We all can recognize the taxicab. We see them in movies, tv shows, airports, and in your own city. The musky smell and overpriced fares is enough to make you wrinkle your nose and drain your wallet. The inconvenience of not knowing the cab company’s number to having to wait a long time for a cab that may or may not show up to the attitude of the drivers. Everyone that has traveled has experienced this at one time or another. The service is antiquated, overpriced, and you don’t know if your driver is a sex offender, murderer, or illlegal.
Then the idea of rideshare comes along. Offering patrons the option of getting around by requesting a car from an app that’s available on pretty much every mobile platform. Select your pick up location, define your destination, and request a driver. Being able to see how far away your driver is while he/she is on their way and fares that doesn’t come close to breaking the bank.
I’m talking about companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. While Lyft and Sidecar isn’t available around where I live Uber is and the company and drivers are catching heat from state and local government trying to regulate individual drivers as would be a cab company to insurance companies that will drop a driver’s personal coverage no questions asked and no exceptions if they find out that that person was driving for hire (rideshare).
While there are insurance companies around the country that have a rider policy that adds on to an already established insurance policy those companies doesn’t offer auto insurance in Mississippi. For instance MetroMile, Geico, Progressive, and USAA that offers services to current, discharged, and retired military.
I currently have a personal policy with State Farm which is one of the biggest insurance companies in my area. My local agent has been one of the nicest branch owners that I’ve ever met. Not to mention that my full coverage 6 month premium being under what you’d expect to pay simply because I am a safe driver and have had my policy for quite a while. However, the news from the underwriter for State Farm was less to be desired. I called my Agent’s office and explained my case, that I was wanting to drive for Uber. That I wouldn’t be driving every day because I have a full time job. I figured that I could pick up some extra cash when work was slow or on my days off if I felt like it. The answer I got was absolutely not. No exceptions. That my policy would be dropped immediately if I chose to do so on the basis that State Farm doesn’t offer “commercial” auto insurance.
How could a company like State Farm, knowing the existance of rideshare, and me having a current policy with no claims for as long as I can remember, prevent me from working by threatening to drop my insurance which is required by law to have? How come State Farm hasn’t added a rider available as an add on to a current policy for people who wants to work in that capacity? It’s appalling that insurance companies like State Farm and Geico will drop a customer’s policy. By law, some states prevent this.
To the addition of the phone call, I will be personally visiting my agent.