Uber Insurance Law in California
If you were injured in an Uber accident or other ride sharing collision, you need to know how the Uber California insurance policy works. Uber insurance coverage laws are different in California than in other states; and in California the Uber car insurance coverage laws are different than for other California car drivers (for example, different than for personal car drivers). In California there is a different set of insurance rules for the ride sharing industry, including for Uber and Lyft, legally referred to in California as transportation network companies (TNCs).
If you were injured in an Uber accident or other ride sharing or TNC accident, please contact our Uber accident insurance law firm now for your FREE consultation and case evaluation. Our experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have handled serious injury cases for over 40 years in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Bakersfield, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and all of California. We have handled many Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing accident injury insurance claims and our law firm has recovered over $100 million for all claims!
California law requires ride sharing drivers, legally called as stated above drivers of 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 whether or not the Uber driver has been “paired” with his or her passenger (that is, assigned a potential passenger even if not yet picked-up).Car Insurance Requirements in California for Uber Drivers
In California, the insurance requirements differ if the Uber driver’s app is off and there is NO Uber passenger in the car (sometimes called “offline”), when the app is on but the Uber driver has not yet been paired with an Uber passenger (that is, when the Uber driver is “available” but not yet “paired” with a potential passenger), and when the Uber driver’s app is on and the Uber driver has been “paired” with the passenger and is en route to pick-up the passenger called “en route”) or actually has paired with and already picked-up the passenger and is on the actual trip (referred to as “on trip”). The applicable law governing Uber insurance coverage in California is Assembly Bill No. 2293, operative July 1, 2015. The basic insurance policy coverage rules and requirements for Uber drivers in California are as follows:
- Let’s call the first period: Period 0. This is the time when the Uber rideshare app is off, the Uber driver is NOT available, and there is NO passenger in the Uber vehicle. During this inactive or offline period, there is NO Uber insurance. Only the driver’s personal insurance is applicable and the California insurance minimum applies which is only $15,000 bodily injury insurance coverage per person per accident, $30,000 bodily injury insurance coverage for all injured persons combined per accident, and $5,000 property damage insurance coverage per accident. This is the minimum statutory insurance coverage. It is prudent to carry higher insurance coverage limits. Therefore, the Uber driver can and should maintain higher insurance coverage limits, which his or her insurance agent can advise and also our car insurance lawyers can provide a FREE consultation to review and advise proper insurance coverages for Uber, Lyft and all other ride sharing drivers.
- The next period is Period 1. This is the time period in which the Uber app is on but the Uber driver has not yet been paired with a passenger. During this time period in which the Uber driver is available but has not yet been paired with a passenger, California law requires the following minimum auto insurance coverages: $50,000 bodily injury insurance coverage per person per accident, $100,000 bodily injury insurance coverage for all injured persons combined per accident, and $30,000 property damage insurance coverage per accident. Uber provides this insurance during Period 1 if the Uber drivers do not have their own rideshare insurance. And Uber, like all TNCs, is also required to provide at least $200,000.00 of excess liability insurance coverage during this Period 1.
Next are Periods 2 (when the Uber passenger has been paired but not yet entered the Uber vehicle) and 3 (when the Uber passenger has actually entered the Uber vehicle) with the same identical insurance coverage requirements for both periods: Uber is required to provide one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars of insurance coverage for the incident. This single limits combined coverage covers both the Uber driver and the Uber passengers.
- Uber also provides uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverages equal to one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars of insurance coverage for the incident. This UM or UIM insurance coverage covers accidents when a different vehicle is at fault and does not carry sufficient insurance coverage and its coverage is less than the Uber UM and UIM coverages.
- Uber further provides its drivers with additional insurance coverages for comprehensive and collision damages with a $1,000 deductible, so long as the driver maintained collision coverage on their personal car insurance policy.
- These laws only apply to TNC drivers or ride share drivers and NOT to limousine and livery drivers as they have their own separate commercial car insurance requirements.
One sometimes difficult problem arises in Periods 2 and 3 above with the single limits insurance policy compared to the policies with a maximum coverage per person (seen in Periods 0 and 1 above).
For example, if there are four (4) passengers in the Uber car (plus the Uber driver) and if each passenger suffers damages of $100,000 for a total of $400,000 in damages and the Uber driver suffers damages of $2,000,000.00 (and is not at fault), when there is an insurance policy with a $500,000 limit per person and $1,000,000.00 limit for everyone combined, then each of the four (4) Uber passenger would get their full $100,000 in damages and the driver would receive only $500,000.00 (the maximum limit per person under this type of policy). The total payout by the insurance company would be $900,000, leaving $100,000 of the $1,000,000 insurance policy not paid out, even though the Uber driver did not receive $500,000 of his $1,000,000 in damages. Thus, in this example each of the four (4) Uber passengers would be paid in full (i.e., $100,000 each), but the Uber driver would receive only half or 50% of his or her damages, and the insurance company would save $100,000.00 (the remaining balance of the $1,000,000 insurance policy not paid out).
But under California law for ridesharing (TNC) companies with the $1,000,000.00 single limit insurance policies for Uber vehicles described above for Periods 2 and 3, then all five (5) injured parties would have to divide proportionally the $1,000,000.00 total maximum limit based upon their own percentage of damages (without any per person limit because in singe limit policies there is NO limit per person), so each of the four (4) injured passengers instead of receiving their full $100,000.00 would instead receive only $41,667 (that is, each of their $100,000 proportional share of damages of the $1,000,000 insurance policy shared with the $2,400,000 total damages of all five claimants-calculated as $100,000 each / total damages of $2,400,000, times total available coverage of $1,000,000, is $41,667); and the Uber driver instead of receiving only $500,000 (that is, the $500,000 per person limit in the above hypothetical example) would receive much more - $833,333 [that is, the driver’s pro-rata share of the driver’s $2,000,000 damages out of the total $2,400,000 damages suffered by all five (5) claiants in the Uber vehicle--calculated as the driver’s $2,000,000 damages / total damages of $2,400,000, times the total available coverage of $1,000,000, is $833,333].How to Get Legal Help With Uber California Insurance Questions and Injury Accident Claims
If you have any questions about how Uber insurance works in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys or anywhere in California and who is covered and for how much, please contact our Uber claims insurance attorneys now for an absolutely FREE case consultation. If we take your case, our Uber California insurance attorneys work on a contingency fee which simply means there is NO fee until we WIN!
The above is designed to provide some basic information on California insurance law with respect to Uber and some other ride sharing companies to better guide you until you can contact our Uber insurance claim lawyers. (Of course, all information provided is subject to change at any time and should be verified with our lawyers at the time you become a client).
The Uber 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 [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!
Pease call us now – You will be glad you did!