Rideshare insurance is an auto insurance for drivers of ridesharing companies such as Uber or Lyft. Drivers for rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are required by Florida law to have insurance coverage whenever the rideshare app is on. While Florida's rideshare insurance requirement is generally met by the company's policy, rideshare drivers may also want to purchase their own policies. An individual rideshare insurance policy can offer higher liability limits when a driver doesn't have a passenger, and it can reduce the deductible a driver would have to pay if their car was damaged.
If you're driving to pay bills, support your family, or saving up for something, you can't afford to depend only on Uber or Lyft for coverage. If you don't have rideshare insurance, you run the risk of:
- Losing your personal auto coverage
- Falling into coverage gaps for accidents that occur while you're ridesharing or driving for on-demand deliveries
- Paying out of pocket for repairs, injuries, and more
Not only is your personal auto insurer unlikely to cover any accidents that happen during your ridesharing gig, but it could even cancel your policy if it finds out you haven’t disclosed you drive the car for money. Even if you have coverage from the company you rideshare for, it likely won’t apply the entire time you’re on the job.
Rideshare insurance isn’t available everywhere. If you can’t get it, you would need a commercial insurance policy to be fully insured and avoid being dropped by your carrier. These plans have higher liability limits than typical policies and higher prices to match.
Lyft and Uber Insurance
Uber insurance or Lyft insurance provides minimal coverage while you have the app on and are waiting for a request — known as Period 1. Fuller coverage kicks in once you’ve accepted a ride and are carrying passengers.
Here’s how the rideshare insurance periods (sometimes called “phases”) work:
- Period 0: App is off. Your personal policy covers you.
- Period 1: App is on; you’re waiting for a ride request. Personal auto insurance without ridesharing coverage doesn’t cover you. Your rideshare employer’s policy is limited to liability coverage.
- Period 2: Request accepted, and you’re en route to pick up a passenger. Your Uber or Lyft insurance policy is in full force.
- Period 3: You have passengers in the car. Your Uber or Lyft insurance policy is in full force.
Lyft insurance and Uber insurance are almost identical. However, the deductible amounts for comprehensive and collision insurance are different. A deductible is your share of repair costs before your insurer pays the rest of a claim. Lyft’s deductible is $2,500, while Uber’s is $1,000.
Rideshare insurance for delivery app drivers
If you’re driving for an on-demand delivery service that does offer car insurance, check its policy carefully — coverage differs from company to company and is limited in all cases.
For example, Grubhub and Instacart don’t provide any car insurance, but you’ll need your own coverage to drive for them. Meanwhile, DoorDash offers only liability insurance while the food you’re delivering is in your car.
As with a rideshare company, the insurance your delivery app provides will depend on the period you’re in:
- Period 0: App is off. Your personal policy covers you.
- Period 1: App is on; you’re waiting for a request. A personal policy without ridesharing coverage doesn’t cover you. Some delivery app companies offer coverage.
- Period 2: Request accepted, and you’re en route to pick up a delivery. Some delivery app companies offer coverage.
- Period 3: You have the food or goods in the car. Your employer’s policy is in full force.
What happens if you have an accident while driving for Uber, Lyft or other app?
If you cause an accident during Periods 2 or 3 — while you’re carrying passengers or on your way to a fare — the insurance policies for Postmates, Uber Eats, Uber and Lyft will cover medical expenses and other damages you cause up to $1 million. The $1 million limit is much higher than most drivers — even taxi drivers in many major cities — carry in liability coverage.
If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you while driving for Lyft or Uber, the amount its policy covers varies by state. No delivery company offers coverage for this situation.
You can also draw on comprehensive and collision coverage from ridesharing companies and Uber Eats, but only if you also have such coverage on your personal policy. Beware, though: Deductibles can be high, and the policies apply only once you’ve accepted a request or while you’re carrying passengers or food.
If you cause an accident during Period 1, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance provider unless your state law or rideshare insurance policy specifies otherwise. If the claim is denied or you’re not fully reimbursed, Lyft’s or Uber’s insurance (for both Uber and Uber Eats drivers) should cover the rest. But ridesharing companies’ limits in these cases are relatively low — this is the “gap” that rideshare insurance from your personal carrier is designed to cover.
How to report an accident and file a claim
Call the police. Whether or not you’re in rideshare mode when a car accident happens, your first step should be to call the police. Depending on the type of accident and your rideshare company’s rules, you might have to provide your personal proof of insurance or the rideshare company’s certificate. Exchange information with the other driver as you normally would.
How to file. Next, inform your personal auto insurer. Even if you can rely on your employer to cover the damage, your personal insurer will find out about any accidents, and it’s best they hear it from you. Drivers who haven’t been honest about their driving status can find themselves in a tough situation: If you choose not to tell your insurer, you risk being dropped.
Finally, notify your ridesharing company or delivery app employer. If you can take advantage of the company’s coverage, a representative can help you start the claims process.