New and Improved Insurance Requirements Face Rideshare Drivers

It’s no surprise that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are officially more popular than taxis. The convenience of hailing a clean ride from an app on your phone that will be there when you need it far surpasses the hassle of summoning a cab. Likewise, driving for Uber and Lyft is an attractive gig for sociable people in need of supplemental work or those who just like to be their own boss. As demand for and availability of these services surge, the State of Florida is finally establishing some conformity in their operations that seek to protect drivers and passengers alike.

What does the Uber/ Lyft Bill Do?

HB 221, or the “Uber/ Lyft Bill” standardizes insurance requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers in addition to establishing other requirements for background checks. The new law, signed in May 2017, creates a uniform set of rules for drivers all over the state who previously encountered a myriad of obstacles trying to comply with local regulations.

Under HB 221, all drivers for Uber and Lyft in Florida must comply with car insurance coverage requirements that considerably exceed the minimums required of average drivers. The law establishes specifications for when a ride is in session to when drivers are waiting for ride requests while logged into the app.

Basic Florida Car Insurance Requirements

By law, Florida drivers must carry auto insurance. As a “no-fault” state, Florida drivers receive compensation for their injuries from their own insurance company following a car accident regardless of who was at fault. The insurance policy a driver selects must provide a minimum of $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL). Additional coverages are available and encouraged, including coverage for bodily injury liability, uninsured/ underinsured motorists, and comprehensive and collision coverage.

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need as a Florida Uber Driver?

Florida Uber and Lyft Driver Insurance Coverage Requirements

HB 221 set uniform insurance requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers across the state. Since the bill became law, drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies, or “transportation network companies” (TNCs) must carry primary auto insurance that:

  • Recognizes that the driver works for a transportation network company or otherwise uses his car to provide rides in exchange for compensation.
  • Covers the driver while he is logged on to the “digital network of the TNC” or while he is engaged in a “prearranged ride.” This means that the coverage must apply while the driver is logged into the Uber or Lyft app and is either waiting for a ride or in the process of providing a ride.

Additionally, the TNC driver’s auto insurance policy must provide:

  • At least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person
  • At least $100,000 for death and bodily injury per accident
  • At least $25,000 for property damage

While the driver is actively engaged in a prearranged ride, his or her insurance policy must provide primary automobile liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage.

Uber and Lyft drivers must also meet the minimum requirements for uninsured and underinsured vehicles. The coverage requirements may be satisfied by the driver’s own insurance policy, the transportation network company’s insurance policy, or a combination of the two.

How does the Uber/ Lyft Bill Affect Coverage Disputes?

By requiring the increased minimums to be the transportation company driver’s primary source of coverage, the insurance companies that provide personal policies for Uber and Lyft drivers can decline coverage for specific accidents. Insurance disputes between the TNC’s insurer and the TNC driver’s insurer are more likely to occur.

Other Uber/ Lyft Bill Requirements

In addition to establishing minimum car insurance requirements for rideshare drivers in Florida, the Uber/ Lyft bill requires ridesharing companies to:

  • Conduct background checks on all drivers in the Sunshine State
  • Adopt “zero tolerance” policies on drug and alcohol use
  • Promptly suspend drivers suspected of DUI pending an investigation

Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer On Your Side

A difficult situation like becoming injured in an Uber or Lyft accident in Central Florida can become even more complicated with this new law. If you are suffering from severe injuries and complications because of an Uber or Lyft collision, be sure to receive the medical care you need. Then, contact a personable Orlando car accident lawyer who will fight to get you the full compensation you deserve. At The Umansky Law Firm, we employ a team of dedicated attorneys who are eager to protect your interests throughout the personal injury claims process. Call 407-228-3838 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.