Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the James River Insurance Company (JRIC) is a specialty insurer providing commercial insurance coverage to businesses in all 50 states and Washington D.C. One of these businesses is the popular ridesharing company Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber). In fact, Uber holds a $1 million policy with JRIC, which covers Uber drivers, riders and accident victims under certain conditions.
The Houston attorneys at the Amaro Law firm have extensive experience navigating the complexities of the insurance system, particularly when it is time for accident victims to seek financial recovery.
As former insurance defense lawyers, we know what tactics companies like JRIC use to limit or avoid paying valid claims. We also know how to combat these tactics to help injured people – including Uber accident victims – hold companies like the James River Insurance Company accountable for honoring its policies and fully paying the claims they should.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an Uber accident, you can count on the lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm to protect your rights and effectively resolve your claim with JRIC and/or any other liable party.
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James River Insurance Company: Brief Background
Formed in 2002 and opened in July 2003, JRIC is a publicly-traded company, Financial Size IX ($250 to $500 million in policyholder surplus). It has an “A” (excellent) rating from A.M. Best Co., and it professes to “not [be] afraid of unusual or high-hazard risks.”
According to the official JRIC website, the company’s mission is to:
Produce an underwriting profit and superior return to our stakeholders by offering a broad risk-taking appetite and providing responsive, creative insurance solutions to our clients.
In achieving our Mission, we will continuously exhibit and uphold five Core Values and Guiding Principles in operating our Company: Integrity, Accountability, Communication and Teamwork, Innovation, and Customer Service.
Filing a Claim with JRIC after an Uber Accident
The main reason that JRIC matters to Uber drivers, as well as anyone involved in an Uber accident, is that this is the company that may:
- Provide coverage for accidents occurring while drivers are transporting riders (and in certain other situations)
- Handle crash claims.
According to JRIC, newly filed Uber accident claims1 must be submitted in one of the following ways:
- Fax at (804) 289-2712
- Writing – These should be mailed to the following address:
James River Insurance Company
P.O. Box 27648
Richmond, VA 23261
Third-party claims can be filed with JRIC using this online reporting form.
Potential Challenges with JRIC Uber Accident Claims
Despite the company’s mission of operating with integrity and accountability, these principles may not be apparent to drivers and accident victims who file claims with JRIC in the aftermath of Uber crashes.
In fact, the James River Insurance Company may be difficult to work with when it is time for Uber accident victims to pursue claims for financial recovery. Generally, these difficulties can arise due to the facts that:
- JRIC only provides primary coverage for accidents occurring while Uber drivers are transporting riders.
- JRIC has been known to challenge and deny claims involving accidents that occur while Uber drivers are online waiting for a request or driving to pick up a ride after accepting a request.
- In these cases, JRIC typically wants to be considered the secondary insurance provider, with the provider of personal auto insurance for the Uber driver (or another at-fault motorist) serving as the primary provider – This means that, if JRIC is willing to cover these accidents, it tends to want accident victims to:
- First file claims with whichever insurer is considered to be the primary provider
- The only file claims with JRIC if the primary provider denies the claim or if the damages exceed the amount paid by the primary provider (based on the coverage limits).
Case Study: JRIC Denies Liability in Death of 6-Year-Old Girl
The tragic case of a fatal Uber accident involving a 6-year-old victim illustrates the difficulties that can – and commonly do – arise with JRIC in the aftermath of a crash.
The accident occurred in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District on New Year’s Eve of 2013, when an Uber driver who was logged onto the app (i.e., was online) hit a 6-year-old girl, as well as her brother and mother, in a crosswalk. The girl suffered fatal injuries.
Although the Uber driver was at-fault for the crash, Uber and JRIC denied liability for the crash because, as they argued:
- The driver was not transporting a rider at the time of the crash.
- Since Uber drivers are independent contractors – not employees, Uber is not liable for crashes occurring outside of drivers’ earning periods (i.e., when drivers are not transporting riders).
With regards to this accident, Uber issued the following statement:
Our hearts go out to the family and victims of the accident that occurred in downtown San Francisco last night. We work with transportation providers across the Bay Area, but we can confirm that this tragedy did not involve a vehicle or provider doing a trip on the Uber system.
Ultimately, the family brought a lawsuit against Uber, claiming it should be liable and that use of the Uber app – especially when their drivers are waiting and looking for ride requests – contributes to driver impairment and accidents.
Though extreme, this is one example of how Uber and JRIC work to limit their liability after a crash and how that can create an uphill battle for accident victims who need and deserve financial recoveries.
Set an Uber Accident Claim Up for Success: Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to explain your legal options and help you pursue financial recovery if you or someone you love has been hurt in an Uber accident.
Dedicated to helping the injured, the experienced attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm can help you stand up to big insurance companies like JRIC, guiding you through every step of the recovery process so you can obtain the best possible outcome.
Compensation may never change the permanent losses caused by serious Uber accidents. These recoveries, however, can be critical to rebuilding lives.
1: More information about Filing an Uber Accident Claim with JRIC