The pandemic has forced everyone to restructure their lives in some way. If you have decided to pick up some extra cash by becoming a driver for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service in Colorado, there are insurance coverage issues you must understand.
Colorado Rideshare Drivers and Liability
Colorado’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act (C.R.S. § 42-7-101 et. seq.) requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum liability insurance policy of $25,000 to any one person in a single accident, $50,000 to all persons in a single accident, and $15,000 in property damage costs arising from any one accident. Rideshare drivers are not exempt from this mandate. If you are a rideshare driver, you must still carry a personal auto insurance policy.
However, since 2014 Colorado has enacted legislation to regulate the operation of rideshare companies, designated “Transportation Network Companies” (TNCs) by the legislature, in an attempt make sure all drivers are adequately insured while they are on the clock. The guiding statute, C.R.S. § 40-10.1-604, titled “Registration – Financial responsibility of Transportation Network Companies—Insurance” recognizes three different categories of insurance responsibilities for TNCs and their drivers: offline, in-app, and in-ride.
- Offline: The driver is not logged into the application. Therefore, they are not “at-work” and the TNC has no obligation to provide insurance coverage. If a rideshare driver is involved in an accident while offline, only their personal insurance policy applies.
- In App: The driver is logged into the TNC application but has not yet accepted a passenger. During this period of time either the driver, or the TNC on behalf of the driver, must provide an insurance policy which specifically acknowledges that the driver is a TNC driver. The policy must have coverage limits of $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $30,000 for property damage, which is double Colorado’s minimum requirement.
- In Ride: The driver is actually transporting a passenger. During this time, the TNC or driver must provide liability coverage of $1,000,000 per occurrence.
TNCs may advertise that they provide $1,000,000 in coverage, but drivers must understand that this coverage may only apply when they are actively transporting a passenger. The TNC’s $1,000,000 policy does not necessarily apply when a driver is merely in-app and waiting. TNC drivers must ensure that their personal policy or TNC policy applies to “in-app” time. Otherwise, in the event of an accident, they may find themselves facing exclusions from their personal policy and no coverage from the TNC. In other words, the dreaded in-app-gap. For those brief moments of in-app time, a rideshare driver is essentially uninsured.
Rideshare Drivers Need Insurance
To bridge the gap, call your insurer and inquire about purchasing an insurance rider for rideshare drivers. If your insurer does not provide this coverage, find another insurer who does. Many Colorado insurers now offer affordable rideshare insurance. Please note: if you drive for Uber Eats or another food delivery service, make sure your auto policy covers you while you are delivering food, too.
Don’t spend your in-app time on edge, hoping you won’t get in a crash during the uninsured part of your day. With a phone call or two, you can eliminate this stress and focus on the road, your passengers, and delivering another great ride.
Article by Molly Fuscher
If you need a Denver Rideshare Accident Attorney, contact Shafner Law for a free consultation.