Surge pricing and conflict over its presence (in some cities) aren't the only issues facing Uber and other ridesharing services these days. Unanswered questions abound about who pays when an UberX driver gets into an accident. Rather than wait for insurance companies to figure things out -- and continue leaving its drivers and customers in a potential coverage no man's land -- Uber's extending its insurance policy to offer contingent coverage when a driver has the Uber app on, but isn't on a trip. Prior to this change, drivers' personal policies were the only insurance available, and it's unclear whether personal insurance will always apply in such instances. So, that's why Uber's now offering coverage up to $100,000 for bodily injuries (at a max $50,000 per person) and up to $25,000 for property damage if an accident happens and the driver's personal policy won't pay out.
The coverage the company's offering is certainly better than nothing, but it's far from the $1 million policy that kicks in when drivers are actually on a trip, and provides a lot less than most personal policies, too. That said, it's also important to mention that the move is really a stopgap measure. According to Uber, it wants to help out drivers "while the insurance industry and state governments update policies and regulations for the new world of ridesharing transportation." Makes sense to us, but might we recommend joining the Peer-to-Peer Rideshare Insurance Coalition to help them along?
Update: Uber contacted us to let us know that they are already a part of the coalition -- glad they took our advice before we gave it. Oh, and so did Uber competitor Lyft, which contacted us to say that it'll "provide backstop coverage to drivers when they are in match mode and are not providing rides. We will be rolling this out state-by-state in the days to come."