California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones approved a newcoverage option designed to address gaps in insurance coverage fordrivers who work for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs),reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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The new product, approved last week, is offered by FarmersInsurance Group and is called "Rideshare Endorsement" and isavailble to all TNC (or rideshare company) drivers, regardless ofwhich comapny they work for, for an 8% policy surcharge. Thecoverage allows rideshare drivers to extend their existing Farmersauto insurance to cover the period between when a driver is signedinto a rideshare app and when they are matched with a passenger forpickup (known as "period one" in California law).

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Currently, rideshare companies must insure drivers with $1million policies during periods two and three -- when a drivermatches with a customer and transports them. However, the companiesare only required to offer minimum liability coverage during periodone. That coverage may or may not cover collision damage, medicalbills or uninsured motorists. Insurers typically exclude policycoverage altogether for drivers while they're using their own carsto pick up and drop off customers.

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Without sufficient coverage for period one, there is a fear thatdrivers will be sued for accidents that occur during that gap incoverage.

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Farmers released a similar option for rideshare drivers inColorado in February. According to the Union-Tribune,Farmers was happy with the trail and decided to expand it toCalifornia.

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This is the first coverage of its kind to be offered by a majorCalifornia insurance company. A smaller California auto insuranceprovider called MetroMile was the first to provide the state'srideshare drivers with coverage option for period one.

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Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune HERE.

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