A huge multiline insurer group is offering insurance coverage to Uber and Lyft drivers and other share ride service company drivers.
The insurers recently announced the introduction a new Rideshare Insurance Coverage program available to “ride-hailing” drivers from companies like Uber and Lyft in Missouri.
“As a leading provider of automobile insurance in the U.S. and a market leader in the ride-hailing insurance market, Farmers has developed this innovative Rideshare Insurance Coverage to offer Missouri ride-hail drivers coverage options as part of their Farmers personal auto insurance policies. We recognize that consumer needs are continuing to evolve and our ability to provide this important coverage to customers is a further demonstration of our commitment to meeting changing consumer demands,” says Mariel Devesa, head of product innovation for Farmers Insurance.
The program was introduced in Missouri on the heels of state legislation which went into effect on April 1. The launch in Missouri marks the 29th state where the company now provides drivers such protection.
The business of sharing a car as a way to make money is now a multi-billion dollar marketplace as TNCs offer a new-age way to earn a buck. Between 2012 and 2015, more than 10 million people made money via Uber, Lyft and TaskRabbit. While this “sharing economy” treats drivers as independent contractors, they’ll still be required to pay federal and state income taxes – as well as self-employment tax.
Uber Technologies now operates in 58 countries around the world after just five years in existence. The company says the number of new drivers doubles every six months, and the company recently passed the $50 billion in funding, but popularity and cash don’t tell the entire story. Uber has managed to outrage established taxi companies, and on occasion, their drivers.
While the company says the average hourly rate their “UberX” rated drivers is $7 higher than that of other taxi drivers and chauffeurs, some drivers dispute those numbers. Uber dropped pay rates for drivers – by up to 30 percent – in 16 cities last year. Drivers were not amused.
“It was really good pay when I first started,” says ‘Rand,’ a driver who first began driving for Uber in 2013. “It’s about the people now, not the money.”
The Rideshare Insurance Coverage program provides customers coverage when a driver turns on the ride-hailing application – and during the time the driver waits for a fare. The coverage extends a driver’s Farmers auto insurance coverage up until the moment they accept a ride. After that, the driver’s commercial insurance coverage applies.
The Farmers Rideshare Insurance Coverage program lets a driver select the coverages they’d like. Those options include comprehensive and collision coverage that can pay for damages to their own vehicle, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (in case they are hit by a driver who isn’t insured or is underinsured) and Medical Payments coverage.