requirements and some basic rules. Before signing up to drive, make sure the benefits outweigh the risks.
Many people assume that the $1,000,000 Uber insurance policy provided by the company is all the protection they need. The reality is, a lot of drivers have found out too late that the cost of a car wreck often exceeds that number significantly. It’s easy to overlook the issues of liability, medical care costs, and the impact a wreck has on a person’s life when it is nothing more than an idea. Once it becomes a reality, it doesn’t take long for the details to overwhelm you. The price you pay as an Uber driver can be financial, physical, emotional, or all three.
The first step in the driving process is learning the requirements in your city. Uber has certain guidelines for their drivers and the vehicles they accept. The company only accepts people who are at least 21 years of age with at least a year of driving experience. That means if you just got your license, you have a while to wait until you qualify.
Once you apply to drive for Uber, the company will request a background check. They will evaluate your driving history and criminal background. Failing to take these precautions can make them liable for the actions of any of their drivers. After several previous cases involving Uber Drivers, the company has implemented stricter guidelines. If you have any criminal history, you probably won’t get hired.
The requirements for your vehicle depend on which level of service you want to provide. The basic UberX service requires drivers to have access to a four-door, mid-size vehicle. In most cities, the vehicle must be no more than 10 years old. In addition, it needs to pass Uber’s safety inspection. You must also provide proof of your vehicle’s registration.
Although you will be covered by the Uber insurance policy once you are accepted as a driver, you must have a basic personal auto insurance policy. If you are involved in a wreck while you aren’t transporting a passenger, the Uber policy won’t cover your damages. It also won’t cover the damages for other drivers or passengers involved in the wreck.
UberPool and Express Pool have the same vehicle requirements as the basic service. The difference is whether you share the ride with other passengers and where the driver picks the riders up. Those drivers providing the UberXL service must have access to an SUV or minivan that seats up to six passengers. UberSelect refers to services provided in high-end vehicles like Mercedes or BMW. Uber also offers Uber Black, the high-end choice that uses late-model luxury SUVs. If you provide this level of service, you must have a commercial registration and insurance.
High-end services like UberSelect and Uber Black charge higher fares. Keep in mind that you’ll be adding wear and tear to your expensive vehicle. You’ll also want an additional Uber insurance policy to cover damages to your vehicle. Otherwise, you won’t receive reimbursement if a wreck damages your vehicle while you aren’t “on the app.”
Your first thought might be that the odds of being in an accident are minimal. You’ll be driving on the same roads that you have used for years. You’re a good driver who is in good standing with your insurance company. The odds of running into trouble are slim, right?
Wrong! If you haven’t been in a car accident already, the odds are already stacked against you. The cities where Uber operates have more accidents daily than other less-populated areas. Now, add the increased amount of time you’ll be behind the wheel once you start driving for the rideshare company. Every minute you spend driving increases your odds of being in an accident.
Another common belief by drivers is that collecting from insurance companies is simple. You buy insurance to protect you in case of an accident. It should pay you when you need it.
Sometimes getting compensated by the insurance company is every bit as easy as it should be. Many times, however, it isn’t as simple as filing a claim and receiving a check. Claims with higher values are even more difficult to collect on.
Reading an insurance policy is a lot like trying to understand something in a foreign language. It’s packed full of terms, conditions, and amounts that don’t make sense to the average person. Some of the most important terms to understand include “liability” and “policy limits.” This is especially true for your Uber insurance policy.
The insurance offered by Uber is “supplemental”, meaning that it is in addition to your basic insurance policy. The policy isn’t in effect at all times. If you have the Uber app turned on and are waiting for a rider, the policy covers third parties that you might injure or damage. If you cause another person’s injury, the insurance pays the victim’s medical bills and property damage.
The “term limits” differ among the states but there is always a minimum of $50,000 per person. The coverage includes term limits of at least $100,000 per accident for bodily injury in addition to $25,000 per accident for property damage.
Once you receive a ride request, the insurance coverage changes. If you cause an accident while en-route to pick up a rider, the policy provides a minimum of $1,000,000 in third-party liability per accident. The coverage also pays when accidents occur with underinsured or uninsured motorists for the same amount when another drive is at-fault. The only time you’re covered by Uber’s insurance is when you have the app turned on.
If your personal auto insurance includes collision coverage, the Uber insurance policy will pay up to the cash value of your vehicle. Before it pays, you must meet the $1,000 deductible out-of-pocket.
The popularity of Uber has led to some auto insurance companies offering policies specifically for rideshare drivers. That doesn’t mean your existing insurance company will embrace your new career with open arms. In fact, many auto insurance companies will cancel a driver’s insurance once they realize they are using the vehicle for this purpose. The insurance company knows how much driving as a business increases the risk of being in a wreck.
If you want to drive for Uber, find out about your auto policy before you sign up. Don’t wait until you have a wreck and have your insurance policy invalidated.
Consider taking out an additional policy that fills the coverage gap between your personal car insurance and that provided by Uber. You never know when you’re going to have a fender bender. Even worse, you, a passenger in your vehicle, or someone in another vehicle could sustain extensive injuries that require ongoing medical treatment.
Imagine transporting multiple passengers when you have a wreck that’s your fault. A serious wreck can cause injuries to you, all of your passengers, and to those in another vehicle. The cost of medical treatment, pain and suffering, loss of income, and other types of damages for everyone involved could easily reach several million dollars. If you don’t have enough insurance to cover the damages, you’re liable for what the insurance company doesn’t pay.
As much as we don’t like to think about it, many car accidents result in fatalities. If you are the at-fault driver, you could be liable in a wrongful death case. You could also end up as the victim in an accident caused by another driver.
Uber put their insurance policy in place primarily to protect their passengers. The last thing passengers think about when they request a ride is getting into a serious accident that will change their lives forever.
The term limits of the Uber insurance policy might not be enough to cover a passenger’s injuries. That’s when the issue of liability becomes an important one to the injured party. The person who caused the accident is responsible for paying them the compensation they need. That’s why passengers need to understand how Uber protects them in case of an accident.
The rideshare platform is still in its infancy. There have been court cases and rulings regarding some of the issues that come up. It might take decades to set a precedent for how Uber-related cases are handled. Until then, it’s up to the drivers and passengers to know their rights and how to stay safe. One way is to read the rider safety tips provided by Uber. The Uber platform isn’t perfect on either side of the concept.
Before you turn in your application to Uber, consider all the pros and cons. Be realistic about your risks of having a wreck and plan accordingly. If you need to supplement your income in your spare time, it might be a good fit for you.
If you’ve already been in an Uber accident, don’t assume you know your rights. The area of law related to personal injury is very complex. Talk with a personal injury attorney who knows the law and the devastation an injury causes. They know the local laws and will advise you on whether to take your case forward.
If you are in an Uber-related wreck, contact the law firm of Batta Fulkerson. Even if you’re partially at-fault, you could still get compensation for your injuries. Don’t wait until time runs out. Get advice from the legal experts at Batta Fulkerson today.