Local Expert Warns Austin Rideshare Users & Drivers About Insurance Coverage
AUSTIN-With the recent departure of Uber and Lyft from the Austin area, and the start-up of other Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), it’s important both drivers and passengers understand there must be certain insurance requirements in place according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
Many drivers may not realize their personal auto insurance policies are not intended for commercial activities, leaving a coverage gap. Personal policies contain a specific “livery” exclusion which bars coverage if the car is used to transport passengers for a fee. This creates an insurance gap that can leave both you, and the driver, at a major financial risk if an accident were to occur.
Safety is our number one concern, which is why we encourage TNC drivers to contact their agent or insurance company to make sure they have the right amount of coverage before picking up a passenger,” said Joe Woods, PCI's vice president of state government relations. “We would also encourage rideshare users to ask questions of the driver, and even check with their own insurance company to make sure they have coverage if the unthinkable happens while in route.”
HB 1733 was signed into law last year, and requires all TNC drivers to have proper insurance coverage from the time the app is turned on until it's turned off, thereby protecting themselves, their passengers and the public.
Transportation Network Company Commercial ride-share drivers and their passengers need to know that their personal auto insurance policy will not cover them if they are injured or the vehicle is damaged in an accident. “This could leave them liable if something were to happen. Even if TNCs have insurance, drivers and passengers must have clarity regarding how and when it will be triggered if an incident were to occur,” added Woods.
Joe Woods is located in our Austin office, and is available for additional comments or media interviews.