With the dust settling after the passage of California’s Proposition 22, Uber and Lyft drivers can still enjoy the benefits that come with working in a “gig economy.” Conversely, their passengers will not see a radical change in these rideshare companies’ services throughout the state.
Another aspect of the popular and highly convenient form of travel that has not changed is the insurance requirements that California law mandates for prominent transportation network companies (TNCs).
Rideshare Accidents and Insurance Coverage
As with any type of motor vehicle transportation, accidents can happen, particularly when drivers are paid based on the number of fares they can secure. Not being salaried employees, the more riders that they transport from place to place, the more money they make. That can result in more risky driving habits and shortcuts that put passengers at risk of serious injuries.
California rideshare users can rest assured that Uber and Lyft drivers meet the state’s insurance requirement, whether it is provided by the company that contracts them or the operators’ personal policies. Once the driver’s rideshare app is activated, the company insurance provides coverage. Should the app be switched off or “pairing” of the driver and passenger has not occurred, the operator’s personal policy covers any accidents provided that it also meets minimum mandates.
To ensure additional safety measures, Uber and Lyft have specific, statewide vehicle mandates that include:
- Mandated registration in the state and insured by a California-issued policy
- Passing an annual inspection from a licensed mechanic
- Vehicles must have at least four doors
- No salvage or rebuilt cars
- Working windows and air conditioning
- Excessive window tinting or displayed ads could lead to a rejected vehicle
With the convenience of travel should come the security of safe driving. Not all TNC drivers will adhere to the rules of the road. However, passengers injured by reckless operation have options to secure the compensation they deserve following an accident.