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Carpooling, Rideshare, Uber: How do they affect your insurance?

Carpooling or Rideshare

Carpooling or rideshares are useful and effective with co-workers to save money on fuel costs or reduce your carbon footprint.  You or other parents might carpool with your kids to school, sporting events or activities.  Maybe you might even carpool with friends to the mall, book clubs or vacations.  No matter why you carpool, are you sure you have the correct coverage on your auto policy?

In most states your insurance policy must include bodily injury liability, whereas many of the other important liability coverages are optional and not required.  Accidents do happen, but did you know that passengers in your vehicle are not covered by your bodily injury liability coverage – scary, right?

Coverage to consider adding to your current auto insurance policy is medical payments coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.  Medical payments provide coverage for you and anyone in your vehicle and will pay for medical treatments your passengers need after an accident.  Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides additional coverage when there is not enough provided.  This coverage goes into effect if you or any family members are injured while riding in a carpool driven by someone else.  After the driver’s policy limits are reached, your underinsured or uninsured coverage can pick up the difference.  Both coverages will provide for the passengers in your vehicle and while they are optional, they are just as important.  Contact your licensed insurance agent to discuss your individual coverage and make sure you are adequately covered.

Uber and other livery services

Many personal auto insurance policies include a clause that voids liability coverage if you use your personal vehicle for livery or public conveyance. This means you can’t use the liability coverage on your auto insurance if your vehicle is in an accident while you rent it out or while you are operating as a taxi service.  This is especially important in today’s transportation as services such as Uber become more and more popular.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Uber, but just in case you haven’t let us give you a basic idea of what this service is.  Uber is actually an app that connects passengers to drivers; it is not actually a taxi service.  The only requirement for an Uber driver to be available on the app is to pass a DMV and background check as well as maintain their own vehicle and own insurance.  Here is the catch, remember earlier when I said your coverage is voided on a personal auto policy when used in livery or public conveyance, well, unless the Uber driver has an auto policy specifically designed for this type of service, they technically have no coverage.  So before you decide to take on a second job as a ride for higher in your personal vehicle, make sure you have the correct coverage on your vehicle.

Contact our licensed agents at 860-589-3434 to discuss the options available to you.