Many people assume that they are insured by gig economy companies, or that their personal car insurance will cover them in the event of an accident while they are driving. In reality, the insurance provided by rideshare companies in the ridesahre industry as well as gig economy is not what it seems, and the lack of information provided about this coverage leaves many drivers in the dark. Gig economy jobs do not always include insurance, and the ones that do may not necessarily give you full coverage.
While you are driving with either of these companies, the coverage is dependent on a couple of variables. Basically, your status is broken up into three separate categories, which we will refer to as period 1, period 2 and period 3.
Period 1: You are driving around with the Uber or Lyft app open, but have not yet been matched with a passenger. During this period you have contingent liability coverage with Uber and Lyft. Contingent liability coverage means that if you are in a collision, you will first have to make a claim with your personal insurance provider, and only if that claim is denied will the insurance from Uber and Lyft kick in. When it does kick in, it is only liability insurance, you will not be given collision or comprehensive coverage. The limits of this of contingent coverage are 50/100/25, which will not be enough to cover you for a bad accident.
This is problematic because driving for a rideshare company is considered a commercial activity, and no personal insurance policy will cover you for this type of activity. Personal insurance policies will deny most claims placed during period 1, and lately they have been investigating many of these claims. Furthermore, they are likely to cancel your insurance policy after such a claim is made. This leaves drivers in a vulnerable position, as Lyft and Uber cover liabilities to the extent of their policy limits, but all vehicle repairs would come out of the pocket of the driver.