Auto insurance limit increase sought in NJ for Lyft and Uber

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Rideshare companies and their coverage limits were the focus of a bill that has been discussed in New Jersey.

Lawmakers in New Jersey have been discussing an auto insurance bill, this week, that has been focused on increasing the coverage limits that will be required of ridesharing services in the state, such as Lyft and Uber.

At the start of the week, a spokesperson from Uber said that its reps would be present in order to testify.

Those Uber representatives spoke before the New Jersey Senate Transportation Committee. The bill being discussed would require the companies offering ride sharing services in the state to have to provide auto insurance liability coverage worth $1.5 million, in case that an accident should occur in which a rideshare driver was involved. At the moment, Lyft and Uber each carry $1 million in liability coverage through their policies.

The bill also reaches beyond auto insurance and will require criminal background checks for drivers.

auto insuranceAside from criminal background checks, motorists in the services will also need to have their driving history checked on top of drug tests. Both of the largest rideshare companies in New Jersey have stated that they already conduct driver history checks, as well as criminal checks.

New Jersey isn’t the only state that is currently in the midst of working to implement regulation over the rideshare industry. Others that have already been progressing in that direction include California, Illinois, Washington D.C., and Colorado. New York City and a number of other municipalities have also been headed along that same path.

According to Matt Wing, a spokesperson from Uber, who released a statement at the beginning of this week, “There are already 22 different jurisdictions that have established permanent ride-sharing regulations.” Wing also went on to explain that “We are continuing to work productively with state legislatures to advance bills that give riders better transportation choices and drivers greater economic opportunity.”

The increases that are being proposed for the minimum auto insurance limits for ride share drivers have been facing considerable controversy. That said, some drivers with Uber have spoken to the media in favor of the increased coverage that they would be able to enjoy while they are on the roads, as the company already takes 20 percent off the top of the fares that they collect, part of which is used to make certain that the drivers have the necessary protection.

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