Ever used one of those new ride share companies instead of calling a taxi?
Or have you thought that sounded like a great way to earn some extra money?
Several companies have begun to attract drivers and passengers, getting them to download a new app to use their service.
Cool use of technology? Absolutely!
WHAT TO BE AWARE OF:
If you want to become a driver your personal auto policy will not cover you for this type of use of your car.
Personal auto policies specifically exclude autos “being used as a public or livery conveyance”.
This means that if you are exchanging goods or money for the ride that the policy will not cover you.
You would need to get a commercial auto policy as a taxi service and that is much more expensive, 4-5 times more than a personal policy.
Do you believe that the company policy will cover you?
Maybe for some claims.
According to an article in the Phoenix Business Journal, Steve Thompson, general manager for San Francisco-based Uber’s Phoenix operation stated that once a driver picks up a passenger that the transporting vehicle has coverage provided by the company.
But do you know what that coverage is?
Most likely they are providing liability coverage only.
That means that your passenger would be covered for injuries and other damages but you wouldn’t.
Your car most likely would not be covered to be repaired or replaced.
You also would not be provided coverage for your car or yourself by your own personal policy because you used the car as a taxi.
So you would be out of pocket for the repair of the car and any medical expenses or lost income from an accident.
Another gray area is the time spent driving before and after you are done giving the customer their ride?
Is this considered business use of the car or personal and which policy will cover it, if any?
These are all questions being discussed between the ride share companies and the insurance companies.
In some states, including Arizona, they are also considering new legislation to address this new area of business.
Make sure before you join any of these types of services that you discuss it with your insurance agent and make sure you have the right policies to protect yourself!