Rideshare insurance is a special policy for drivers of Uber, Lyft and similar services. It fills the insurance gaps between a your personal policy and the coverage provided by rideshare companies.

What insurance do you need for Uber and Lyft?

If you drive for a company like Uber, you likely need additional insurance in case of accidents during the time your rideshare app is on but you don't have a passenger yet. This time period is commonly called the "gap." Many personal auto policies will not extend into this gap and the insurance provided by ridesharing companies is limited during this time.

Types of rideshare insurance

Some rideshare policies are an add-on to your personal auto policy. State Farm's Rideshare Driver Coverage is an example of an add-on. Other policies are hybrids that replace your personal car insurance and provide one policy for both your personal use and rideshare trips. Geico offers a hybrid personal/rideshare policy, for example.

Rideshare insurance is not available in all states. As an alternative, a commercial auto insurance policy can give you coverage before, during and after a trip.

What are the rideshare "periods"?

  • Period 1: App is on but no ride request yet
  • Period 2: App is on, you've accepted a trip and you're on the way
  • Period 3: App is on and you have a passenger in the car

Options for car insurance for ridesharing

  For your personal trips, rideshare app is off App is on and you're waiting for a trip

(period 1)

You accept a ride and then have passengers

(periods 2 and 3)

Your personal auto policy Yes Check your personal auto policy to see if it extends into this period No
Rideshare insurance Yes, if you have a policy that combines personal and rideshare driving Yes Usually no
Insurance provided by the rideshare company No Low level of insurance Yes
Business auto insurance Yes Yes Yes

Uber and Lyft automatically extend insurance to their drivers who have accepted a ride and through the time the passengers are dropped off. Here's what they give you.

Summary of Lyft and Uber insurance

Lyft

 

 

App is on and you're waiting for a trip

(period 1)

If your personal policy will not apply during this time, Lyft provides:
  • $50,000 injury liability per person
  • $100,000 injury per trip
  • $25,000 property damage liability
Uber provides:
  • $50,000 injury liability per person
  • $100,000 injury per trip
  • $25,000 property damage liability
You accept a trip or you have passengers

(periods 2 and 3)

Lyft provides:
  • $1 million per accident
  • $1 million uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, covering injuries to any person in your vehicle caused by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance.
  • Collision and comprehensive insurance for damage to your own vehicle. This has a $2,500 deductible.
Uber provides:
  • $1 million liability
  • $1 million uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury, covering injuries to any person in your vehicle caused by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance.
  • Collision and comprehensive insurance for damage to your own vehicle, as long as you also have these coverage types on you personal auto policy. This has a $1,000 deductible.

What if you don't have rideshare or commercial auto insurance for period 1?

Lyft and Uber insurance do provide some coverage during period 1. But if that's your only insurance for period 1 you will have pay out of pocket if there's more damage. For example, if you cause $50,000 worth of property damage to someone else, Lyft or Uber insurance pays only $25,000. And if you back your own car into a pole, there's no collision insurance from Lyft or Uber in period 1.

Also, if your insurer finds out you're driving for a rideshare service and you haven't mentioned it, you could have a claim denied or your policy cancelled. That's another reason it's wise to get the right insurance.

Rideshare insurance cost

Costs vary by company but here are examples:

  • Allstate rideshare insurance costs $15 to $20 a year and up.
  • Mercury says its rideshare insurance starts at about $6 a month.
  • State Farm rideshare insurance adds 15% to 20% to your State Farm premium, depending on coverage types in your personal auto policy.

Commercial auto insurance is another option for rideshare drivers. It costs an average of $1,200 to $2,400 a year, according to Trusted Choice, a group for independent agents.

List of ridesharing companies
Juno Operates in New York City.
Lyft Based in San Francisco. It was founded in 2012 as Zimride.
Moovn Based in Seattle. It offers on-demand and scheduled rides in a limited number of cities.
Summon Based in San Francisco. Summon provides schedule rides in the Bay Area of California. It was founded in 2012 as InstantCab.
Uber Based in San Francisco. It was founded in 2009 as UberCab.
Via Based in New York City, Via operates in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. Riders can use commuter-benefits debit cards to pay.
Wingz Based in San Francisco. It was founded in 2011 and provides scheduled rides.

More: