Nashville, Tennessee: An Uber driver involved in a car accident while on the clock is being forced to cough up thousands of dollars to fix her car, and she said the reason is a loophole other rideshare drivers need to be informed about.
Jennifer Reed has been driving Uber for nearly a year now to earn extra money while she pursues her dream of becoming a Pilates instructor.
Last week, Reed was waiting to pick up a client, when she rear-ended another car on I-40 close to the Nashville International Airport. The crash resulted to a few bumps and bruises, including damage to the front and side of her car. Her airbag also deployed and her seat was broken.
She reported the incident to her personal insurance firm only to find she was not covered.
“They said as soon as I turn on my app, my personal insurance turns off because my car is considered a business,” said Reed.
On Uber’s website, the company says it offers insurance to every driver. However, Reed reported her accident via the Uber app, but she learned the company’s insurance would not cover her either.
“Their reason was I didn’t have anyone in the car,” said Reed.
“The whole reason I was in the car was to drive for Uber. What is the point of having insurance if they don’t protect you?”
She said she has struggled to get any concrete answers from Uber, and she fears she’s not the only rideshare driver to have fallen victim of this kind of situation.
“Other Uber and Lyft drivers need to know there is a gray area that you can fall into, and this can set you back thousands of dollars,” added Reed.
Uber’s insurance policy states that if a driver is involved in an accident and is not using the Uber app, their personal auto insurance will apply.
However, if a driver is present or waiting for a ride request and is involved in an accident where they are at fault, Uber provides third party liability insurance to cover bodily injury as well as property damage. This only protects damage to another person or another vehicle.
If a driver is on their way to pick up a rider or is on a trip, Uber will cover third party liability, and damage to the driver’s car subject to a $1,000 deductible.
Visit uber.com/us/en/drive/insurance to learn more on Uber’s insurance policies.