State Farm, Geico, and Allstate Won’t Insure Uber X Drivers

According to the San Francisco Chronicle article of November 24, 2014, State Farm, Geico, and Allstate are not providing coverage to Uber and other “ride share services”.

The largest insurer, State Farm, said it would not cover ride service activities.  “We do not insure livery use, therefore, customers should not depend on their personal auto insurance coverage to protect them while driving for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft,” State Farm spokesman Sevag Sarkissian wrote in an email, “A commercial auto insurance policy is needed to insure against livery use exposures.”

Allstate, the third largest insurer, has a similar policy; “In California, Allstate personal auto policies do not provide coverage if the car is for hire, so the car and its owner operator are excluded from personal auto coverage when used in this manner,” said spokesman Jim Klapthor.

State regulators say the insurers are within their rights in denying coverage.  “If consumers use their vehicles in violation of a contract which says only personal/commute use, that seems like a legitimate reason for a cancellation or nonrenewal,” said Chris Shultz, deputy commissioner at the California Department of Insurance.

Click here to read the full SF Gate article: Leaked transcript shows Geico’s stance against Uber, Lyft

What does this mean if you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle that is involved in an accident insured by one of the big three?

It means no coverage on the auto operator’s policy.

What is you are struck by an Uber operated vehicle?

It means no coverage on the auto operator’s policy.

So someone injured, while a passenger in an Uber vehicle or resulting from the negligence of an Uber operator, can find themselves injured and chasing Uber, who claims all they provide is a means of access, and are not a taxi company.

A group of San Francisco taxi drivers, who have undergone police background checks, drive cars with meters that have regulated rates to prevent consumer gouging, have the statutorily required insurance to protect passengers as well as third parties in the event of an accident, and drive vehicles that have undergone periodic safety checks, all of which is required by law, are suing Uber on the basis it is a transportation company who has gained an unfair advantage by not complying with the law (e.g. not having insurance, not having the expense of inspecting and maintaining vehicles, or complying with other statutory requirements), and taken customers from the cabbies who are following the law.  (See San Francisco Superior Court NO. CGC 12-526017)

If you would like more information on this case, please contact The Brandi Law Firm at tjb@brandilaw.com .

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