Companies offering these programs such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar claim that their policies don’t have gaps.
According to a California insurance industry regulator, there could be some coverage issues faced by participants in the state’s ride sharing programs if they should ever find themselves in the tragic circumstance of a deadly accident.
There have been gaps pointed out in the policies of these high tech carpooling systems.
At the same time, Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, and other companies that are offering this type of environmentally friendly, affordable program continue to insist that the California insurance policies that they provide their drivers is adequate to cover an accident, should one happen. That said, a recent misfortune has revealed that there is some hazy legal ground when it comes to the way these programs operate.
The heartbreaking California insurance story occurred on New Year’s Eve when a child was struck and killed.
The six year old girl was crossing the street with her family in San Francisco when she was hit by a driver in the Uber program, and she was killed. At the time, there were no passengers in the car, so it isn’t clear whether or not Uber is actually considered to be liable. The initial accounts of the story showed that the company was attempting to step away and distance itself from the accident, claiming that because the driver did not have an Uber passenger in the car when he hit Sofia Liu and two other members of her family, then Uber’s policy did not apply.
That said, the family has now sued Uber despite the company’s claim, with a lawsuit for wrongful death and negligence. This case was filed with the San Francisco Superior Court. According to the filing, Syed Muzzafar, the driver, was logged onto the network at Uber when he struck the Liu family members, injuring the mother and her son, and killing her daughter. At the time that this insurance news article was written, Uber had yet to release a statement regarding this lawsuit.
The California insurance industry is now cautioning drivers in these ride sharing programs to pay close attention to the coverage that they have and to ask questions to make sure that they know when they are and are not protected by the company’s policy.