How does Uber’s $1 million insurance policy work?

Most Philadelphia Uber riders have heard about the company’s $1 million insurance policy that the company uses to recruit drivers and make potential riders feel more comfortable getting into the car with a complete stranger. However, the policy’s fine print makes it clear that not every accident will be covered up to the $1 million limit.

In reality, the Uber insurance policy breaks down the ride-share process into three distinct phases. The availability of coverage depends on when the accident occurs.

Phase One: The driver is not accepting ride requests

If an Uber driver is running personal errands, or has their app off and is not accepting ride requests, Uber’s insurance policy will not provide any coverage. For accidents that occur during this phase, the driver’s personal injury policy will be the primary source of compensation for accident victims. In the early days of Uber, drivers would hide the fact that they worked for a ride-share company from their insurance company because once an insurance company found out, the driver’s insurance rates would increase. However, after an accident occurred, if the insurance company found out the driver was working for Uber, it would deny the claim based on an exclusion in the policy for incidents occurring while transporting a passenger for a fee. This resulted in countless accident victims being unable to fully recover for their injuries, because the Uber driver could not personally cover their expenses without insurance.

Recently, Pennsylvania lawmakers stepped in, requiring all Uber drivers inform their insurance companies that they work for a ride-share company. The insurance company could then be sure to sell the driver the appropriate insurance policy that would cover any gaps in the ride-share company’s policy.

Of course, an Uber accident may cause more damage than there is insurance coverage. In these cases, the accident victim may be able to pursue a claim with their own insurance carrier if they purchased underinsured or uninsured motorist protection.

Phase Two: The driver is waiting for a ride

If an Uber driver causes an accident while they are waiting for the app to pair them with a passenger, Uber’s insurance policy will provide insurance coverage of up to $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident. These accidents are common, as Uber drivers spend approximately 40 percent of their time driving around without a passenger.

Phase Three: The driver is paired with a passenger

Once an Uber driver is paired up with a passenger, the company’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in. Even if the driver has not yet picked up the passenger, as long as the app has matched driver with passenger, the $1 million limit applies. This coverage continues to apply throughout the duration of the ride, until the passenger is dropped off. This coverage will apply not just to the passenger, but also to any other third-parties who are injured as a result of the Uber driver’s negligence, such as pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.

Determining which parties are potentially liable in a Philadelphia Uber accident can be tricky; however, in most cases an accident victim will be able to pursue a claim from at least one insurance policy. Anyone who has been injured in a Philadelphia Uber accident should reach out to a dedicated personal injury law firm to discuss their case and available options.

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