RIde Sharing and Car Insurance

By: Don Jergler (Insurance Journal) June 2015

Roughly three quarters of ridesharing drivers don’t have ridesharing insurance, and nearly eight-in-10 conduct their ridesharing activities covertly and keep their insurer or agent in the dark.

Two informal polls from a popular Forbes blogger known as The Rideshare Guy show there’s a lot of ridesharing going under the radar of insurance carriers and their agents despite the prevalence of livery exclusions in personal auto policies.

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft in are required by most states to carry a minimum commercial insurance coverage, and a growing number of states are also requiring drivers to carry insurance for their activities that go beyond personal auto use.

In a poll up for the past week The Rideshare Guy on his website asked visitors: “Do you have a rideshare specific policy?”

Only eight percent of those who took the poll said they do have a rideshare specific policy.

But there is some hope. Roughly seven-in-10 chose “No but I want one.”

Not only do some drivers flout insurance requirements, some of them have no interest in dolling out the money to be covered for ridesharing.

In the latest poll nearly 20 percent of respondents indicated they are unwilling pay for their ridesharing activities by answering the question about whether they have a rideshare specific policy: “No and I don’t plan on getting one.”

The poll follows a poll earlier this year in which 84 percent of respondents said they do not tell their insurer about their ridesharing activities.

“Based off these results, it looks like many drivers are still flying under the radar when it comes to rideshare insurance,” said Harry Campbell, the Rideshare Guy.

It may not be that rideshare drivers are just scofflaws. Campbell surmised that many don’t have rideshare insurance because the product is still unavailable in many states for personal policies.

“I think as more carriers in big rideshare states like California start to add rideshare insurance options, we will slowly start to see more and more drivers switch,” he said. “Many drivers don’t want to go through the hassle of switching carriers and the biggest risk they face is getting dropped by their personal insurer.”

To see if agents are checking with their clients about rideshare activities Insurance Journal’s LinkedIn group raised the question: “When talking to your clients about auto insurance, do you ask about ridesharing activities?”

It proved to be a popular topic.

Many who participated in the conversation said they do ask their clients about ridesharing, or at least that they plan on asking about the activity from now on – particularly now that there are insurance products emerging to deliver ridesharing coverage for individuals.

A few commenters referred to Farmers Group’s recent announcement that it was offering a rideshare endorsement in California. That announcement was preceded by the Los Angeles-based carrier offering a similar endorsement in Colorado at the start of the year, and Farmers has followed up with a rideshare product in several other states.

Insurance Journal