With the growing popularity of ridesharing services such Uber and Lyft, there are also growing auto insurance problems for drivers within the ridesharing economy. Questions about coverage arise: Who’s covered? When is it covered?
Erie Insurance recently launched what it believes to be a first-of-its-kind coverage to protect drivers who use ridesharing services, eliminating coverage confusion. With Erie’s new coverage, the driver will have coverage at every part of the trip: before, during and after the hired ride.
With the advent of ridesharing apps, instead of using a traditional taxi service, users summon private car owners to pick them up. Ridesharing has become increasingly popular, especially major cities, but controversy surrounds the lack of clarity around who (if anyone) provides insurance coverage.
Erie Insurance’s new coverage is available to drivers who put a “business use” designation on their personal vehicle’s insurance policy.
“Business use traditionally has covered people who use their personal cars for things like delivering pizza or flowers, but has historically excluded people who use their cars as taxis,” said Cody Cook, auto product vice president, Erie Insurance. “We are removing that exclusion, so now if you use your car for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft, there’s no confusion over what’s covered and when. You’re covered during every part of the trip. We know of no other insurance company that is offering something like this.”
The coverage will first be offered in Illinois and Indiana, and will become available in other states depending on customer response.