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Odds are you have used such ride-sharing apps like Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar on a vacation, business trip, or getting to or from a sporting event, but did you ever think of the insurance implications? Ride-sharing businesses are different than taxi or livery businesses and not subject to the same insurance regulations (yet). A ride-sharing company connects passengers to drivers via a smart phone app usually on short notice but they can be arranged in advance. While you might expect that your personal auto policy is not designed to cover a side business as an Uber driver, you might not have thought about your employees and their use of your vehicle for the same.

Many carriers are including a mandatory exclusion on commercial auto policies called a Public or Livery Conveyance Exclusion.

If you are not in the business of livery or taxi services, the exclusion applies. The exclusion means there is NO auto coverage when logged into the ride-sharing network. The exclusion takes effect as soon as anyone logs into the network platform, not just IF they have an Uber/Lyft passenger in an auto. The exclusion applies to physical damage and uninsured motorist coverage as well as liability.

Exclusions Mean No Coverage

There would be a number of claim situations that would leave you exposed if an employee or anyone using a company vehicle causes third-party bodily injury or property damage. And remember unless endorsed to do so, most personal auto policies do not cover ride-sharing business operations either.

To combat prohibited usage and help protect your business, we recommend that you address the use of ride-sharing and ride-sharing programs/apps with company vehicles in your fleet safety manual. Additionally, discuss this issue with any non-employees (i.e. family members) that may have a company vehicle.

– Carrie Hodgens-True, CIC, CRIS

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