A Lyft driver. Photo courtesy of Lyft.
Mercury Insurance is now offering ride-hailing insurance to cover Uber, Lyft, and other Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers in the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
This new coverage will provide drivers with insurance that will bridge the gap between their personal auto insurance and the coverage provided by their TNC, according to Mercury.
In the past, ride-hailing drivers have been left without coverage by their insurance companies if they got into an accident while their ride-hailing app was on but hadn’t accepted a ride. This new coverage will close that gap and provide drivers with access to coverage throughout the entire ride cycle, says Mercury. Previously, drivers were only covered by TNC commercial insurance once they accepted a ride.
"Many residents of Illinois and Oklahoma enjoy driving for companies like Uber and Lyft as a great way to earn a living or make extra cash because they can set their own hours, be their own bosses, and meet new people," said Jim Reeves, Mercury's research and development group manager. "Many of them are unknowingly putting themselves and other drivers at risk, however, because they don't have adequate insurance coverage in the event they get into an accident when their app is on, but they haven't accepted a ride.”
The ride-hailing drive cycle is divided into three periods:
• Period 1: Drivers have turned on the ride-hailing app but haven't accepted a fare.
• Period 2: Drivers have accepted a fare and are on their way to pick up the passenger(s).
• Period 3: Drivers are transporting passenger(s) to their destinations.
Mercury's ride-hailing insurance will extend drivers' personal auto policies from Period 1 through Period 3 of the drive cycle, allowing them to obtain coverage not provided by their ride-hailing companies, according to the company.
This means that if drivers get into an accident during any period of the drive cycle and have Mercury's ride-hailing insurance, they will have coverage beyond the coverage provided by their TNC. Mercury's ride-hailing insurance will also fix the insured's vehicle in a covered loss if those coverages have been purchased from Mercury, according to the company.
"Mercury wants to ensure these individuals are able to earn an honest living without having to worry about paying costly repair or medical bills out-of-pocket — and we'll be able to offer this peace of mind for as little as 60 cents a day," said Reeves.