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So you want to be an Uber/Lyft driver?

It was recently announced that Uber and other “ride hailing services” have been approved to recruit drivers and begin accepting passengers around July 1, 2017 in New York. If you are currently or considering becoming a ride sharing driver, there are a number of important issues to consider to protect yourself with the right insurance.

There are 3 stages in the ride hailing service model in regard to drivers:

  1. App on, waiting for a request
    During this stage a driver may be parked or in motion and monitoring the Uber/Lyft or other ride hailing service app to see if there are any requests for ride pickups that they are interested in trying to have assigned to them. At this time they have not been selected for, or agreed to pick up a particular passenger. Note that some drivers may be monitoring more than one ride hailing service application at one time so it is not clear which service they are truly working for.
  2. Request accepted:
    Driver has accepted and been selected by a ride hailing service to go to a particular location to pick up a client. They do not have anyone in their car at this time.
  3. On trip
    Driver is picking up or has picked up a client at a specified address and has instructions from their ride hailing service as to where the passenger is to be taken.

What part of the Personal Automobile policy will cover any of these stages in New York?
As of this moment, the livery exclusion of a New York Personal Automobile policy excludes all Liability, No Fault, Uninsured Motorist, Medical Payments and Physical Damage coverage for incidents that could occur during any of these stages.

What coverage is being offered by the ride hailing service companies to protect drivers?
At this time the following is being offered by Uber or Lyft as described on their website. This is not New York specific and will certainly be modified to comply with recently passed NY laws.