There has been a lot of controversy about ridesharing in the media, mostly dealing with the type of insurance that they carry. Ridesharing has popped up in a big way, it is a “taxi-like” services that are run though downloadable Apps. The most popular being Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. They allow you to download an App that uses GPS to find you a “driver” that is in your vicinity. Once you find a driver you can request a ride and they will pick you up at your location and drive you to your destination.
The controversy surrounds the insurance that these drivers carry. The drivers turn the App on and from that point they are available to pick up anyone that wants a ride. According to Uber, your personal auto policy covers you up till the point that you have a customer in the car and then Uber’s Commerical policy covers you. What that information is leaving out is that your personal auto policy does not cover a person who is using their vehicle as a livery. From the eyes of the insurance companies once you get in the car to go pick up someone you are acting as a livery and are not covered. From the time that the driver is in route to pick up a passenger until they get in the car, they are not covered.
To make that clear, Massachusetts has added an endorsement to all Personal Auto Policy’s excluding all Ride Sharing Activities. That means that your personal auto policy does not cover you to be a driver for one of these companies. There have been other stories in the media about the safety of ridesharing as well. There are Aps out there that do all the same things, just with a taxi! As Insurance Agents, it is our job to look out for our customers and with that in mind, we would suggest that you find alternate transportation.