What’s one thing no rideshare driver should be without? Other than their phone and a vehicle, the answer is auto insurance! Yes, rideshare drivers need specific insurance, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive to find the right option.
Buckle has partnered with Harry Campbell, founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, to provide our Members with the very best tips, tricks, and news to help maximize their income as a rideshare and delivery driver.
If you’re considering becoming a rideshare driver, you probably have all of the typical questions, like:
- How much can you earn?
- What are passengers like?
- Do people really throw up in your car?
Over all of my years of rideshare driving, not one brand new driver has first asked me about rideshare insurance - but they absolutely should. Having the right insurance plan is crucial for drivers, even more so than knowing whether or not to carry Emesis (barf) bags (yes, especially if you drive the party hours!)
I’ll break down the basics of rideshare insurance, since every person’s policy will be different depending on where they live, if they combine policies, and other factors.
Uber and Lyft Rideshare Insurance Coverage for Drivers
While it’s true both Uber and Lyft provide commercial insurance coverage for a million dollars, you as a driver are only covered during certain times.
Uber and Lyft cover rideshare drivers during Periods 2 and 3 with a $1 million liability policy and for collision (but with a $2,500 deductible). Period 2 starts once you accept a ride request and are en route to your passenger, and Period 3 starts once your passenger gets into your car and ends when they exit the car.
However, when you’re online and waiting for a request during Period 1 (you could be parked or driving around, etc), you have no collision coverage from Uber or Lyft and much lower liability limits.
This means as a rideshare driver, you’re most at risk during Period 1 since you won’t get any collision coverage from rideshare companies and your personal insurer likely won’t cover you during this time either.
Pro-tip: After you drop off a passenger, you should always look for a safe spot to pull over and wait for your next request. Not only will it save you money by putting fewer miles on your car (you’re not paid for driving around during this period), but it also reduces the chance of you getting into an accident. This especially matters during Period 1 because of the lower liability limits and no collision coverage if you don’t have rideshare insurance.
Getting a rideshare insurance quote and rideshare insurance solves this gap by covering drivers during Period 1, and additionally, they won’t drop you for being a rideshare driver. Some policies like Buckle will even cover you during Periods 2 and 3 so you won’t be subject to Uber and Lyft’s $2,500 collision deductible.
These policies are often referred to as continuous ‘rideshare insurance’ since if you ever get into an accident (doesn’t matter the period), you will not have to deal with Uber and Lyft’s insurance companies or pay a high $2,500 deductible. Instead, if you have continuous ‘rideshare insurance’, you would only deal with your own insurer. Which is often preferred if you have a great insurance company.
Won’t My Own Insurance Just Cover Me?
Many of us already have auto insurance, and most first-time drivers think these policies will cover them as rideshare drivers. Unfortunately, many insurance companies not only will not cover you if you are in an accident, but if the insurance company finds out that you are rideshare driving while only having a personal plan, they may drop your coverage.
This obviously can lead to a lot of issues if you’re in an accident or not, so it’s always important to make sure you are covered.
How To Pick Your Insurance
One option is to call your insurance company and see if they offer any type of rideshare insurance. At this point, every insurance company is at least familiar with rideshare insurance even if they don’t offer it themselves. But beware because we have gotten reports from drivers that many phone agents for the top insurance companies are not always the most knowledgeable when it comes to rideshare insurance, since it’s somewhat of a niche product. So you should double-check and verify that any information they give you is also in writing.
Make sure to cover the following to make sure you’re getting the best deal and most comprehensive coverage:
- Will you be adding other policies, like homeowners or renters, to your auto policy? If so, that could save you money.
- What will the deductible be? $500-$1,000 is usually manageable.
- Decide what you must have when it comes to coverage.
- Understand any gaps in your policy or any benefits that distinguish companies from each other.
- Make sure to tell your agent you’re a rideshare driver
- What type of rental car coverage will you get? Rental cars can’t be used on Uber/Lyft but it could still be a good way to get around and some drivers have told us that certain delivery companies will allow a rental car so that could be a good back up plan.
Obviously, we are big fans of Buckle if you’re in one of the states that they offer coverage. You can get a quote here and the nice thing is that Buckle specializes in rideshare insurance. So all of their agents know what they’re talking about and they offer ‘continuous rideshare insurance’ for both rideshare and delivery drivers.
They’re actually one of the only providers that offer coverage across rideshare and delivery and allow you to work for multiple platforms. Plus, they cover all three periods so this really is a solid plan.
You can read The Rideshare Guy’s Buckle review for more information.
Don’t Let Insurance Hold You Back
When I first started rideshare driving, it could be difficult to be a driver because few auto insurance companies covered drivers, and those that did were almost prohibitively expensive. It was common to talk to other drivers who were driving without coverage at all - something I never agreed with and still don’t!
However, nowadays you can find an insurance policy for rideshare drivers in every state, and often you’ll find multiple options. In fact, many of RSG’s drivers use our insurance marketplace to find excellent coverage and agents who know what they’re talking about when it comes to insuring rideshare drivers.
Paying for rideshare auto insurance coverage doesn’t have to cost a lot any longer. If you’ve been on the fence about driving, make sure to check out several options, ask questions, then hit the road!
Harry Campbell is a former Boeing Aerospace Engineer and founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, a blog, podcast and Youtube channel for ridehail drivers and other gig workers and author of, The Rideshare Guide. Over the years, Harry has covered the gig economy industry closely and talked to tens of thousands of drivers and gig workers about their experience on the road.