Ride-sharing options, such as Uber, have exploded in popularity since Uber's release date in 2009 (originally called Ubercab). The increase in popularity means more and more automobile collisions involving Uber and other ride sharing vehicles. Motor vehicle collisions can be caused by the Uber driver or by another driver on the road (third party). Either way, you want to make sure you are covered. In addition to using standard defenses, Uber has been known to fight lawsuits using coverage defenses.
What type of insurance coverage is available if you are injured in an accident while riding in an Uber?
Uber liability insurance coverage
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors of the Uber corporation, but when they agree to accept you as a "rider", they essentially become an employee of Uber. Uber provides all their drivers additional liability insurance coverage that covers the driver and their passengers during your trip from the minute of pick-up to drop off.
While the Uber driver has you as a passenger, Uber provides two coverages of importance to the passenger:
1) Third-party liability coverage
Uber provides $1 million in coverage for bodily injury to passengers and/or pedestrians- which is well over the state minimum for Ohio.
2) Underinsured/Uninsured coverage
This coverage goes into effect when the person that caused the collision does not have insurance coverage or does not have enough coverage to cover your injuries. Uber allows for coverage of $250,000 per accident.
Examples of Uber collisions
When Uber first began, there was a grey area regarding the insurance coverage for passengers and the drivers. Because the drivers are "independent contractors" Uber stated that they were not liable because the driver wasn't technically an employee and didn't have to provide coverage. But, Ohio law imposed HB237 in 2016 that requires Uber to pay unless the Uber driver has personal insurance coverage that covers ridesharing, which is extremely uncommon with Uber drivers.
Should you become involved in a collision involving Uber, feel free to contact the experienced attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers.