Uber and other ride share apps are becoming increasingly more popular in cities across the country. Requesting an Uber ride is not only convenient, but often times cheaper than traditional cab service. And some argue that it is safer.
So, what happens when you are injured in an Uber accident? The answer: it depends.
Scenario 1: The Uber driver is using his vehicle for personal use and is not available to pick up passengers. Under this scenario, if the driver is involved in an accident he is covered only by his personal insurance. Consequently, the driver’s insurance policy and state law will dictate the liability limits and coverage. In Illinois, the minimum state requirement is only $25,000.00
Scenario 2: The Uber driver is available for passenger pickup but does not have a passenger. If this is the case, the driver is covered by his personal auto insurance. However, Uber provides additional supplemental liability coverage of $50,000 per injury (up to 100,000) and up to $25,000 in property damage. This supplemental insurance is only available if requested and only if the driver’s insurance is exhausted.
Scenario 3: The Uber driver is involved in an accident carrying a passenger. Under this scenario, the driver and passenger are covered under Uber’s 1 million dollar insurance policy. Additionally, Uber provides 1 million dollars of uninsured/underinsured coverage.
If you are a passenger, you are covered by Uber’s 1 million dollar policy regardless who is at fault. However, if your accident was a result of a careless Uber driver, Uber may deny your claim. Uber takes the position that they are not responsible for Uber drivers because they are not employees but independent contractors. Consequently, you may have difficulty claiming damages as a result of a careless Uber driver.
If you are an Uber driver, and you were not carrying a passenger, then you are covered only by your personal auto insurance. However, your personal insurance may deny your claim because you were driving for pay – a common exclusion in personal auto insurance. Likewise, Uber may decline your claim because you are not an employee but an independent contractor.