According to the CPUC, Lyft, Sidecar & Uber (TNC'S) currently carry $1,000,000 (one million dollars) commercial excess liability insurance policies providing per-incident coverage for incidents involving vehicles and drivers in transit or during a TNC trip.
What does this mean?
What it was supposed to mean was that the excess liability policy kicked in from the moment a TNC driver had a accepted an electronic hail until the moment they dropped their passenger or passengers off at a destination. It was assumed that the driver's personal insurance would cover the vehicle and the driver before and after the trip.
But how does it really work? I received these e–mails as a comments to my blog:
"I was was in an accident as a Lyft driver while on the clock. This is how it works. My insurance agency was informed by the other party (a taxi, ironically enough) that I was driving for Lyft. They denied all coverage - including Liability. I am now responsible for my car. Lyft is currently handling the liability (the repair of the other car). So, basically, don;t count on your personal insurance. They won't cover you. I haven't driven since."
"I was signing up to be a driver. I had my car checked and everything. For the heck of it I did some additional research which then led me to think to check with my insurance. I have State Farm and they said that my coverage wouldn't cover any incidents that occurred when I was working as a Lyft driver. They also don't offer any type of insurance to cover me in this situation. I told my contact at Lyft that I won't be covered by my insurance and that it is too risky for me. He simply said, "Okay". Needless to say, I decided not to be a driver with Lyft."
- Personal insurance polices do not cover the vehicles while they are working as TNC's, meaning the cars are not covered for collision and the drivers are not covered for medical.
- The ten insurance companies I talked to would not insure vehicles for personal insurance if they drive for Lyft et al.
- This mean that the thousands of Lyft, Sidecar and Uberx vehicles on the road are basically not insured at all.
- Or, the customers are insured while they are riding but the driver is not.
This the is the situation as it exists now. The CPUC's "Proposed Decision" is exactly that. It is "proposed." It is not law.
In its Proposed Decision, the CPUC attempted to correct some of above problems. But did they?