Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as other share ride service company drivers, are covered by a large multiline insurer group.
The insurers recently announced the launch of a new Rideshare Insurance Coverage program in Missouri for “ride-hailing” drivers from companies such as Uber and Lyft.
“As a leading provider of automobile insurance in the U.S. and a market leader in the ride-hailing insurance market, Farmers has developed this innovative Rideshare Insurance Coverage to offer Missouri ride-hail drivers coverage options as part of their Farmers personal auto insurance policies. We recognize that consumer needs are continuing to evolve and our ability to provide this important coverage to customers is a further demonstration of our commitment to meeting changing consumer demands,” says Mariel Devesa, head of product innovation for Farmers Insurance.
The program was launched in Missouri in response to state legislation that went into effect on April 1. Missouri is the company’s 29th state to offer this type of protection to drivers.
TNCs offer a new-age way to make a buck, and the business of sharing a car as a way to make money is now a multi-billion dollar marketplace. Between 2012 and 2015, over 10 million people earned money through Uber, Lyft, and TaskRabbit. While the “sharing economy” treats drivers as independent contractors, they will still be required to pay federal, state, and self-employment taxes.
After only five years, Uber Technologies has expanded to 58 countries worldwide. The company claims that the number of new drivers doubles every six months, and the company recently passed the $50 billion mark in funding, but popularity and cash aren’t the whole picture. Uber has outraged traditional taxi companies and, on occasion, their drivers.
While the company claims that their “UberX” rated drivers earn $7 more per hour than other taxi drivers and chauffeurs, some drivers dispute those figures. Last year, Uber reduced driver pay rates by up to 30% in 16 cities. Drivers were irritated.
“It was really good pay when I first started,” says ‘Rand,’ a driver who first began driving for Uber in 2013. “It’s about the people now, not the money.”
Customers are covered under the Rideshare Insurance Coverage program when a driver activates the ride-hailing application and while the driver waits for a fare. The policy extends a driver’s Farmers auto insurance coverage until they accept a ride. Following that, the driver’s commercial insurance coverage kicks in.
The Farmers Rideshare Insurance Coverage program allows drivers to choose the coverages they want. Comprehensive and collision coverage, which can pay for damage to their own vehicle, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (in case they are hit by a driver who is not insured or is underinsured), and Medical Payments coverage are among the options.