Lyft California Insurance Law
If you or anyone you care about were injured in any LYFT car accident or other ride sharing collision in Los Angeles, Calabasas, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Riverside, or anywhere in California, you should understand how the LYFT California insurance policy works. LYFT insurance coverage laws and procedures in California are different than insurance provided for private cars and other vehicles. In California there is a different set of insurance rules for the ride sharing industry, including for LYFT and Uber; and these ride sharing companies in California are legally referred to as transportation network companies (TNCs).
If you were injured in any LYFT accident, Uber collision or other ride sharing accident or TNC accident anywhere in Los Angeles or California, please contact one of our experienced LYFT accident insurance lawyers now for your absolutely FREE consultation. Our experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys have handled serious injury cases for over 43 years throughout Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Bakersfield, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and all of California. We have handled many LYFT, Uber and other ride sharing accident injury insurance claims and our lawyers have recovered over $100 million for all our clients!
California law requires ride sharing drivers [who as explained above in California are legally described as transportation network companies (TNCs)], to be covered by car insurance at all times when their ride sharing app is on. The actual minimum amount of insurance coverage required depends on what stage the trip is in, starting with whether or not the LYFT driver has been “paired” with his or her passenger (that is, assigned a potential passenger even if not yet picked-up).LYFT California Car Insurance Requirements for LYFT Drivers
In California, the insurance requirements differ if the LYFT driver’s app is off and there is NO LYFT passenger in the car (sometimes called “offline”), when the app is on but the LYFT driver has not yet been “paired” with a LYFT passenger (that is, when the LYFT driver is “available” to be “paired” with a passenger but not yet “paired” with a potential passenger), and when the LYFT driver’s app is on and the LYFT driver has been “paired” with the passenger and is en route to pick-up the passenger called “en route”) or actually has picked-up the LYFT passenger and is proceeding on the actual trip (which may be called “on trip”).
The California law governing insurance coverage for LYFT, Uber and other ride sharing companies or TNCs’ is Assembly Bill No. 2293, operative July 1, 2015. The basic insurance policy coverage rules and requirements for LYFT drivers in California varies by what stage or period the LYFT driver is in and these periods are described below:
- The first period may be called Period 0. This is the period of time before anything really connected with LYFT starts. It is when the LYFT rideshare app is off, the LYFT driver is NOT available to be paired with a LYFT passenger, and, of course, there is NO passenger in the LYFT vehicle. During this inactive or offline period for the LYFT driver, there is NO insurance provided by LYFT. Only the driver’s own personal insurance policy is applicable during this pre-ride time period (Period 0) and during this time then the usual California insurance minimum requirements apply which is only $15,000 bodily injury (BI) insurance coverage per person per accident, $30,000 bodily injury insurance coverage for all injured persons combined per accident, and $5,000 property damage (PD) insurance coverage per accident. This is the minimum statutory insurance coverage required of all drivers in California. It is wise to maintain higher insurance coverage limits. Therefore, the LYFT driver should carry higher insurance coverage limits, which his or her insurance broker or agent can provide and also our law firm’s experienced car insurance lawyers can advise about – We are happy to give an absolutely FREE consultation to review your current auto insurance coverages for LYFT, Uber, and all other ride sharing drivers.
- The next period is called Period 1. This is the time period in which the LYFT app is on but the LYFT driver has not yet been paired with a passenger. During this period in which the LYFT driver is available to be paired with a LYFT passenger but has not yet been paired with the passenger, the LYFT policy provides the following minimum car insurance coverages: $50,000.00 bodily injury insurance coverage per person per accident, $100,000.00 bodily injury insurance coverage for all injured persons per accident, and $30,000.00 property damage coverage per accident. You can view the actual LYFT California Certificate of Liability Insurance for Period 1 here. And LYFT, like Uber and all ride sharing TNCs, also provides at least $200,000.00 of “excess” liability insurance coverage during this Period 1.
- The next two (2) periods are combined for this discussion since the coverages are identical and are called Periods 2 (when the LYFT passenger has been paired but not yet entered the LYFT car or other vehicle) and 3 (when the LYFT passenger has actually entered the LYFT car or other vehicle) with the same identical insurance coverage requirements for both periods: LYFT is required to provide one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars of single limits liability insurance coverage for the incident. This single limits combined liability coverage covers all LYFT passengers and anyone else injured by the LYFT driver, such as the driver of another car, van or truck; passengers in another car, van, bus or truck; and pedestrians, if and when the LYFT driver is negligent or otherwise at fault. You can review the LYFT California Certificate of Liability Insurance for Periods 2 and 3 here.
- LYFT also provides uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages equal to one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars of additional insurance coverage for any incident. This UM or UIM insurance coverage typically applies to accidents when a different vehicle is at fault and does not carry sufficient insurance coverage and its coverage is less than the LYFT UM and UIM coverages. For example, if the driver of another car or truck, with minimum liability insurance of only $15,000.00 per person and $30,000.00 combined limits for the entire incident runs a red light and collides with a LYFT car and, therefore, is deemed at fault, and the LYFT car has a driver and three (3) passengers who each in this hypothetical example have damages or claims determined to be worth $50,000.00 each for a total of $200,000.00 (i.e., four claims of $50,000.00 each calculates to a total of $200,000.00), they would have to pro-rate the $30,000.00 combined limits of the at fault driver’s underlying and primary insurance among them so they each would get only about $7,500.00 from the insurance company for the at fault driver and the balance of their $50,000.00 claim or $42,500.00 each (that is, their $50,000.00 damages less $7,500.00 received from the primary nsurer is $42,500.00) from the UIM insurance coverage maintained by LFYT.
