According to a Pew Research report, in 2015 only 15% of Americans had ever used a ridesharing company, like Uber and Lyft. By 2018, that number had more than doubled to 36%. For years, taxis could be found everywhere. Now, they are getting harder and harder to find. Before long, taxis, like typewriters and answering machines before it, will become history.
It is easy to see why that will happen. Hailing a cab is a pain, especially if the weather outside is terrible. Who wants to stand on the corner, in a rainstorm, trying to flag down a cab? Who would choose that over simply logging onto an app on your smartphone and summoning a cab to your doorstep via GPS?
If you were injured as a passenger of a rideshare vehicle, contact our Boca Raton Uber and Lyft car accident injury lawyers for a free consultation today.
Understanding Rideshare Driver Liability and Insurance in an Accident
While ridesharing is fundamentally changing how we think about driving, it is also changing the insurance industry. Early on, insurance policy language was so broad that a typical motor vehicle insurance policy would cover a driver’s accident, even if they were working at the time of the accident for a rideshare provider. Eventually, the insurance industry decided to stop covering accidents when their insured driver was acting as a rideshare driver. Eventually, the State of Florida, wanting to have thousands of uninsured rideshare drivers on the road, changed the law requiring rideshare drivers have insurance.
Most rideshare drivers now have their regular, typical motor vehicle insurance company for coverage, but have added a rideshare provision to their policy. The rideshare insurance provision turns on and off when appropriate.
What does that mean, turn on and off? Let me explain. The rideshare insurance will “turn on” when the rideshare driver has been paired with a fare and is route to pick up that passenger. The rideshare insurance remains the primary insurance while the passenger is picked up, transported to and dropped off at their location. When the passenger leaves the vehicle at their intended destination, the rideshare insurance will then “turn off” and the rideshare driver’s regular car insurance will “turn on”.
Insurance Requirements for Uber and Lyft Drivers in Boca Raton, FL
Understanding “turn on and off” insurance is critically important because a typical driver in Florida usually has very limited insurance. All a driver has to have in Florida is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage (PD). PIP, also called no-fault insurance, pays 80% of your “reasonable” bills up until a $10,000.00 cap is reached. The PD policy requirement, on the other hand, allows another driver to recover up to $10,000 in property damage costs if you are the at-fault driver. As you can see, I did not mention anything about bodily injury, because there is no requirement in Florida to have bodily injury insurance.
Pretty crazy, but unfortunately true. Thankfully, Florida treats rideshare drivers differently. A rideshare driver must have bodily injury insurance. Rideshare drivers usually have at least a $1,000,000 policy in effect when a passenger is in the vehicle. However, when the driver is going to get the fare, the policy may only be $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. Therefore, in an accident with a rideshare driver, there should be at least $50,000 in coverage. However, the critical question then becomes whether or not there was a passenger in the rideshare vehicle at the time of the accident.
Boca Raton Uber + Lyft Car Accident Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
At Accident Attorneys Boca Raton, we have been navigating the quickly changing waters of the rapidly growing rideshare industry for our clients for years. Let us help you navigate the tricky waters that face any case when the at-fault driver is a rideshare driver.
At Accident Attorneys Boca Raton, we take your injuries personally. Contact us today for a free consultation about your rideshare car accident injury claim.