I just came back from vacation and used Uber to get everywhere. It was so convenient – an Uber car was never more than five minutes away. With Uber only increasing in popularity – I found myself wondering about Uber drivers, what kind of background check does Uber conduct on their drivers and what would happen if I, or anyone else, got into an Uber car accident?
Only a personal injury attorney would think about things like this on vacation, right?
According to their website, Uber conducts a multi-state, federal and county criminal background check on all of their drivers. In addition, Uber claims to review their driver applicant’s driving records before they are approved in the Uber system and continue to monitor driving safety records on an ongoing basis.
From the time you accept an Uber trip to the time you exit the Uber vehicle, you are protected by a million dollars in commercial liability insurance, which includes a million dollars in uninsured motorists coverage in case the Uber driver gets into a car accident and PIP insurance. Uber calls this best-in-class coverage and I have to agree. It is great that they protect their drivers and riders this way. Read more about the type of car insurance provided by Uber in case of a car accident.
If you are driving in your own (or a friend’s) car and an Uber driver causes an accident without passengers (and not on the way to pick up passengers), and the Uber driver does not have their own insurance policy (or that insurance policy denies the claim, which it almost always will because most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage if the vehicle was used for work purposes), the Uber commercial policy will cover you for $50,000 per individual / $100,000 per accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.
If the Uber driver has passengers, the $1 Million Dollar policy applies.
I also compared Uber to another popular ride-sharing service, Lyft. Lyft also says they have a $1,000,000 commercial insurance policy protecting their riders and Lyft drivers, Lyft also conducts background checks on their drivers. Overall, it appears they provide similar, if not identical insurance coverage compared to Uber in the case of a car accident involving a Lyft vehicle.
If someone is in or waiting for an Uber, their $1 Million Dollar car accident insurance dwarfs a taxicab’s minimal insurance requirements of $125,000 per person, $250,000 per occurrence in bodily injury coverage.
In Florida, Taxicabs are not required to have uninsured motorists (UM) coverage. Meaning, if the accident was not the fault of the taxicab driver and the at-fault vehicle either does not have any or enough coverage you will have to rely on your own UM coverage. If you do not have UM coverage, you will be out of luck. To compare: if your Lyft or Uber driver is involved in an accident that is in no way their fault, their insurance coverage will STILL cover you up to $1 Million Dollars. Of course, if the Uber driver is without passengers, and not on the way to pick up a fare, their $50,000 in coverage is not as good as a taxicab’s minimum standard insurance requirement of $125,000 in Florida.
If you are involved in a car accident involving Uber, Lyft or a Taxicab, call 305.931.6666 or 954.523.8292 to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer right away. We would be happy to discuss your rights and options.