- These laws only apply to TNC drivers or ride share drivers and NOT to limousine and livery drivers as those other drivers have their own different commercial vehicle insurance coverage requirements.
Occasionally, because of single limits insurance policies (e.g., insurance policies with only one limit of one million dollars to be divided among all claimants up to the value of their individual claims) compared to the insurance policies with a maximum coverage per person then a larger combined limit for all claimants per incident (as described above for Periods 0 and 1) certain problems occur, including how to divide the settlement among all claimants.
For example, a difficult problem arises in these LYFT Periods 2 and 3 described above if and when there are three (3) passengers in the LYFT car or other ride sharing vehicle plus the LYFT driver for a total of four (4) claimants, and if and when each of the three (3) LYFT passenger suffers damages of about $100,000.00 for a total of $300,000.00 and the LYFT driver is more seriously injured and suffers damages of about $5,000,000.00 (and is not at fault), and when there is an insurance policy with a $500,000 limit per person and $1,000,000.00 limit for everyone combined.
In this example, none of the four (4) claimants could get more than $500,000.00 (the maximum per person), which is only a problem for the much more seriously injured LYFT driver, the LYFT driver would receive only $500,000.00 (the maximum limit per person under this type of policy even though the Lyft driver’s damages are much more, about $5,000,000.00), and each of the three (3) LYFT passengers would get their full $100,000.00 in damages since all insured claims together would still be less than the one million dollars combined limit [remember, in this hypothetical example, the insured or covered claims are the $300,000.00 for the three (3) LYFT passengers and only $500,000,00 for the LYFT driver]. And since the LYFT driver’s claim would exceed the $500,000.00 per person limit, the LYFT driver would be limited or capped at this limit of $500,000.00.
Under this example, the total payout by the insurance company would be $800,000.00 [i.e., the three (3) LYFT passenger claims of $100,000.00 each which calculates to $300,000.00 plus the LYFT driver’s $500,000.00 limited recovery), leaving $200,000.00 of the $1,000,000.00 insurance policy unpaid, even though the LYFT driver did not receive $4,500,000.00 of his $5,000,000.00 in damages.
Thus, in this example each of the three (3) LYFT passengers would be paid in full (i.e., $100,000.00 each), but the LYFT driver would receive only about ten (10%) percent of his or her damages (that is, the LYFT driver would only receive $500,000.00 of his or her $5,000,000.00 in damages, which calculates to payment of only 10% of is or her total damages) even though there was $200,000.00 more of insurance coverage under the combined limits that will go unpaid, so the insurance company would save $200,000.00 [that is, the difference between the $800,000.00 paid out by the insurance company to all four (4) claimants, including the seriously injured LYFT driver, and the $1,000,000.00 total combined insurance policy limits].
But under California law for ridesharing (TNC) companies with the $1,000,000.00 single limit insurance policies for LYFT cars and other ride sharing vehicles, as described above for Periods 2 and 3, then under this hypothetical example no one claimant would receive full payment for all damages because the total damages compute to $5,300,000.00 [that is, $300,000.00 for the three (3) LYFT passengers plus $5,000,000.00 for the more seriously injured LYFT driver], which is more than the available single limits insurance policy of one million dollars. Thus, the total insurance coverage would have to be pro-rated among the four (4) claimants according to their proportional share of the total insurance coverage.
Accordingly, all four (4) injured parties would have to divide proportionally the $1,000,000.00 total maximum limit based upon their own percentage of total damages (without any per person limit because in singe limit policies there is NO limit per person, other than the total insurance available), so each of the three (3) injured LYFT passengers instead of receiving their full $100,000.00 (as they would if there was a $500,000.00/$1,000,000.00 insurance policy) would instead receive only about $18,867,92 (that is, each of their proportional share of damages, calculated by dividing the total single limits insurance policy of $1,000,000.00 by the total of all damages, which is $5,300,000.00, which calculates to about 18.867%). Thus, on a pro-rata basis, each claimant would receive only about 18.867% of their total damages (that is, 18.867% of their $100,000.00 in damages for each LYFT passenger is much less than $100,000.00—it is $18,867.92; and 18.867% of the $5,000,000.00 in damages for the LYFT driver is much more than $500,000.00—it is $943,396.23). So the single limit policy coverage would help the LYFT driver who with this coverage would receive substantially more, almost twice as much, about $943,396.23 (that is, 18.867% of $5,000,000.00) instead of $500,000.00 under the first example; but the three (3) LYFT passengers would each receive substantially less, only $18,867.92, instead of $100,000.00 each. Therefore, the type of policy can make a significant difference to the injured claimants.How to Get Best Legal Help With LYFT California Injury Accident Claims and LYFT Insurance Questions
If you have any questions about how LYFT insurance works anywhere in California, including in Calabasas, Los Angeles, Van Nuys or Woodland Hills, and who is covered and for how much, please contact our LYFT claims insurance attorneys now for your absolutely FREE case consultation and evaluation. If our LYFT law offices take your case, our LYFT insurance attorneys work on a contingency fee which simply means there is NO fee to you until we WIN!
The above is intended to provide a basic guide on California insurance law with respect to LYFT and other ride sharing companies to better help you until you can contact our LYFT insurance claim lawyers for your FREE consultation. (All information herein is subject to change at any time and also should be verified with our LYFT claims lawyers at the time you become a client).
The LYFT insurance coverages laws and codes for each situation can be tricky!
There are some important time deadlines, including the California statute of limitations requiring settlement or suit within a certain time [in California, usually two (2) years from the date of incident for injury claims and three (3) years from the date of incident for just property damage claims] or your claim may be lost or dismissed! Please consult with one of our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers now for specific advice about your own case.
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