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What is rideshare insurance?

Drivers for Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and other app-based companies need special rideshare insurance to be fully covered while they’re on the job.

Rachael Brennan headshotAndrew Hurst

By

Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

&Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Updated|5 min read

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If you’re a rideshare driver for a service like Uber or Lyft, you need more than just your regular car insurance and the insurance that you get through the rideshare app to be covered while you work.

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Most car insurance companies offer special rideshare insurance as an add-on (or endorsement) that you can add to your policy, usually for less than $50 per month. Since most large companies offer rideshare insurance, you can always compare quotes to find cheaper rates if adding coverage for ridesharing to your current policy is too expensive.

Key Takeaways

  • Drivers who work for Uber, Lyft, and other similar companies need rideshare insurance for when they’re on the clock.

  • Regular auto insurance and the basic coverage that’s offered by Uber and Lyft don’t aren’t enough on their own.

  • Adding rideshare coverage to your policy can cost as little as $5 extra per month, though it’s more likely to be around $30 per month.

  • If you have a rideshare gig without telling your insurance company about it, you could lose your coverage after an accident.

What is rideshare insurance?

Rideshare insurance is a special type of car insurance coverage that you add to your regular policy to protect you while you’re working for Uber, Lyft, or any similar company. Despite its name, rideshare insurance can also cover food delivery drivers.

Rideshare drivers do get some coverage through the company they’re driving for (sometimes called Transportation Network Coverage or TNC), but it’s generally limited coverage, and it may only cover you when you actually have a passenger.

Because of the limited coverage offered by rideshare companies, you still need to add rideshare insurance to your regular car insurance policy to make sure you’re sufficiently covered during the time that your ridesharing app is active but you haven’t picked up a passenger yet.

Here’s how your insurance coverage breaks down when you’re driving for Uber, Lyft, or another ridesharing company:

When the app is …

You’re covered by …

Off

Your regular car insurance policy

On but you don’t have a passenger

Your rideshare insurance

On and you do have a passenger

Your coverage through Uber or Lyft

Who needs rideshare insurance?

Anyone who drives for a rideshare service probably needs rideshare insurance — and should definitely alert their car insurance company.

Car insurance policies have strict limits about what type of business-related driving you can do and still be covered, so if you drive for an app and don’t tell your car insurance company, you may not be covered in case of an accident. 

Plan on adding rideshare insurance to your policy if you drive for any of the following companies:

  • Uber

  • UberEats

  • Lyft

  • Via

  • Caviar

  • Instacart

  • Amazon Fresh

  • Seamless

  • Grubhub

  • Doordash

Is rideshare insurance the same as commercial auto insurance?

No — commercial auto insurance and rideshare insurance aren’t the same thing. Even though both policies would cover you while you use your car for business, rideshare insurance is different from (and cheaper than) a commercial car insurance policy

Commercial auto insurance provides the same type of coverage as a regular policy, but it’s a primary form of car insurance meant for people who use their car for work beyond just commuting or errands. 

A rideshare insurance endorsement simply extends the car insurance coverage you already have to make sure you’re still covered even when you’re working as a rideshare driver.

Rideshare and commercial insurance in New York City

If you want to drive for a service like Uber or Lyft in New York city, you need to get commercial car insurance instead of a rideshare endorsement. You also have to get licensed by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission and you’ll need special TLC plates for your car.

Because of these requirements, working for a ridesharing company is more expensive in the Big Apple.You could pay as much as $1,425 in fees related to the licensing process alone, not even counting the cost of a commercial car insurance policy.

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How does rideshare insurance from Uber and Lyft work?

The insurance that you get through Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare company isn’t the same as rideshare insurance. 

It’s just basic coverage, and you’re only protected while you have a passenger (both Uber and Lyft offer limited coverage for the time when you’re waiting for a ride, but it’s not enough to be fully protected). 

Here’s an explanation of the coverage you get from Uber or Lyft:

Your app is . . .

Uber

Lyft

Off

None

None

On, but you don’t have a passenger

$75,000 in bodily injury per person, $150,000 in bodily injury per accident, $25,000 in property damage per accident

$50,000 in bodily injury per person, $100,000 in bodily injury per accident, $25,000 in property damage per accident

On and you have a passenger

$1,250,000 liability coverage, $1,250,000 un/underinsured motorist coverage, $50,000 PIP per person, Comp/coll if your personal policy includes it ($2,500 deductible)

$1,000,000 in liability coverage; Un/underinsured motorist coverage, PIP, MedPay; Comp/coll if your personal policy includes it ($2,500 deductible)

Even with the insurance you get through Uber and Lyft, your car wouldn’t be covered (if you were the at-fault driver) during the time that you were waiting for a fare. Having rideshare insurance can also help to bring down the cost of your deductible if you’re in a crash while you have a passenger.

With rideshare insurance, you may only be responsible for paying the difference between your Uber or Lyft insurance’s deductible (in the above example it was $2,500) and the deductible on your personal policy.

Keep in mind that not every ridesharing or delivery company offers the same types of coverage. For example, Doordash provides no coverage during the time that your app is on and you're waiting for a pickup.

Rideshare policies through Lyft's partners

In some states, Lyft drivers can purchase special rideshare insurance policies through companies that Lyft partners with, like GEICO, Buckle, and Mobilitas. These would cover you both when you’re driving for personal use and when you’re driving for the app.

How much is rideshare insurance?

Rideshare insurance is cheaper than commercial car insurance — though cost depends on the company. 

But ridesharing insurance is generally cheaper because it’s usually an add-on that extends the coverage you already have, not a standalone policy.

We checked how much rideshare insurance is from some of the largest car insurance companies to give you a sense of what it costs, and found that the cost to add rideshare insurance to a full-coverage policy was as low as $5 and as high as $46 per month.

Company

Monthly cost of rideshare insurance

Allstate

$5

Progressive

$26

Travelers

$27

Liberty Mutual

$33

State Farm

$46

Rates for rideshare endorsement from the largest companies for a 30-year-old driver in Denver, Colorado.

How to get rideshare insurance

You can get rideshare insurance as an add-on to your policy from most of the top insurance companies. But at some companies, like GEICO, rideshare insurance is offered as a standalone, “hybrid” product rather than an endorsement. 

If you’re interested in rideshare insurance, reach out to your car insurance company and find out whether you have to get a separate rideshare policy or whether you can add rideshare insurance coverage to your existing policy.

Many of the largest companies in the country offer rideshare insurance, either as an endorsement or a special type of policy, including:

  • State Farm

  • GEICO*

  • Progressive

  • Allstate

  • USAA

  • Farmers

  • Nationwide

  • American Family

  • Travelers

  • AAA†

  • Erie

  • Mercury Insurance

  • MAPFRE

* - Rideshare insurance offered as a separate policy, not an add-on

† - Rideshare insurance offered at some regional clubs

Companies sometimes update their coverages, so check with your carrier for rideshare insurance if you don’t see them listed here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is rideshare insurance required?

You don’t necessarily have to get rideshare insurance, but if you don’t have rideshare coverage, you won’t be covered by your existing auto policy while you’re waiting for a fare. And you must inform your insurance company if you’re working as a rideshare driver.

Is rideshare insurance a type of commercial insurance?

Rideshare insurance can be a type of commercial coverage since it covers your car while you use it for business purposes. But most of the time rideshare insurance is sold as an add-on to a regular policy, not as a separate commercial policy.

What happens if I can’t find rideshare insurance?

Rideshare insurance isn’t available everywhere. If you can’t get rideshare insurance, you can get commercial insurance. A commercial insurance policy will be more expensive than a rideshare endorsement, though.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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