Uber launched its new app called UberEATS in South Florida today. It opens the market for Uber drivers to deliver food from over 100 participating restaurants in the eastern corridor of South Florida from Brickell to Hollywood. Participating eating establishments include The Salty Donut, SoCalTaco, Salsa Fiesta, The Rice House of Kabob, Morgan’s Restaurant DIRT, Jar + Fork, Ms. Cheezious, Sushi Maki, the Daily Creative, Sliders, Roasters N Toasters and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. Miami is the 19th city in the United States to launch UberEATS.
Miami Uber accident injury lawyers know that this means more Uber drivers on the road in Miami and Broward County. As miles and hours increase, so does the possibility of car accidents. The question is whether Uber will provide insurance coverage for its drivers and if so, when will that coverage apply. Presently, Uber is supposed to provide its drivers and passengers with insurance coverage of 1 million dollars. This insurance coverage is supposed to apply when the driver is engaged in the pick-up and delivery of passengers. But many questions remain for Uber car accident injury lawyers.
We expect there to be issues that will be litigated in the courts over the coming years. These questions will involve exclusions, coverage and limitations of liability. It is generally expected that Uber’s insurance coverage will apply when the driver accepts a ride request through the delivery of that passenger. But will there be coverage when the Uber driver has his app on and is available to accept rides but has no customers at that moment. What happens when a driver refuses a ride request and is involved in an accident? Will Uber’s 1 million dollar insurance cover that Uber driver?
Many Uber drivers will drive with two apps running at the same time. Most commonly a driver will have Lyft and Uber apps open on the phone as they wait for ride requests. If a request comes on the Uber app, the driver will accept it and immediately switch off the Lyft app or vice versa. But what happens if both apps are running during a ride? Will Uber and Lyft share the insurance coverage or try to exclude themselves?
Then you have the issue of exactly what is covered by Uber’s million dollar policy of insurance. There is no indication that the Uber policy will cover medical expenses and lost wages normally covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Med Pay coverage. Most driver’s personal auto insurance policies will deny coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers under a business exclusion. Basically, an insurance company quotes a premium to a customer based on a variety of risks. One of those risks is whether a vehicle will be used for business as opposed to personal use. If someone uses their car to make money, then the insurance company would most likely insist that the insured purchase a more expensive commercial policy. Most Uber drivers are trying to make money not spend more for insurance. Therefore, in our opinion, it is safe to assume that the personal auto insurance policy of your Uber driver will not be available to anyone in the event of an Uber car accident.
Questions may also arise in what role an Uber customer’s own personal automobile insurance policy may play following an accident. Insurance companies like to say that they will pay what they owe, but not a penny more. They employ smart people and aggressive insurance defense attorneys to protect the bottom line. As UberEATS launches there will be an increased chance of you or a loved ones being involved in a Lyft or Uber car crash. Car accidents cost money and that is why we expect these Uber insurance questions to be debated and litigated in the years to come.
Our Miami Uber personal injury attorneys at Wolfson & Leon in Miami represent drivers and passengers injured in car accidents involving Uber and Lyft. We also represent other people injured by negligent Uber drivers. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage as an Uber driver or passenger, please call us for your free consultation today at (305) 285-1115.