When it comes to ridesharing insurance, insurance companies divide the driver's time into four different periods. If the app is closed, the driver is not technically in rideshare driver mode. The following are the different classifications of driving periods.
- Period 0: The ridesharing app is closed.
- Period 1: The driver's app is open, but they have not been matched with a driver yet. Instead, they are driving around and waiting for a passenger.
- Period 2: The driver is finally matched up with a passenger, and they are in the process of driving to the passenger to pick them up.
- Period 3: The rider is finally in the car and has started their ride. This period finishes once the rider gets out of the vehicle.
Period 0 covers anytime when the rideshare app is closed, and is covered by a driver’s personal insurance, which must meet the minimum automobile insurance requirements in California. This means that you must have at least $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for each person who is injured in an accident. You must have $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident and $5,000 for property damage coverage as well.
Period 1 is when you are waiting for the app to pair you with a passenger. In this stage, you must have $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for the entire accident. You must also have $30,000 of property damage liability.
Period 2 and 3 have similar requirements. Once you are paired with a passenger, the rideshare company is responsible for buying a liability insurance policy worth $1 million. California requires rideshare companies to buy this coverage for you and your passengers.
In California, Lyft provides collision and comprehensive coverage. For Lyft's coverage to work for you, you must have collision coverage through your normal policy. In addition, Lyft will charge you a $2,500 deductible before the company's insurance kicks in.
Uber also covers its drivers in California. With Uber, drivers are covered by $1 million of underinsured and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. In addition, you can get comprehensive and collision coverage after you pay the $1,000 deductible. You also need to have collision coverage on your normal insurance policy to receive comprehensive and collision coverage through Uber.