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Does Car Insurance Cover Me As An Uber Passenger?

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Ride-sharing services have become an integral part of traveling logistics these days. Whether you need a ride to the airport, a lift home from a night out, or even use ride-sharing on a daily basis, services like Uber and Lyft have become the go-to choice for many. 

While most of these rides go off without a hitch, you may find yourself wondering what would happen if something went wrong – like, if you are in an accident as an Uber passenger. If this question has ever crossed your mind, you may want to know that your personal automobile policy most likely won’t cover you in an Uber or other ride sharing service. Let’s take a look at how you will be covered as an Uber passenger. 

Personal Car Insurance Usually Covers Your Car, Not You

With most insurance carriers, you will not be covered by your own personal car insurance policy as a passenger in another person’s vehicle – including as an Uber passenger. The insurance is on the vehicle that is insured, not the driver. Or in other words, your car – not you.

Don’t depend on your personal car insurance policy to provide coverage if you are not in your vehicle. However, there are possible exceptions with this, so check with your insurance agent or company to learn if your personal auto policy will cover you when you are a passenger in a ride-sharing vehicle.

What Insurance Will Cover Me As An Uber Passenger?

If you’re worried that you won’t have any insurance coverage in a ride-share vehicle – don’t. While you most likely won’t be covered by your own policy, ride-sharing companies (like Uber or Lyft) require that drivers working for them have their own personal car insurance policies. 

In addition, ride-share companies themselves provide varying degrees of insurance coverage to passengers, third-parties, uninsured motorists, and drivers on the clock.

uber passenger

Ride-Share Insurance Coverage Limits

Uber and Lyft have different degrees of insurance coverage throughout the different stages of a driver’s experience on the road. Both companies break their coverage down into three distinct categories:

  • Stage 1: When the driver is offline.
  • Stage 2: When the driver is online and waiting for a ride request.
  • Stage 3: When the driver is en route to pick up passengers or during trips. 

Stage 3 is where your coverage as a passenger is established. Below you’ll find the coverage details for both Uber and Lyft, whose policies are almost identical for stage 3:

Coverage Limits
(When the driver is en route to pick up passengers or during trips)
UberUber maintains the following auto insurance on the driver’s behalf in case of a covered accident: $1,000,000 third-party liability Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and/or first-party injury insurance (amount varies by state) Contingent comprehensive and collisionUp to actual cash value of car with a $2,500 deductible 
LyftLyft maintains the following insurance for covered accidents on the driver’s behalf:
At least $1,000,000 for third-party liability First party coverages, which may include uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, PIP, MedPay, and/or Occupational Accident coverage. If a driver obtains comprehensive and collision coverage on their personal auto policy, Lyft then maintains contingent comprehensive and collision coverage up to the actual cash value of the car ($2,500 deductible)

During this stage, ride-share companies provide the most amount of coverage through their policies for the passenger, driver, and third-party. 

uber passenger

What Do I Do If I Am in an Accident as an Uber Passenger?

If you’re injured in an accident as an Uber passenger or a third-party, be sure to:

  1. Assess the situation and call 911 if needed. 
  1. Take pictures, if possible, and complete a third-party incident notice
  1. Get insurance information from the Uber or Lyft driver. 
  1. You may also need to contact an attorney who is experienced with ride-share auto accidents and/or your insurance company. 

Many insurers require a special policy for ride-share drivers since you, as a rider, are able to seek restitution for the insurance provider of the driver – in addition to the ride-share company – if involved in an accident as a passenger or third-party. 

What If I’m In An Accident With an Uber Driver Who Isn’t On the Clock?

Uber drivers are required to have their own personal car insurance since the ride-share companies don’t provide coverage for the driver unless they’re actively driving a rider who uses the app. If you are involved in a collision with an off-the-clock driver, the person’s own car insurance policy would cover you and them – not the ride-share company. As with most incidents, be sure to get pictures, if possible, as well as insurance information from the driver of the vehicle. 

Whether you’re a ride-share driver, an Uber passenger, or just drive your own vehicle, it always feels good to know that, through insurance, you will be covered if something goes wrong. Contact one of our experienced team members at Independent Insurance Associates to discuss your insurance options today.