What are Lyft’s liability policies in New York State?
Liability insurance can be a complicated topic. The subject of liability insurance is even more complex when it comes to rideshare services such as Lyft. In the event of a car accident, Lyft’s rideshare insurance policies can sometimes operate differently than a typical liability insurance policy.
Lyft’s liability insurance policies in New York State include three main forms of coverage: primary automobile liability insurance, contingent comprehensive and collision insurance, and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance. In general, these policies cover Lyft-related accidents that occur from the time a rideshare driver accepts a ride request until the time the trip is officially over. However, some of Lyft’s policies provide more comprehensive coverage than others.
If you plan to drive or take a Lyft, it is important to know how you will be covered in the event of a rideshare crash.
New York State Rideshare Insurance
According to New York Department of Motor Vehicles, rideshare services, including Lyft, are classified as a Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs. This differentiates Lyft from a typical taxi or limousine service because Lyft connects customers to freelance employees through a digital network (such as a mobile app). As a result, TNCs have their own insurance policies and Lyft’s policy varies from state to state.
When Lyft Driver Mode is Off
The coverage amount depends on whether a Lyft driver was in driver mode at the time of a car crash. When driver mode is “on,” a Lyft driver is logged into the app. When driver mode is “off,” a Lyft driver is not logged into the app and is generally unavailable to accept ride requests from customers.
While this may seem obvious, it is worth noting—when driver mode is off, a driver is not technically driving for Lyft during this period. In this case, the Lyft driver is not covered by the company’s liability insurance. If a car accident occurs, he or she must rely on a personal insurance policy for coverage.
When Lyft Driver Mode if On
There are two potential scenarios that involve a Lyft driver who was in driver mode when a car accident occurred. In each of these cases, Lyft’s liability insurance coverage will vary.
If driver mode is activated on the app, but a Lyft driver has not yet accepted a ride request, he or she will receive a limited amount of primary liability coverage in the event of a car accident. In this scenario, Lyft will offer the following coverage:
- Up to $50,000 per person;
- Up to $100,000 per accident; and
- Up to $25,000 in property damage.
From the time a Lyft driver has accepted a ride request until the trip has ended, he or she is also covered by Lyft’s liability insurance policy. Driver mode must be activated on the app indicating that a trip is in progress. In this scenario, Lyft will offer the following coverage:
- Up to $1 million in primary liability coverage per accident;
- Contingent collision insurance that covers physical motor vehicle damage (as long as this policy is also offered through a personal auto policy);
- Contingent comprehensive insurance that covers physical motor vehicle damage from “non-collision events” (as long as this policy is also offered through a personal auto policy); and
- UM/UIM insurance coverages for accidents involving a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
What happens if Lyft liability insurance does not cover all accident expenses?
As discussed, there are times when a Lyft driver is at risk of being underinsured in the event of a car accident. To reduce this risk, Lyft drivers can purchase what is called rideshare insurance through a private insurance company. Rideshare insurance is a supplemental coverage that can be added onto an existing policy at additional cost.
If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, and a Lyft driver was at fault, the amount of available coverage will depend on the details of the accident. If you are faced with an insurance denial, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and protect your legal rights.
Get Help from a Lyft Car Accident Attorney
If you were in an accident involving a ridesharing company, contact one of our Lyft accident lawyers to find out if you have a case. We know how devastating severe injuries can be, and we are here to help you receive the financial compensation that you deserve. Our accident injury attorneys are ready 24 hours a day. Call William Mattar Law Offices at (844) 444-4444, or fill out a free initial consultation form.