You’re Better Insured Riding With Lyft or Uber vs Taxicabs
January 20th, 2018
When you travel do you take a taxicab or hop a rideshare like Uber or Lyft to get around? Those who pick taxicabs as their preferred mode of transportation often site government regulation and background checks as their reason. Those who cite Uber or Lyft typically cite the cheaper cost for the same basic service. But, there is another consideration—are you protected if the driver gets in an auto collision?
Uber and Lyft Insurance Coverage
From the moment an Under or Lyft driver is assigned you as their passenger until they drop you off and conclude the trip, you are covered by insurance provided directly by Uber or Lyft. The insurance they provide for their drivers while on a fare is 1 million dollars in liability coverage and 1 million in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Thus, no matter who is at fault, there is at least 1 million in insurance coverage to protect you and your family in the event the Uber or Lyft driver gets into a car accident. This is true no matter where in the United States of Puerto Rico the collision occurs.
The Inconsistency of Taxicab Insurance Requirements
Different states have different rules regarding taxicab insurance. Despite the fact they are common carriers—drivers who make their living transporting people—some states have less-stringent requirements on taxicab insurance than they do on individual drivers. Texas, for example requires all drivers to maintain proof of liability coverage of $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident. Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 601.072. Cab companies, however, that own over 25 vehicles can apply to “self-insure.” If they opt for self-insurance, they must only put up a bond to prove they can pay up to $30,000.00 per person and $60,000.00 per accident. While this might seem like the same thing, it is not. They are not subject to the insurance code and thus, do not have the same duties nor obligations to adjust the claim within the rules.
Other states are different. For example, New York is a “No fault” insurance state. In the State of New York, taxicabs are required to carry only the same minimum no-fault coverage as personal autos–$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. However, if the taxicab drives in New York City, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission requires the taxi to carry minimum coverage of $100,000/$300,000.
Florida is also different. Florida law requires taxicab drivers to maintain a minimum of $125,000 per person and $250,000 per accident. Oddly enough, Florida State law does not require most individual drivers to carry any liability insurance. Instead, they require drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection and $10,000 in property damage. There are no uninsured nor underinsured motorist coverage requirements, thus, if you are a passenger and another car is at fault, you could have no coverage at all.
How Do You Know What Coverage Applies When You Travel?
The only way to know what coverage you have when you travel and plan to use a cab is to go purchase your own coverage. Make sure the agent knows what you are wanting and where you are going to ensure you get the right coverage. Otherwise, you have to look up the requirements in every state in which you travel. If you travel by Uber or Lyft, you are covered for up to $1,000,000 regardless of which state and/or city you are in.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.