Let me give everyone a little history on this issue. Every insurance company in the country is running for the bunker when a customer that drives for a ride-share company (technology company, as Uber likes to be referred to) calls and asks for insurance. If you by chance obtain a policy by one of the big insurers and involved in a vehicle incident while driving for a ride-share company, they will probably deny the claim, cancel your policy, and leave you in the cold.
By the way your insurance policy is written, if you do not report all accidents to your insurer, you are committing insurance fraud. In most states this can carry a penalty of a misdemeanor with a fine up to a felony and prison time. A regular insurance policy does not have the exclusion of ride-share. Most personal insurance policies state that the policy does not allow “commercial” use of the vehicle. Upon canceling your policy, the insurer will refer your claim to their insurance fraud department which will most likely pursue criminal charges.
I currently have a policy with one of those large insurance companies by the name of State Farm. While I completely like my full coverage insurance at the drastically reduced premium by the means of discounts. From having continued coverage, multiple vehicle discounts, and milage discounts, my insurance premium finally dropped to $488 for 6 months for 25/50/25 with comp/collision from over $650 when I moved my policy to Mississippi from Alabama with the same insurer.
While my current insurer is great at personal insurance coverage and you adhere to the terms and conditions of your policy, there is nothing to worry about. Although, when you start mentioning the word ride-share or the names Uber and Lyft, they get squeamish. I checked into driving for Uber with a personal policy from State Farm and was told twice that my policy would be cancelled because I would break the terms of my policy.
I found a company that writes policies in Mississippi that insured me that if I take out a policy with them, drive for Uber, and perhaps am involved in a vehicle accident, my policy would not be cancelled. That company is called 21st Century Insurance which is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group. A link will be at the bottom of this article.
A new policy for my vehicle, a 2007 Nissan Versa S/SL Hatchback would run me $629 for six months. Which isn’t close to the premium I was coming from but it could have been a lot higher if I listened to everyone that was saying that I would have to obtain commercial insurance that would run me $600+ a month. If that was the case, it wouldn’t be worth it.
I have plans on driving for Uber or Lyft on my days off or when work is slow. I am a truck driver by profession and normally work Tuesday through Saturday. A lot of times, loads may be cancelled, a Holiday, or other reasons I might not be able to work, I could drive for Uber and at least recoop some of the money I’d be loosing.
* Just be advised, if you decide to change insurance companies, you want the new policy in place before you cancel with your existing insurer. Most companies report to the state level and in turn you may be charged a fee upon instating a new policy with another company because you had a lapse of insurance.
I hope that this article helps anyone who is looking for insurance coverage that is interested in driving for a ride-share company like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, or the like.
Be safe out there, be honest to your insurer and don’t get blacklisted, and most of all, let’s make some money! Just don’t forget the most important thing, let’s help make ride-share a whole lot better than the antiquated taxi!
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