New Rules of the Road - How Auto Insurance Coverage is Changing To Meet the Needs of App-Wielding Rideshare Generation
on March 30, 2016
Americans have had a long love-affair with the automobile and most of us own or lease the cars we drive and are reasonably familiar with traditional auto insurance coverages, which largely are dictated by state laws. Typically, our personal auto policies provide third-party liability coverage in the event we cause property damage or bodily injury to others, provide first-party collision coverage in the event we suffer property damage to our own car, and provide uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage which protects us when we suffer property damage or bodily injury due to the fault of another who may have no insurance or inadequate insurance.
Taxi companies and other businesses purchase similar insurance for their vehicles and employee drivers in the form of commercial auto policies.
Today, however, it is increasingly likely that the ordinary car behind you is a rideshare — a privately owned car whose owner/driver has been matched with a rider via an app on their mobile devices. (Two such Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs, providing this service are Uber and Lyft.) In the unfortunate event that driver rear-ends you at the next light, will there be insurance to cover your injuries? The Uber or Lyft driver’s passenger’s injuries? The driver’s injuries? The damage to the two cars?
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