Rideshare and Delivery Accidents: Insurance Requirements and Liability Issues

While it’s long been possible to call a taxi, get food delivered, or have a package sent to your house, services like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Amazon have changed the game. These companies employ networks of independent contractors that have made the transportation of goods and passengers much more convenient and efficient. However, because the drivers for these companies are not company employees, they’re required to purchase their own insurance that covers on-the-clock accidents. Rideshare and delivery accidents can raise questions about insurance and liability not found in a typical car accident.

When you are injured by a rideshare driver or a delivery driver, the resulting insurance claim can be much more complicated.

Personal auto insurance policies don’t cover delivery drivers or rideshare drivers while they’re working. These drivers are generally required to purchase a separate insurance policy that provides coverage when they are making deliveries or transporting passengers. For drivers, even though some companies offer excess liability coverage, it is still essential to have an insurance policy that covers you in the event of a working accident. For someone injured by a commercial driver, understand that there may be greater coverage available than the driver’s own liability insurance.

Uber and Lyft Rideshare Insurance in Ohio

Uber and Lyft caused serious disruption to the traditional taxi cab business. Many cities passed ordinances to deal with the proliferation of these ride-sharing services and address issues like background checks and insurance. To standardize rules around app-based driver services Uber and Lyft, Ohio passed a law that took effect in late 2015.

The Ohio Uber and Lyft law requires drivers to carry the following amounts of commercial auto insurance:

  • When drivers are logged into the Uber/Lyft app but not providing a ride: a minimum of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 per accident, and a minimum of $25,000 property damage coverage.
  • When drivers are providing a ride: $1 million bodily injury liability and property damage coverage.

State Farm, Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, USAA, American Family, AAA, Erie, and Safeco offer rideshare insurance in Ohio, according to WalletHub.

Delivery Driver Insurance in Ohio

Delivery driver insurance coverage varies from company to company. Many companies that do offer coverage only offer “excess” coverage. That is, the company’s policy kicks in after the driver’s personal coverage is denied or exhausted. Drivers can also expect coverage to only take effect during active delivery periods, which are very narrowly defined.

Without the right insurance, you could end up being personally responsible for any injuries and property damage you cause.

In addition, as a driver, don’t expect a standard auto insurance policy to cover business-related driving. You’ll most likely have to buy a commercial policy that covers you in the event of a courier accident. Commercial policies typically cost more than personal policies. Check your existing policy and talk to your insurance agent if you have any questions. Don’t start driving for a company until you are clear on insurance issues, since you could end up being personally liable for an accident.

That said, as long as you have appropriate insurance coverage, many companies will provide supplemental coverage. Here’s what you need to know if you plan on driving for one of the following companies:

  • Amazon: Amazon offers its Flex delivery partners, at no cost, an Amazon Commercial Auto Insurance Policy. The policy, which includes up to $1 million in liability, uninsured/underinsured, and contingent collision and comprehensive coverage (if you have collision/comprehensive on your personal policy), is provided in addition to personal coverage and only applies during active delivery times. Flex drivers use their own vehicles to deliver packages for Amazon.
  • DoorDash: DoorDash requires its drivers to maintain their own auto insurance policy. For those that do, the company has a commercial policy that covers up to $1 million in bodily injury and/or property damage coverage. But you have to go through your own insurance first and be on an “active delivery.”
  • GrubHub: You must have your own insurance to drive for GrubHub. However, the company does not provide any details on its website about the type and amounts of insurance required.
  • Instacart: The Instacart website merely states that its independent contractors are responsible for “securing and paying for automobile insurance in coverage amounts consistent with legal requirements.”
  • Postmates: Postmates couriers can make deliveries via car, bicycle, motorcycle, or foot. Like GrubHub, it offers excess liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million once a driver’s personal policy limits are exhausted or denied. Postmates also has a general liability policy that applies to third party injuries or property damage caused by cyclist and pedestrian couriers; this is not an excess policy.
  • Uber Eats: Uber Eats provides driver insurance that covers both delivery periods and waiting periods. While on an active delivery, the policy pays up to $1 million per accident for injuries and property damage a driver causes to others. Between trips, the coverage amounts drop to $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. Collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and PIP coverages are also available.

Rideshare and Delivery Accident Lawyers Representing Southeast Ohio

From the outside, Uber, Lyft , GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Amazon vehicles may be indistinguishable from a personal car. But in terms of accident liability, when you are injured by a rideshare driver or a delivery driver, the resulting insurance claim can be much more complicated.

You probably won’t be able to sue a company like Uber or Amazon directly, but you may be able to access the excess insurance that these companies offer their drivers. Serious accident injuries may require you to take an “all of the above” approach and go after multiple insurance companies to receive adequate compensation.

Graham & Graham’s Ohio car accident lawyers handle all cases on a contingency-fee basis. No matter how complicated your claim is, you pay no attorney fees unless and until we recover money for you. Let us do the difficult work of untangling your insurance claim while you focus on getting better. Call or contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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