Florida requires that rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, or any other “transportation network company” as defined by the State of Florida carry specific insurance to protect its passengers and other drivers.
As of July 1, 2017, all Uber, Lyft, or any other driver for a ride-sharing company must carry $100,000 of insurance for bodily injury or death and $25,000 for property damage, while a driver is logged onto their app, but hasn’t secured a passenger. However, while the driver is carrying a passenger in the vehicle, the driver must also carry $1 million dollars of insurance coverage, for death, bodily injury, and property damage.
If you are in a car accident in an Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare service, you need to call the police and have the police issue a report. The driver should not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive. The police will issue a report and should include the name of the driver as well as the driver’s insurance information. Additionally, you should take pictures of the accident with your smart phone and seek medical attention, if necessary.
It is important that you seek medical attention within 14 days as failure to do so could waive your right to receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. PIP covers medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000. However, PIP is limited to $2,500 if you do not have an “emergency medical condition”.
Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies must also carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage also known as UM coverage is insurance that provides coverage when you are injured in an accident involving an automobile and the liable party is uninsured or underinsured. This means that if you are riding in an Uber or Lyft and another driver causes an accident and injures you, the Uber or Lyft driver must carry insurance in the event that the at-fault party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries.
The insurance coverage for rideshare drivers varies depending on whether the driver is carrying a passenger or not. It is important to require the rideshare driver to finish the ride in the app and provide you with the email confirmation/receipt showing that he was in route when the accident occurred. If the driver cancels the ride or fails to provide you with a proper receipt, the insurance company may attempt to limit the claim. You should also keep the phone from which you ordered the Uber or Lyft, even if the phone is damaged or destroyed. The data on the phone may become invaluable should the insurance company dispute your claim. You should also explain to the investigating police officer that you were the passenger in the Uber or Lyft, so that the officer may notate the report accordingly.