Providing ride-booking services can be a good side job for some and even a full-time position for others. If you’re thinking about offering these services, one thing to consider is your car insurance. You want to be sure that you and any passengers you may have with you are covered. Let’s look at GEICO rideshare insurance as an option for coverage.
What Is Ride-Booking?
Image via Flickr by wuestenigel
Carpooling could be considered the beginning of ride-sharing, as it was a driver and one or more passengers sharing a ride to work or another destination. The driver and passenger would take turns driving, or the passenger would contribute money to the driver. You can also consider taxi services a start to ride-booking as they provide a ride to and from a destination for a price. However, taxi services aren’t available in every city and are undoubtedly rare in rural areas. Thus, the ride-booking industry came about to fill in the gaps.
Ride-booking uses your personal vehicle to offer transportation to a destination in exchange for payment. Passengers often use ride-booking services, such as apps or websites like Lyft or Uber, to set up their trips. These third-party services take a fee from your payment for connecting the passenger to you, the driver.
Commercial Insurance Through a Third Party
All major ride-booking companies have commercial liability policies that cover drivers and passengers in an accident. Once you sign in as ready and waiting for a passenger, these commercial insurance policies through companies such as Uber and Lyft go into effect. The coverage is typically liability only to cover damages to the other driver’s vehicle or property and any medical bills.
After accepting a ride request, your third-party insurance coverage goes into effect, with both Lyft and Uber providing up to $1 million in liability insurance to protect your drive. Other required insurance, such as uninsured/underinsured coverage, will also be in place. If you have comprehensive and collision as part of your personal insurance policy, you may also be covered by comprehensive and collision on the third-party commercial insurance policy, but expect to pay a high deductible. Currently, Uber has a $1,000 deductible, while Lyft has a $2,500 deductible.
What Is Rideshare Insurance?
If you already have car insurance on your vehicle, you may think you’re covered for any accidents while providing ride-booking services. Don’t assume that your current policy will pay for damages. You’ll want to talk to your insurance agent to determine if you need to carry additional coverage on top of the commercial insurance through a third party. Also, failure to disclose that you’re providing ride-booking services to your automobile insurance company could void your policy altogether, so you want to be upfront with this information.
Rideshare insurance is coverage provided as either a hybrid package or as an add-on to your current policy. This type of coverage covers medical care for you and any passengers as well as damage to your vehicle at a rate lower than commercial car insurance. If you only provide ride-booking services part-time, rideshare insurance offers you more flexibility than traditional commercial insurance. Rideshare insurance can vary from state to state, so it’s imperative to speak to your insurance agent to get the proper coverage.
Hybrid Rideshare Insurance
Hybrid rideshare insurance combines your personal coverage and rideshare coverage to offer you one insurance policy and one premium. This type of coverage protects you whether you’re driving for pleasure or providing ride-booking services. GEICO provides a hybrid rideshare insurance option with a deductible as low as $250.
Rideshare Insurance Extensions or Endorsements
A rideshare insurance extension or endorsement is an insurance add-on. This type of coverage typically covers the gaps in the insurance provided by a third-party commercial liability policy. Extensions or endorsements can be removed or added to a traditional insurance policy at any time. The extension or endorsement doesn’t go into effect until the driver is online and waiting for a ride request.
If your state doesn’t have rideshare insurance available, it’s strongly recommended that you carry commercial insurance. These policies can be expensive, but without them, you’ll be held personally accountable for anything not covered by the third-party commercial liability policy.
GEICO Rideshare Insurance
GEICO’s hybrid rideshare insurance provides you with one policy that covers you any time you’re in your vehicle. GEICO offers the following coverage for its rideshare insurance:
- Deductible gap insurance. Some drivers can find the Uber and Lyft deductibles overwhelming, so GEICO lets you choose your deductible instead of paying theirs, as low as $250.
- Coverage while waiting for ride requests. If you have the app on and are signed in ready to accept a ride request, you have coverage for medical expenses, damage to your vehicle, and liability in effect.
- Coverage on the road. Once you’ve accepted a ride request, your coverage goes into full effect, including liability, comprehensive, collision, and more, depending on your policy.
Tips for Purchasing Rideshare Insurance
When purchasing rideshare insurance, consider the following tips to get the most from your insurance policy:
Plan for the Worst
If you’re involved in an accident, you’ll want the protection of rideshare insurance to help cover the large deductible through Uber, Lyft, or other third-party ride-booking companies. You’ll also want to protect your source of income with the additional coverage of rideshare insurance. Accidents can be expensive, so you want to ensure you have enough coverage to pay for any damages to property or medical needs. You don’t want to pay out of pocket for these expenses.
Pick Your Coverage
Whether it’s a lower deductible or prioritizing rental reimbursement coverage, pick the best coverage for you. Talk to your agent about what you need from a policy. If you don’t have financial reserves, a lower deductible might be appealing. If ride-booking is your primary source of income, rental reimbursement may become the most critical coverage option.
You should shop around to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money with any insurance. GEICO car insurance is an excellent option for coverage, including GEICO’s rideshare insurance, thanks to its low-deductible option.
Providing ride-booking services can be an excellent source of income, allowing you to set your hours and pick which rides you take. Be honest with your insurance provider to guarantee that you’re covered on and off the job.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.