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Rideshare (Uber / Lyft) Crash - Insurance Coverage

If you are involved in a crash when riding in an Uber or Lyft in California, are you covered by insurance? Yes! What if you are driving or walking and an Uber or Lyft driver hits you? Maybe.

As of October 2021, Lyft and Uber both offer multiple tiers of insurance depending on the status of the driver at the time of the crash. Below is a guide to the levels of insurance coverage offered by Uber and Lyft to take care of their California riders and the public at large.


Active Rides

When the driver’s rideshare app is on during an active ride, or when they are picking up/dropping off passengers, Lyft offers $1,000,000 in third-party liability coverage. So, if you are injured while riding in an Uber or Lyft, you can rest easy that there is a decent amount of insurance available for injuries. However, this may not be sufficient to cover you for catastrophic injuries.

Lyft and Uber also offer uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage for bodily injuries to active riders. This coverage applies if someone else hits the rideshare vehicle and injures you, but doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage. In California, people can legally drive with just $15,000 per person in bodily injury coverage. Due to stratospheric inflation in medical bills, this isn’t enough to cover most moderate injuries like a broken bone, let alone something catastrophic like a brain injury. Even worse, there are more than 4,000,000 completely uninsured drivers cruising around the State of California. Thankfully, Lyft and Uber offer UM/UIM coverage to ensure that their passengers have some protection.


Waiting for a Ride Request


When the Lyft or Uber driver’s app is on, they are waiting for a ride request, and they do not have a passenger, Lyft offers $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 per accident in property damage coverage. This isn’t much.

An ambulance ride and a few nights in the hospital can cost more than $50,000. In that case, the victim could be left with nothing after their medical bills are paid. So, it is wise to carry your own UM / UIM coverage with high limits to protect yourself.


App is Off

When a driver’s rideshare app is off, there is no insurance coverage offered by Uber or Lyft. Instead, the only coverage available is the driver’s personal auto insurance policy. Both Uber and Lyft require their drivers to carry their own personal insurance coverage, but do not mandate any minimum amounts. This could mean that minimal $15,000 in coverage.


What this Means

While insurance coverage may be available, but this doesn’t mean that injured riders automatically get paid. Riders’ claims are handled by insurance adjusters just like any other car crash claim. We have seen insurers drag out claims for months (or even years) and make unreasonably low settlement offers. Thus, we advise that you immediately retain a competent attorney after a crash so they can use their experience and knowledge to handle the claims process.


This is not legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer to discuss your specific case. Consultations are free.

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