Are Lyft Drivers Covered with Collision Insurance?
There are often a number of insurance policies in play when a Lyft driver is involved in a collision. Not only must the driver carry their own policy, but Lyft also provides an array of coverage when a driver has a passenger on board. The limits on these policies are high, making substantial recoveries possible.
That does not mean recovering compensation in these cases is never challenging. Like most insurance companies, Lyft’s carriers will exhaust all of their options in an effort to deny your claim rather than simply pay what may be owed.
While there are some valid reasons why claims are denied, many insurance companies will abuse the process. The good news is that a Los Angeles Lyft accident lawyer could help you hold the insurance company accountable.
How Lyft insurance works
Lyft provides its drivers with liability and uninsured motorist coverage in various degrees. The amount of coverage available through these policies depends on what “period” of service the driver is in. There are three periods for every Lyft driver. These periods include:
- Period 1: A driver has the Lyft app active but has yet to be matched with a rider.
- Period 2: A driver has been matched with a passenger, but has not yet picked them up.
- Period 3: A driver has picked up the passenger and is en route to the destination.
It is important to remember that each of these phases has one important thing in common: the driver has the app active and is actively seeking riders. If a Lyft driver does not have their app active, they are not covered by the rideshare company’s insurance policy whatsoever.
Coverage in Period 1
The coverage provided by Lyft for drivers during Period 1 offers the least amount of coverage of the three. The liability coverage during this period covers up to $50,000 for bodily injuries per person and $100,000 per accident. These policies also cover up to $25,000 of property damage. Remember: liability coverage only pays out for third party claims against the driver. These policies will not cover the damage to a Lyft driver’s vehicle. Period 1 also does not include any uninsured motorist coverage.
In most places, liability insurance paid for by Lyft is contingent. This means that a Lyft driver must exhaust their personal policy first before Lyft will agree to pay anything. This is not the case under California law, which requires Lyft policies to be the primary insurance.
Coverage in Period 2 or 3
For Lyft, the coverage available in Periods 2 and 3 is essentially the same. During these periods, Lyft offers up to $1 million in liability coverage per accident. These limits are far above what is required of non-commercial drivers under state law. Lyft also offers $1 million in coverage for collisions with uninsured or underinsured motorists.
Unlike in Period 1, comprehensive coverage could be available in Period 2 or 3. However, there is an important caveat. While these policies could cover a Lyft driver’s losses in a crash, they will only pay when the driver lacks their own comprehensive policy or has had their claim denied. While the coverage in these cases is substantial, filing a comprehensive claim on Lyft’s policy carries a large deductible.
Personal insurance in a crash
The insurance coverage provided by Lyft can be a lifesaver, but it does not absolve the driver of state insurance requirements. Regardless of whether Lyft covers a crash, these drivers are required by law to maintain minimum levels of liability insurance coverage. The minimum liability insurance required under California law includes:
- $15,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
- $30,000 for total injuries in a single accident
- $5,000 for property damage in a single accident
This minimum coverage should be in place regardless of whether Lyft policies are active or not. Unfortunately, not all drivers comply with these rules.
Discuss your claim with Ellis Injury Law
If you have been injured in a collision with a Lyft driver, it may not be immediately clear what insurance policies might be in effect. At Ellis Injury Law, we can carefully review the facts of your accident and identify the policy or policies that might be available to you. To get started, schedule a free consultation right away.