Drivers participating in the program can now do so with greater confidence with better coverage.
The popular Uber ridesharing program has now broadened the auto insurance coverage that it is offering its drivers, in order to help to ease the concerns of American lawmakers and regulators, and to help to ensure that these services will be used on a broader scale.
This type of ridesharing program allows the use a smartphone app to find a ride.
The drivers in these ridesharing programs aren’t usually professionals, but are typically regular licensed drivers in their own cars, as opposed to taxicabs or commercial vehicles. Until now, the auto insurance coverage provided through the companies would become active only once the driver has accepted the drive request and is either on his or her way to pick up the passenger, or when the passenger is actually being transported somewhere.
This created an auto insurance gap for those drivers while they were between ridesharing rides.
This ridesharing insurance gap was starting to become problematic in certain specific situations when an accident would occur, as insurers were refusing to pay and drivers were finding themselves either going to court or having to pay for damages out of pocket – or both.
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The new policy at Uber has now been designed to help to make its drivers feel more confident and to boost the comfort level of lawmakers and regulators with this idea of public transportation. The reason that the opinion of regulators and lawmakers are especially important at the moment is that the actual rules and laws to be applied to ridesharing companies are being developed right now. This, according to Travis Kalanick, the chief exec at Uber. Kalanick explained it as follows: “That allows them to be thoughtful as they work through the legislative options.”
A couple of Uber’s main competitors, Lyft and Sidecar, have also announced that they are preparing to offer the same additional auto insurance protection to its drivers so that they will not face the ridesharing coverage gap and will have protection when they are between passengers. This issue has been growing since an accident occurred on New Year’s Eve that drew a spotlight on the coverage problem.