In the last decade, companies like Uber and Lyft and Amazon have made it possible to generate extra income on your preferred schedule by becoming a driver or delivery representative. This applies to taxi-service and food/package delivery. It’s a relatively easy process to get started with them and can yield almost immediate additional income once you begin working.
What many don’t know is that the majority of auto carriers have rideshare exclusions for their customers. From people I’ve talked to, there is a general sense that if they don’t tell their auto insurer that they are working as a driver, that their carrier will honor coverage in the event of a claim, due to “ignorance of coverage limitations.”
The scary thing is that the majority of carriers will cancel or non-renew your coverage if you have a claim during your working hours or if they catch wind that you’re driving for a rideshare company, and unless your carrier offers a “rideshare” coverage endorsement, there is a very good chance that if the claim happens when you are trolling/looking for customers to pick up, they won’t cover your claim at all.
This of course depends on who you’re insured with, and if they offer a rideshare coverage extension. I’d recommend inquiring to be safe, rather than sorry (even if you have to call in anonymously, at least call to make sure you won’t find yourself without coverage if you have a claim.)
Your normal insurance covers you when you’re driving for pleasure/normal commute, the Uber or Lyft coverage covers your liability once you’ve picked up the customer and are en route to their destination. The rideshare endorsement closes the gap in coverage between the time that your normal coverage stops and before the Uber/Lyft coverage picks up. The gap lies in the time period that you’ve turned on your app and started looking for customers but don’t have an assigned pick up yet. It ensures that your full coverage/physical damage coverage extends while you’re searching for customers.
Our carrier Safeco offers this coverage endorsement in Oregon and Washington for a very responsible cost, so if you have any concerns about whether your carrier will honor a claim when you’re driving for a Ride Share company, please reach out to us and we can help ensure that you’re covered correctly and that all the extra income you’ll make while working for them, doesn’t end up going to replace your car or pay your medical bills if you experience an accident and come to find out that they won’t cover it.