As part of its policy with the James River Insurance Company (JRIC), Uber has coverage for accidents involving its drivers and uninsured or underinsured motorists. This coverage does not apply to any UM/UIM accident involving an Uber driver, and understanding the limitations and the exclusions for Uber’s UM/UIM coverage is crucial to knowing the recovery options in the aftermath of these accidents.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our Houston attorneys have extensive experience helping accident victims seek the compensation they deserve when uninsured or underinsured drivers cause crashes. Strategic, skilled, and diligent, our lawyers can protect your rights, help you deal and negotiate with the insurer(s) and provide you with exceptional representation as we position your claim for possible recovery.
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What Is the Amount of Uber’s UM/UIM Coverage?
Uber carries $1 million of total coverage for bodily injury when an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault for an accident that occurs while an Uber driver is transporting a rider. According to Uber,1 this UM/UIM coverage extends to any occupant of the Uber driver’s vehicle.
As part of this coverage in the state of Texas,2 Uber also maintains personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage can pay for medical bills and lost income arising from an accident.
Does Uber’s UM/UIM Policy Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Uber’s $1 million UM/UIM policy will cover hit and runs IF:
- The accident occurs while an Uber driver is transporting a rider.
- The at-fault driver cannot be identified.
What Are the Limitations Associated with Uber’s UM/UIM Policy?
While Uber’s UM/UIM policy seems to provide substantial coverage, there are distinct situations in which this policy will NOT apply or provide coverage for Uber drivers and accident victims. In particular, Uber’s UM/UIM policy will generally not provide coverage when:
- A hit and run or an accident caused by a UM/UIM occurs when an Uber driver is “offline” – So, if an Uber driver is not logged into the Uber app (and, therefore, is not eligible to accept ride requests), Uber’s coverage will not apply to any crashes occurring during this period.
- A hit and run accident caused by a driver who has been identified – As previously noted, Uber’s UM/UIM coverage for hit-and-run crashes only applies when the at-fault driver cannot be ID-ed.
There can also be issues regarding Uber’s UM/UIM coverage when crashes occur while an Uber driver is online but before (s)he has picked up a rider. When an Uber driver is waiting for a ride request (after logging onto the Uber app) OR when a driver is traveling to pick up a rider (after accepting a ride request), the driver’s primary coverage is typically his or her own personal auto insurance coverage.
Uber says that it provides “contingent coverage” during this “gap” period (i.e., the gap between logging on and picking up a rider), meaning Uber’s coverage would be secondary to the driver’s primary (personal) coverage. In reality, however, JRIC may deny claims for accidents occurring during this period, arguing that the personal auto insurance provider should cover these accidents (because Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees, so any driving that does not involve transporting a rider would not be covered by Uber’s commercial policy).
Filing a UM/UIM Claim after an Uber Accident: How an Attorney Can Help
Clearly, the applications, limitations, and exclusions associated with Uber’s UM/UIM coverage (as well as its overall coverage for Uber drivers) are complicated. These complexities can become more difficult to navigate when victims have suffered serious injuries – especially considering the fact that insurance companies like JRIC are:
- Not looking out for victims
- Commonly focused on trying to limit or avoid claim payouts.
Ultimately, this combination of factors can create an uphill battle for accident victims. This is where the representation, support, and guidance of an experienced Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can be essential.
In addition to explaining victims’ rights and legal options following an Uber accident, our attorneys can:
- Gather all the necessary evidence to build the strongest claims possible
- Effectively represent victims in any and all dealings with insurance companies
- Hold insurers accountable for wrongfully undervaluing or denying claims
- Work tirelessly to help victims obtain the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled.
Get Essential Answers & Advocacy for an Uber Accident Claim: Contact a Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been hurt in any type of Uber accident, you can turn to a Houston car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm for experienced help with your claim and recovery.
Call (713) 352-7975, text (281) 612-8024, or Contact Our Firm for a FREE consultation. During this case evaluation, you can find out more about your potential claim and recovery options, as well as how to protect your rights and interests as you move forward.
The experienced attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have previous experience in insurance defense – and with vast experience successfully resolving car accident claims. This empowers us with the insights, knowledge, and skills to effectively combat insurers’ tactics for underpaying or denying our clients’ valid claims.
Whether you were an Uber driver, rider, or someone else who has been hurt in an Uber accident, don’t hesitate to contact the Amaro Law Firm for effective, aggressive representation and the best possible outcomes. Our goal is to help our clients so they can focus on healing and restoring their lives.
While we realize that compensation cannot reverse the permanent losses caused by serious Uber accidents, we also know that these recoveries can be pivotal to rebuilding lives.
1: More details about Uber’s Insurance
2: Uber’s Certificates of Insurance (for each state)