Published April 8, 2015|8 min read
Updated October 3, 2017
Uber is no stranger to controversy, especially controversy over how they treat their drivers. At the heart of these controversies is this central question: How much is Uber or Lyft – or any rideshare company – responsible for?
In the case of car insurance for Uber drivers and Lyft drivers, that question still lingers. Back in the day, there was some question over when, exactly Uber and Lyft insurance covered rideshare drivers. When the driver wasn't working, he or she obviously had personal car insurance, and when there was a passenger in the car, the rideshare company's insurance kicked in. But when a driver was working but didn't have a passenger, coverage was limited. Car insurance companies also frowned upon drivers working commercially and in some cases, personal auto insurance policies were actually canceled once insurance companies found out that the driver worked for Uber or Lyft.
Luckily, Uber and Lyft have beefed up their insurance options, and rideshare insurance has evolved to meet the modern working world.
Here's what you need to know about insurance for Uber drivers and Lyft drivers offered by the companies, and rideshare insurance options from leading car insurance companies.
Rideshare trips are divided into three periods, depending on where the driver is in the process: The driver has not made a match with a passenger, the driver has made a match and is going to pick up the passenger, and the passenger is in the vehicle.
The insurance coverage provided by Uber and Lyft depends on the period.
So if Uber and Lyft offer insurance, why should drivers buy a rideshare insurance policy? Because the coverage offered above may not be enough, or it might be more economical to have your own policy (for example, a rideshare policy may have a lower deductible than what Uber and Lyft provide).
To see available rideshare insurance plans, see the chart below or choose your state from the dropdown!
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WYCost: Estimated to be 3x a regular personal policyGeico rideshare insurance is pretty straightforward. Their rideshare insurance product is offered by Geico Commercial, but it’s much cheaper than Geico’s other commercial auto insurance policies - typically around three times the cost of a regular personal auto insurance policy.
Drivers need more than just rideshare insurance. Find out what you're missing.
Available for: All rideshare drivers who have served in the military, or are a spouse or child of someone who is a USAA memberAvailable in: AL, AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ND, NE, NV, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, WA, WY Cost: Starts at $6/month on top of your regular auto insurance billUSAA’s rideshare insurance policy is actually an add-on endorsement to your existing policy. Unlike some other policies on this list, USAA’s rideshare endorsement only covers the "gap" between your personal policy and Uber or Lyft’s insurance, which is one reason why it’s less expensive than other policies. USAA makes it easy to purchase this endorsement – instead of buying a whole new policy, you can add the endorsement to your existing policy for as little as $6 per month. This makes getting rideshare insurance an easy and cheap process for existing USAA members.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, MD, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WICost: Adds an additional 25% to the cost of your personal policy, on averageFarmers rideshare insurance product is an extension of your existing personal auto insurance policy, covering you while you’re driving your car for personal use and while the app is open and you’re waiting for a passenger. It won’t cover you when the rideshare company’s coverage is in effect. According to a statement released in 2015, the cost of Farmers’ rideshare insurance policy is about 1.25x the cost of a personal policy, on average.
Also note that in Florida, Farmers offers rideshare insurance under the Foremost brand.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AZ, CA, CO, DC, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, KS, MD, ME, MI, NV, OH, OK, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, WICost: An additional $15 – $30 per yearAllstate’s rideshare insurance policy, Allstate Ride For Hire, is available for an affordable $15 - $30 per year on top of your personal policy (their website says $15 - 20, but a customer service representative told me that it can get as expensive as $30 for some drivers). Allstate Ride For Hire covers you while you’re looking for a passenger, and can help provide additional coverage if you get into an accident while you have a passenger in the car.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MS, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WVCost: No information providedDetails of State Farm’s rideshare insurance coverage is sparse, but they do state in a press release that their product is an extended personal auto policy, not a modified commercial policy, which should make it relatively affordable.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AZ, CO, GA, IL, IN, KS, MN, MO, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WICost: Less than $10 per month for most driversLike other companies on this list, SafeCo is offering a modified personal auto insurance policy that covers you while you’re waiting for a passenger. SafeCo claims that, if you choose their rideshare insurance policy, "you’ll likely pay less than $10 per month."
Available for: Uber and Lyft driversAvailable in: AZ, CA, GA, IL, NV, OK, TX Cost: Starts at $0.20 per day, or $73 per yearIf you have a personal auto insurance policy through Mercury, you can purchase additional rideshare insurance from them for "as little as $0.20 a day!", according to their website. That works out to about $73 per year extra, at minimum.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: AZ, CO, GA, ID, IA, IN, KS, MO, ND, NE, OH, OR, SD, UT, WI Cost: Starting at $10 a monthAmerican Family Insurance provides standard rideshare insurance for those times when drivers are on Uber and Lyft waiting for a fare.
Available for: all rideshare driversAvailable in: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IO, KS, KT, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY Cost: No information providedMetLife Auto & Home's Lyft endorsement will provide coverage for Lyft drivers at every stage of the trip. Premiums will be based on how many miles you drive with Lyft.
Available for: all rideshare driversAvailable in: DC, IL, IN, MD, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WICost: No information providedUnlike other rideshare insurance products, Erie’s rideshare insurance is not a commercial policy. Instead, Erie has lifted the exclusion on ridesharing from their "business use" designation. According to Cody Cook, Vice President of Auto Insurance at Erie, business use "traditionally has covered people who use their personal cars for things like delivering pizza or flowers, but has historically excluded... people who use their cars as taxis." Erie’s new insurance products lifts that exclusion.
Available for: All rideshare driversAvailable in: CO, ILCost: No information providedVery little information is available on Travelers’ rideshare insurance policy – it’s given about one paragraph on a page titled "Optional coverages." However, it is apparent that their rideshare insurance coverage is a modified personal policy, intended to cover you while you are searching for a passenger. No information on additional cost is provided.
Available for: Lyft driversAvailable in: TXCost: No information providedProgressive currently has an insurance offering for rideshare drivers in Texas. Like many other companies, Progressive’s rideshare insurance is a personal policy with a ridesharing endorsement. Unfortunately, no word on how much more it costs – like all Progressive policies, you’ll need to get a quote directly from an agent.
Note: Progressive previously offered a pilot program for Lyft drivers in Pennsylvania, but that program has since ended.
Liberty Mutual auto insurance is an interesting rideshare option...in that it doesn't exist. Liberty Mutual doesn't offer rideshare insurance, but they also won't cancel personal policies for commercial drivers, something that was common in the early days of ridesharing. So, for better or for worse, Liberty Mutual will leave rideshare drivers alone.
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Photo: Alfredo Mendez
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