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.
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.
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 …
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:
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.
Monthly cost of rideshare insurance
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:
* - 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.