In an Accident While Driving for Uber? Here’s what to knowDecember 7, 2022
Uber accidents can happen like any other auto wreck, but the aftermath can be far different. In fact, Uber crashes can create some uniquely complex issues when it comes to liability and car accident claims.
From determining fault to figuring out whether Uber’s insurance coverage applies, some distinct issues can arise in Uber driver wrecks — and resolving those issues is pivotal to helping victims recover.
If you drive for Uber in Texas, here’s what you need to know about:
- Liability, including when Uber’s coverage does and does not cover you on the roads
- Your rights and how to protect them when it’s time to file an Uber accident claim
To understand how it all works, first, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of Uber’s auto insurance and the different coverages Uber has for its drivers.
A Look at Uber’s Auto Insurance Coverage
Uber maintains auto insurance to cover its drivers; however, there are two different policies for different circumstances, including:
- 50/100/25 coverage: This policy provides $50,000 for bodily injury per person, $100,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per crash. Generally, this coverage is meant to satisfy the minimum coverage required by state law, and it’s secondary or supplemental to a driver’s own auto insurance coverage.
- A $1,000,000 auto insurance policy: This policy provides $1 million in coverage for bodily injury and property damage as a “combined single limit,” with comprehensive collision and medical payment coverage included.
With these Uber auto insurance policies, keep in mind that:
- Different insurance companies underwrite these policies in different states: In other words, multiple insurers provide Uber with auto insurance coverage. In fact, in 2022, four different insurance companies provided Uber with coverage across the U.S. These companies included Progressive, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, and Liberty Mutual.
- Uber updates its coverages annually: As Uber explains, “Every year we renew the commercial auto insurance maintained on your behalf, and this year the insurance carrier in your state may have changed.” In 2022 in Texas, Progressive provided Uber auto insurance coverage.
Regardless of where you’re at in Texas or the U.S., Uber’s coverage hinges on your driver status at the time of a collision.
How Uber Insurance Coverage Varies Based on Driver Status
When you’re driving for Uber, you are NOT covered by Uber’s insurance the entire time you’re behind the wheel. Instead, Uber’s coverage applies or does not apply based on your driving status, meaning:
- Whether or not the Uber app is “on”
- What you are doing as an Uber driver at the time of the wreck
The table below highlights how different insurance coverage generally works for Uber drivers, based on their driver status and assuming the driver carriers the minimum auto insurance required by state law (with minimum auto insurance requirements in Texas specified here).
|Uber Driver Status||Uber Driver’s (Personal) Auto Insurance||Uber Auto Insurance|
|Off duty, offline, or the Uber app is “Off”||Yes||No|
|Waiting for a ride,
with the Uber app “On”
(secondary to a driver’s personal insurance)
|Picking up a ride or taking a rider to their destination||Maybe||Yes
(primary, $1M policy)
Here, it’s essential to point out that:
- Uber drivers can get special “gig driver” coverage through their own auto insurance provider: This add-on tends to be a form of limited commercial coverage that varies from insurer to insurer.
- Secondary coverage is “supplemental” coverage: So, Uber’s secondary coverage for drivers who are in crashes while waiting for ride requests can apply AFTER a driver’s own coverage has been exhausted. This would occur if a driver did not have sufficient coverage via their own policy.
- Uber’s policy covers uninsured driver crashes and hit and runs: Primary coverage can apply when Uber drivers are picking up or transporting riders.
What Happens When Uber Drivers are in Car Accidents
After a traffic crash involving an Uber driver, the first key issues to focus on are:
- Who’s at fault for the collision: This will start to shed light on which party’s (or parties’) insurance may apply.
- The Uber driver’s status at the time of the car accident: This element can speak to whether and how Uber’s insurance may come into play.
If the Uber driver is at fault, here’s how coverage would typically work:
- The Uber driver’s personal insurance would usually cover crashes that occur when the driver is off the clock.
- Uber’s insurance would generally cover collisions that happen when the rideshare driver has already accepted a ride request or when they’re transporting a rider.
- If crashes happen while the Uber app is on but as an Uber driver is awaiting a ride request, the driver’s own personal insurance should apply as the primary coverage, with Uber’s coverage being secondary, if needed.
If another driver is at fault for causing an Uber accident, then:
- The other motorist’s insurance coverage would typically cover that crash.
- Uber’s policy could come into effect if the other motorist has insufficient coverage or if that other motorist flees the scene of the auto accident.
How to Recover from Uber Accidents
Figuring out fault, insurance coverage, and how to file a claim after an Uber accident can clearly be a complicated endeavor. On top of that, crash victims cannot rely on insurance providers or Uber to:
- Explain their rights
- Do the right thing after a wreck
- Guide them when it’s time to file a claim and seek damages
In fact, insurance companies commonly look for loopholes that can get them out of paying victims, and many are willing to deny or undercut coverage, especially when victims aren’t aware of their rights or how to push back.
That’s why it’s so important to consult and work with an Uber car accident attorney after a ridesharing crash. A lawyer can clarify and safeguard your rights while helping you take the right steps to protect and advance your interests going forward.