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Throughout the last several years, rideshare apps have been increasingly popularized. Their services have transformed the transportation system. Although it can be a bit pricey, with the click of a button, you can get someone to pick you up virtually anywhere, 24/7. Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are taking over the taxi industry for several reasons. For example, passengers can track their rides, arrive at their destinations faster, and the overall convenience in price tracking and etas is better.
One of the key differences between taxis and rideshare apps is WHO the driver is. Taxi companies employ drivers to operate company-owned cars. In contrast, Uber and Lyft contract their drivers to use their personal vehicles. However, in some ways, this can have both drivers and auto insurance agencies concerned about who is liable if an accident occurs while a driver is contracted through a rideshare app.
What is Rideshare Insurance?
A rideshare insurance policy in Florida is a policy that bridges the gap between a rideshare driver’s personal and commercial use. Rideshare policies are given to those who use their personal vehicles to drive for companies such as Uber or Lyft.
It is important to note that rideshare companies offer to supply their drivers with some liability insurance. However, the rideshare company will only pay the minimum liability amount if an accident occurs. Then the driver will be responsible for covering the remainder. For this reason, if you are in the rideshare industry, it is important that you keep your financial security protected with an additional policy. This advice applies even if you already have a personal auto insurance policy.
Included in Rideshare Insurance
Rideshare insurance offers similar features to your personal policy; however, it extends to protect you while you are working. Often, your personal policy won’t cover you while conducting business.
A standard rideshare insurance policy will have the following coverages:
Collision Coverage: Protection against damages to your vehicle during an accident.
Medical Expense Coverage: Can provide reimbursement for you and your passenger’s medical expenses in the event of an injury.
Liability Insurance: Liability essentially refers to “responsibility.” It helps to cover property damage and bodily injuries to others. In other words, your policy will fund the expenses that come with the damages after an accident once you meet your deductible.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This can cover you if an accident occurs with an uninsured or underinsured party.
Some rideshare insurance policies can additionally provide coverage to drivers for legal expenses, towing reimbursement, and rental cars. These features are dependent on your policy and the amount of coverage you choose.
How Does Florida Rideshare Insurance Work?
Once rideshare insurance is added to your personal policy, it is important to understand the four stages or periods in which your insurance coverage can vary.
Period 0: When the driver’s rideshare app is turned off, and the car is being used strictly for personal reasons, the vehicle’s personal insurance will provide coverage.
Period 1: If the app is turned on and the driver is waiting to be paired with a passenger, rideshare insurance will provide some coverage to the driver and vehicle. Uber or Lyft liability insurance will also kick in for additional coverage. However, this coverage is not typically in full effect, and the company insurance is limited.
Period 2: Both personal rideshare insurance and rideshare company insurance will be in full effect when the driver has been paired with a passenger and is in route to pick them up.
Period 3: Both personal rideshare insurance and the rideshare company insurance will cover the driver and the passenger once the passenger has been picked up. This period will continue while the passenger is being transported to their desired destination.
Additionally, after a passenger has left the vehicle, the driver’s rideshare insurance will go back down to period 0 coverage. The process will repeat itself once the driver ques for another pickup.
Is Rideshare Insurance Required in Florida?
Florida requires all drivers to have personal vehicle insurance when using a rideshare app. In addition, the state mandates a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability to meet Florida auto insurance requirements.
If you are a rideshare driver, you must maintain these coverages the entire time you operate a vehicle. You can use your personal insurance to sustain these requirements. However, your insurance company reserves the right to deny you any coverage when working for a rideshare app. With that said, if you are denied coverage, you MUST purchase additional rideshare insurance in Florida to meet the minimum auto insurance requirements.
So, the short answer is no, you do not have to have rideshare insurance in Florida, but you do need to maintain the minimum insurance requirements. For example, suppose your personal auto insurance policy does not provide you coverage while operating in the rideshare app. In that case, you must purchase additional coverage to supplement it.
How Much is Florida Rideshare Insurance
Rideshare Insurance is often an add-on to your personal auto policy, meaning it typically can not be purchased as a stand-alone policy. However, since rideshare insurance is designed to be an add-on and will only be used part-time, the policies are significantly more affordable than personal policies.
As a rideshare driver, you can expect to pay as low as $6 a month and as high as $30 a month for additional protection. The exact amount depends on the auto insurance agency, your current policy, your driving record, and the coverage you choose to have.
Best Rideshare Insurance
Investopedia created a list of the best insurance companies for rideshare insurance policies. These policies were based on several factors, including coverage type, affordability, and the specific rideshare company. Other factors include the insurance agency’s overall customer satisfaction and claim process.
Check out Investopedia’s best rideshare insurance policies in 2022:
Best Overall: USAA
Best for Uber: Mercury
Best for Lyft: Allstate
Best Coverage Options: Progressive
Best for Delivery App Drivers: State Farm
Best Claims Processing: Farmers
Note: Your state and region will play a huge factor in whether or not an insurance agency will provide you with rideshare coverage. Therefore, it is best to check with local agencies to determine your specific needs and where you can get additional protection.
Where to Find Rideshare Insurance in Florida
Three major insurance companies provide drivers with rideshare insurance in Florida. Among these states are Geico, State Farm, and Farmers Insurance. In addition, more insurance companies offer rideshare policies; however, they are limited to some areas of Florida.
Your coverage and how the policy works are based on the specific insurance agency. Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect from each of these companies:
Geico: Geico’s rideshare insurance will replace your existing auto insurance policy during the periods where you are driving for a rideshare app. The deductible for Geico policies starts at around $500, which is more affordable than most personal policy deductibles.
The downside of Geico’s rideshare policies is that it restricts the number of miles you can drive per day. As a part-time driver, you can expect to receive full coverage. However, your rideshare policy may not provide sufficient coverage if you are a full-time driver.
State Farm: You can only purchase a State Farm rideshare insurance policy if you have an existing State Farm personal insurance policy. However, there do not appear to be restrictions on miles driven per day. State Farm policies extend through all periods and can include comprehensive, collision, medical, and even towing compensations.
Farmers: Farmers insurance is by far the most limited Florida rideshare insurance. First, you can only purchase Farmer’s policies as an add-on to your existing policy. Secondly, the policy coverage will only extend into period one, meaning that you are covered when the app is on but have not yet been paired with a passenger.
The Bottom Line
Talking to your local insurance agents can help you narrow down what coverages you need to be best protected. If your personal policy agency does not offer rideshare insurance, consider shopping around to avoid overpaying or being underinsured while driving for a rideshare app.
Remember, rideshare insurance may or may not be required depending on your insurer and the state you live. Getting additional protection can help cover damages and medical expenses for you and your passengers. Therefore considering the extra security is a sagacious decision for any rideshare driver!
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