Some Lyft drivers carry rideshare-specific insurance policies and some do not. The insurance coverage that applies in an accident involving a Lyft driver all depends on the driver's “status” at the time of the accident. This can be complicated for anyone who is injured in a Lyft accident, including the Lyft driver.
The insurance companies may try and say their coverage does not apply, leaving injury victims fighting to get coverage for their losses. If you were injured in a Lyft accident, as the driver, passenger, or pedestrian, contact the rideshare accident injury attorneys at accidentdenver.com.
Insurance Coverage in a Lyft Accident in Denver
The insurance coverage that applies in a Lyft accident generally depends on the Lyft driver's personal insurance coverage, supplemental insurance coverage, and the Lyft driver's status at the time. Under Colorado's Transportation Network Company Act (TNCA), there are minimum insurance requirements for transportation network companies (TNCs) like Lyft and Uber, as follows:
- App is Off Status: The Lyft driver has not turned on the driver app. The Lyft driver's personal auto insurance coverage applies.
- App is On Status: The Lyft driver has activated the app and is waiting for a ride request. Lyft provides third-party liability insurance if the driver's personal insurance does not apply.
- Prearranged Ride Status: The app is on, the Lyft driver is picking up passengers, or during the ride, until the ride is completed.
App is Off Status
When the driver has not turned on the Lyft app, the driver is covered by their personal insurance policy. The minimum insurance coverage limits in Colorado are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death total per accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
For example, a pedestrian crossing the street looks to see a vehicle with a Lyft sticker and the driver is not watching. The driver hits and injures the pedestrian. The pedestrian may think that Lyft may be liable. However, if the driver did not have the Lyft app on at the time, the driver's personal insurance limits would generally apply.
App is On Status
When the app is on but the driver is waiting for a ride request, Lyft and/or the other driver's policy may apply. If the driver's insurance does not meet the minimum limits, then Lyft will provide 3rd-party liability insurance for covered accidents. The minimums are:
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per person in an accident;
- $100,000 for bodily injury or death total per accident; and
- $30,000 for property damage in any one accident.
Even if a driver's policy limits are above the minimum coverage, the insurance may disclaim coverage because they consider driving for Lyft to be a commercial activity not covered by a personal insurance policy. In this case, Lyft's coverage may apply. This is one of the reasons some Lyft drivers buy special coverage or endorsements specifically for ride-sharing.
Prearranged Ride Status
Under the TNCA, a “prearranged ride” means a period of time that begins when a driver has accepted a requested ride through the app, continues while the driver transports a rider, and ends when the rider departs from the vehicle. During the prearranged ride, Lyft's insurance coverage applies, with the following liability limits:
- $1,000,000 for 3rd-party auto liability
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury
- Contingent comprehensive & collision up to the actual cash value of the car ($2,500 deductible)
Can Lyft Driver's Buy Supplemental or Rideshare-Specific Insurance?
A few years ago, rideshare insurance was less common. Drivers may have had to rely on their personal insurance during offline status but were unsure whether their insurer would cover them during the app-on status. Now, commercial insurance, supplemental policies, rideshare-specific coverage, or rideshare endorsements are much more common. In Colorado, some of the insurance companies that may provide rideshare coverage include:
- American Family Insurance
- Farmers Insurance
- MetLife Insurance
- State Farm
Rideshare policies are different for different insurance companies and the rates can range from a small premium increase to an increase of 25% or more, depending on the coverage. Rideshare insurance for Lyft drivers may provide additional coverage for drivers, who may face personal liability if their personal insurance policy and Lyft are both refusing to provide coverage.
Which Insurance Coverage Applies?
Which insurance coverage applies is generally based on the Lyft driver status, as indicated above. However, there may be situations where the injury victim is unclear about which coverage applies. If you were injured in a Lyft accident, your rideshare accident lawyer can help to make sure you get covered for your losses and are able to recover full compensation.
Lyft Passenger Injured in an Accident
When a Lyft passenger is injured in an accident, they are generally protected by Lyft's insurance policy (of up to $1 million). However, what insurance applies if the passenger ends the ride, goes to cross the street, and the Lyft driver hits them? Lyft may try and deny coverage under their policy because the accident occurred after the prearranged ride.
Lyft Driver Injured in an Accident
When a Lyft driver is involved in an accident with the app off, their personal insurance policy applies. During the app-on status, the driver's insurance and/or Lyft may apply, depending on the policy. During a prearranged ride, Lyft's policy will generally apply. However, if the Lyft driver has car insurance with a rideshare-specific policy, the driver's insurance may determine which coverage applies at which times.
Driver or Motorcyclist Hit by a Lyft Driver
If you are in an accident with a Lyft driver, your own insurance, the Lyft driver's insurance, and the Lyft insurance may all get involved, making for coverage confusion. If you were injured in an accident with a Lyft driver, contact your Colorado rideshare accident lawyer to make sure you get the compensation to pay for your damages.
Pedestrian or Cyclist Hit by a Lyft Driver
If you are in an accident with a Lyft driver, the insurance coverage will again depend on the Lyft driver's status. It is common for insurance companies to try to deny coverage or claim that the accident fell under some exception or exclusion of coverage. If you were injured as a pedestrian or cyclist in an accident with a Lyft driver, contact your Colorado rideshare accident lawyer to make sure you get the compensation to recover from the accident.
Denver Lyft Accident Lawyers
An experienced Denver rideshare injury lawyer knows how to make sure Lyft's insurance policy fully compensates you for your losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Lyft accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation.