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California OKs insurance plans made specifically for Lyft


According to California law, the rules governing legal liability for ride-sharing services can get pretty tricky, depending on whether the passenger is waiting to be picked up, is getting into the cab or is currently en route to their destination. What's more, the law doesn't currently really specify which insurance -- either the company's or the driver's -- is to be used, only that a driver must be "fully insured" at all times. But thanks to a recent ruling by California's insurance commissioner, Lyft drivers themselves (and their Ubering counterparts) will now be covered from the time their patrons request a pickup through dropoff.

Lyft already carries a million dollar policy covering from when the driver accepts a fare until he drops them off. The company also carries a supplemental $100,000 policy covering the whenever the driver has the app on but hasn't accepted a fare (and really only takes effect when the driver's personal insurance doesn't cover the liability). This new insurance policy, underwritten by MetLife Auto & Home, will kick in during the time that the passenger is physically in the vehicle.

"As demand for ridesharing services increases, making sure ridesharing drivers are able to obtain insurance to protect themselves, their passengers and pedestrians has been a top priority," California's Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. This is the first time that an insurer has offered drivers coverage while passengers are in the car, a policy that had previously only been available to the companies themselves.

[Image Credit: Getty]

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