It’s safe to say that companies like Uber and Lyft have created a massive change in the Missouri transportation industry. Not only can you hail a ride from anywhere and at any time, but also many people all around Missouri are joining a rideshare firm either to make a few extra bucks on the side or as a full-time career. However, if you are in an accident with a ride-sharing vehicle you may be forced to navigate a complex web of who’s at fault and who needs to pay–and you’ll need a top St. Louis rideshare accident lawyer to help you every step of the way.
What Insurance Does a Missouri Rideshare Driver Have?
Since 2017, Missouri has regulated rideshare companies at a state-wide level. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps are available anywhere in Missouri provided they pay a licensing fee and prevent drivers from discriminating against passengers. Drivers, who are considered independent contractors, have to pass a background check and have a valid vehicle liability insurance policy. Both Uber and Lyft provide drivers with up to $1 million in additional liability coverage, but as we’ll explain in our next section that coverage may not be active depending on when your Missouri rideshare accident occured.
Who’s Covering A Missouri Rideshare Driver If They Get In An Accident?
This is where things get complicated: depending on whether a rideshare driver was either actively carrying passengers, en route to picking up a fare, or waiting for a ride request, Uber and Lyft’s insurance plans treat accidents in different ways. The rideshare firms define these as “periods”, which are explained below:
- Period 0 is defined as when the driver is not using the Uber or Lyft app. They are thus treated as normal drivers and their personal insurance policy is in full effect.
- Period 1 is when a driver is logged into a ridesharing app and is accepting ride requests from users. During this time, the ridesharing company’s insurance only covers liability, with limited payout amounts.
- Period 2 is when a driver has accepted a fare request and is in the process of picking up a passenger, and Period 3 is when passengers are in the car and being taken to a destination. During both of these periods drivers are fully covered by Uber or Lyft’s comprehensive insurance policies.
Traditionally, auto insurance policies denied claims if the driver was using the car for work, and could even cancel their policy if they were not informed that the driver did ridesharing. But with ridesharing’s growth, more insurance companies are offering supplemental ridesharing policies for drivers that help cover gaps between their personal plan and Uber or Lyft’s insurance. If you were in a ridesharing accident and the other driver had commercial or supplemental rideshare insurance, you may be able to file a claim with that company as well as with the rideshare app.
Every Case Is Different
As you can see, not only is every Missouri ridesharing crash unique, but also each accident’s details influence what insurance policy (or policies) was active, who pays what, and how much you may be able to receive from an insurance company. With more than 15 years of combined experience in both business and law, Amanda Hayden knows what it’s like to fight massive companies like Uber and Lyft and get you the money you deserve if you’re in a St. Louis ridesharing accident. Contact her today or call (314) 480-3100 for a no-obligation consultation.