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Personal insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers — on top of those companies’ coverage — is the best way to be fully covered on the job. Often called rideshare insurance, these hybrid policies include coverage for personal auto use plus the times drivers are signed in to a ridesharing app but not covered by Lyft’s or Uber’s insurance.
Drivers for on-demand delivery companies like Grubhub, Instacart and Uber Eats also need rideshare insurance to avoid a coverage gap.
Why delivery, Uber and Lyft drivers need rideshare insurance
Most major insurers do not allow you to use your personal car insurance for business purposes. You need rideshare insurance in any situation where you drive your car to earn money, whether you drive for ridesharing companies like Uber or Lyft or an app-based delivery service.
Your personal auto insurer is unlikely to cover accidents that happen during your ridesharing gig, and it could cancel your policy if it finds out you haven’t disclosed you drive the car for money. Even if you have coverage from the company you rideshare for, it likely won’t apply the entire time you’re on the job.
Though companies like Uber and Lyft will provide coverage while you are driving with a passenger, you won’t be covered when you are in between rides. A standard personal insurance policy won’t cover you, either. You’ll need to add rideshare coverage to your personal policy through your insurer. Without the added coverage, you’ll have gaps in your auto insurance.
Rideshare insurance isn’t available everywhere. If you can’t get it, you’ll need a commercial insurance policy to be fully insured and avoid being dropped by your carrier.
How Lyft and Uber insurance work
Uber or Lyft insurance provides minimal coverage while you have the app on and are waiting for a request. More complete coverage kicks in once you’ve accepted a ride and are carrying passengers.
Here’s how a personal policy and a rideshare company’s insurance work during a shift:
App is off. Your personal policy covers you.
App is on and you’re waiting for a ride request. You’re insured by your personal policy as long as it includes rideshare coverage or if you have a commercial policy. Your rideshare employer’s policy is limited to liability coverage, which pays for injuries and damage you cause.
Request accepted, and you’re en route to pick up a passenger. Your Uber or Lyft insurance policy is in full force.
You have passengers in the car. Your Uber or Lyft insurance policy is in full force.
You’ve dropped off your passenger, the app is on, and you’re waiting for a new ride. Your rideshare employer’s policy is limited to liability coverage during this time. Your personal auto insurance won’t cover you unless you have additional rideshare coverage or a commercial policy.
Uber and Lyft offer coverage for injuries or damage you may cause to others or their property while you’re ridesharing. Damage to your car from an accident is covered by the ridesharing company only if your personal policy includes comprehensive and collision insurance, sometimes called full coverage.
If you have full coverage and damage your car while ridesharing, you’ll need to pay Lyft or Uber’s deductible, which is your share of repair costs, before their insurance pays out. Both companies have a $2,500 deductible.
Rideshare insurance for delivery app drivers
If you’re driving for an on-demand delivery service that offers car insurance, check its policy carefully. Coverage differs from company to company and is limited in all cases.
For example, Grubhub and Instacart don’t provide car insurance, so you’ll need your own coverage to drive for them. Meanwhile, DoorDash offers liability insurance only between the time you accept a delivery request and complete the delivery or the order is canceled.
Here’s how insurance works for delivery app drivers:
App is off. Your personal policy covers you.
App is on and you’re waiting for a request. Your personal auto insurance will cover you if the policy includes rideshare coverage; otherwise, you’ll need a commercial policy to be covered. Some delivery app companies offer coverage.
Request accepted, and you’re en route to pick up a delivery. Some delivery app companies offer coverage.
You have the food or goods in the car. Your rideshare employer’s policy is in full force.
Where to get rideshare insurance
See our calculator below to find rideshare insurance in your state.
How much rideshare insurance costs
Adding ridesharing coverage to your personal policy could cost $9 to over $25 more per month, according to some insurer websites. But some companies say it’s cheaper.
Not all insurers share estimated rates, but here’s a snapshot of some that do.
Rideshare insurance costs by company
Cost above traditional policy*
Starting at about $27 per month.
Likely under $10 per month.
15%-20% of premium.
*Pricing according to insurers' websites.
How to buy rideshare insurance
Rideshare insurance is usually a hybrid of the coverage offered by your ridesharing company plus rideshare coverage added to your personal auto policy. You typically can’t buy rideshare insurance as a stand-alone policy. For example, you can’t have Progressive for your personal auto policy and buy rideshare insurance from Farmers.
When selecting rideshare insurance, be sure to:
Tell your personal auto insurer you’re driving for a ridesharing company.
Figure out the gaps between what your personal policy covers compared with your rideshare company’s policy.
Ask your insurer whether it offers rideshare insurance to fill in coverage gaps or to quote you a commercial policy. If both types are available, get both quotes so you can compare costs.
» MORE: Compare auto insurance rates
What happens if you have an accident while driving for Uber, Lyft or other app?
If you cause an accident while you’re on your way to a fare, carrying passengers or picking up or making a delivery, the insurance policies for Postmates, Uber Eats, Uber and Lyft will cover medical expenses and other damage you cause up to at least $1 million, depending on the company and your state.
If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you while driving for Lyft or Uber, the amount the ridesharing company’s policy covers varies by state and may be contingent on whether you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your personal policy. Delivery companies likely do not offer coverage for this situation.
You can also draw on comprehensive and collision coverage from ridesharing companies and Uber Eats — but only if you also have such coverage on your personal policy.
If you cause an accident while the rideshare app is on and you’re waiting for a request, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance provider and with the rideshare company. The ridesharing company’s insurance will provide only liability coverage, which means injuries and damage you cause to others and their property are covered. Damage to your car is covered only if your personal policy includes comprehensive and collision coverage.
Rideshare insurance: Key takeaways
Rideshare companies' insurance has gaps.
Rideshare companies' insurance is in full effect after you've accepted a ride request and while you’re driving passengers only. Delivery companies’ coverage varies, but all offer less insurance than Uber or Lyft.
You likely need to add rideshare coverage to your personal policy.
You should look at what's covered in your personal policy and the rideshare company's insurance. To be fully covered, you'll probably need to add rideshare coverage to your personal policy or buy a commercial auto policy.
Availability is spotty.
Not all insurance companies offer rideshare insurance policies, nor is coverage available in all states. Commercial policies are more widely available.
You may risk your personal coverage.
Even if your rideshare company offers full coverage during all phases of the job — before, during and after requests — your personal auto insurer could drop you if you don’t disclose that you use your car to make money.