Have you been involved in an accident with Uber either as a passenger, another motorist, or a road user? If so, you may wonder whether Uber will cover the accident and what kind of coverage Uber may pay out. Below, our Los Angeles Uber accident lawyers discuss what you need to know about whether Uber covers car accidents.
Does Uber Compensate for Accidents?
If you have been involved in an accident with Uber, you may wonder, “Does Uber compensate for accidents?” The answer is it depends.
Uber drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. Because of this, Uber does not have to provide drivers with workers’ compensation, employee benefits, and is sometimes able to deny liability for its drivers’ actions. Even so, California state law requires Uber to have auto insurance that helps pay for damages from accidents involving Uber drivers.
However, whether Uber may compensate for damages depends on the circumstances of the car accident. Examples of these circumstances include:
- Whether the driver was online in the app during the accident
- The driver’s trip status at the time of the accident
- Whether the driver was at fault for the accident
Generally, if the driver was working for Uber during the accident, whether waiting for a ride request or transporting a passenger, Uber’s insurance should apply as primary or secondary coverage.
Are you unsure whether you have a viable claim against Uber? We recommend discussing your situation with an experienced Uber accident lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Steers & Associates, we represent individuals in Uber accident claims in Los Angeles and Southern California. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal options for pursuing compensation for your damages.
Does Uber Have a $1 Million Insurance Policy for Accidents?
Uber maintains a $1 million commercial policy for covered Uber accidents. It provides up to $1 million in third-party liability insurance, protecting passengers and other third parties if its driver causes an accident.
However, whether the coverage applies depends on the circumstances of the accident. The $1 million coverage activates when a driver accepts a ride request until the driver drops the passenger off. However, the driver must also be responsible for the resulting damages in order for the coverage to apply.
Our Los Angeles Uber accident attorneys discuss what to know about Uber’s insurance coverage below.
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Uber’s Insurance Coverage
Uber’s coverage varies depending on the driver’s status within the app:
When the Driver Is Offline
If the Uber driver is not logged into the app, essentially, they are driving as a private individual. Their activities during this time are not associated with Uber in any capacity. In the event of a car accident, Uber insurance is not applicable.
The driver’s personal insurance policy would apply to any accidents. An accident victim would need to file a claim against the driver’s insurance. Under California state law, the minimum liability coverage required for passenger vehicles includes:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death to one person
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death to more than one person
- $5,000 for property damage
When the Driver Is Online and Waiting for a Trip Request
Suppose the driver is logged into the Uber app, available to provide a ride, but has not accepted a trip request yet. In this case, the driver’s personal auto insurance is the primary coverage. However, Uber’s contingent liability coverage becomes active, acting as secondary coverage.
Secondary coverage means that Uber’s coverage may apply if the Uber driver’s personal insurance does not cover an accident or provides only partial coverage. The coverage limits include:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
When the Driver Is Available and Carrying a Passenger
From the moment a driver accepts a passenger’s ride request until they drop the passenger off, Uber insurance becomes the primary coverage. It is most comprehensive during this period. It includes:
- $1 million in third-party liability, which can cover injuries or damages to other parties if the Uber driver is at fault
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which applies to bodily injury if other drivers cause an accident and do not have sufficient coverage
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage, which may cover repair costs to the Uber vehicle up to the vehicle’s actual cash value
Does Uber’s Insurance Cover an Accident or Does the Driver’s Personal Insurance?
When an accident involves an Uber vehicle, does Uber’s insurance cover the accident or does the driver’s personal insurance? The insurance coverage largely depends on the driver’s status within the Uber app at the time of the accident and accident liability.
If the driver was not logged into the app, their personal auto insurance is the primary coverage for any claims.
However, when logged in and waiting for ride requests, Uber offers contingent liability coverage as secondary coverage to the driver’s personal insurance. This coverage applies if the driver’s insurance does not cover the car accident or is insufficient.
Uber’s commercial insurance becomes the primary coverage once an Uber driver accepts a ride in the app until passenger drop-off. However, Uber’s third-party liability coverage only applies if the driver is responsible for damages. If the driver is not at fault, the at-fault party’s insurer should provide coverage for the resulting damage.
Can Uber Deny Insurance Claims?
It is important to understand that paying out claims is not in an insurance company’s best interest. They are for-profit businesses that save money when they can minimize liability or deny claims altogether. Therefore, Uber’s insurance company may try to undervalue or deny your accident claim.
A few common reasons why Uber may deny an accident claim include, but are not limited to:
- Driver’s status on the app. If the driver was offline when the accident occurred, Uber will not cover the accident. The driver’s personal insurance would apply to the accident. This is because the driver was using their vehicle as a private individual during the accident.
- Driver violated Uber’s Community Guidelines. Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Because of this distinction, if a driver causes damages due to behavior that goes against Uber’s terms of service, Uber may claim it is not responsible because the driver is an independent contractor. Examples of this behavior may include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or aggressive driving.
- Disputed accident fault. In situations where accident fault is disputed or unclear, Uber and its insurance provider may contest or deny a claim.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, your claim against Uber may be viable or not. Even if you have a viable claim against Uber, it may try to deny it. We recommend working with an experienced Uber accident lawyer to advocate for your best interests. Your attorney can help you understand the best legal options for your unique situation.
If Uber is liable, your attorney can negotiate on your behalf or sue Uber if it is unwilling to negotiate a settlement. In other cases, you may be able to seek compensation from the Uber driver’s personal auto insurance, another motorist’s insurance, or even your own insurer.
Contact Our Los Angeles Uber Accident Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
Have you been involved in an accident with Uber, either as a passenger or another road user? Are you wondering if Uber’s insurance covers your accident and will Uber compensate you for your damages? Do not wait to discuss your unique situation with a Los Angeles Uber accident lawyer from our firm. You may have a viable claim to recover compensation for damages like medical expenses and lost wages.
The Law Offices of Steers & Associates represents personal injury victims throughout Los Angeles and Southern California. We offer a free initial consultation to answer your legal questions and discuss your potential legal options for seeking compensation. Call us today at (800) 824-5416 or contact us online.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.