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Ride-sharing drivers: are you covered in the event of a car accident?

Most of our readers have, by now, heard the term ride-sharing and become familiar with the concept. As the popularity of ride-sharing increases in the United States, there is a growing concern that consumers of ride-sharing services may not fully understand how their insurance policy will cover them in the event of an accident. This is an important issue, because insurance companies may or may not cover a policyholder who is hurt in a ride-sharing accident.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most people who get in an accident while using their vehicle for ride-sharing services are not covered by their own policy. In the average auto insurance policy, coverage stops as soon as the car owner enters a ride-sharing app to look for a customer, and coverage starts back up when the transaction is completed. 

Not only do many insurance policies not cover ride-sharing activities, in some cases insurance companies may even cancel or deny renewal of a driver’s policy if that driver is involved in ride-sharing services. This is because car-sharing is viewed by some insurers as a high risk activity.

Ride-sharing companies do offer insurance coverage for drivers, and this coverage in some cases takes care of the gap found in many auto insurance policies. Drivers who are participating in ride-sharing services need to do their homework, though, and look at where they may have gaps in coverage. Policyholders need to know the terms of their own policy in order to limit their own potential liability and so they know when to hold their carrier responsible if coverage is wrongfully denied when an auto accident occurs. 

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