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Accidents can happen any time you’re on the road. Whether you’re driving in perfect conditions or driving in the rain, you never know when a collision is about to occur. Being prepared for Uber accidents is both smart and necessary when your job requires you to spend hours behind the wheel each day.
Handling car accidents that happen on the job can be significantly more complex than handling accidents in your personal life. When you’re ridesharing, you have a company to report to, Uber passengers to consider, and questions about your coverage to answer.
To help reduce your stress level, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about what to do and what insurance coverage you can expect when an Uber accident does occur.
- What To Do in an Uber Accident
- Does Uber Provide Coverage for Accidents?
- Will My Insurance Policy Cover Uber Accidents?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What To Do in an Uber Accident
When you’re caught in a car accident while driving for Uber, you’ll need to take extra steps to limit your liability and report the incident to the right people. We’ll guide you through what you need to do in an Uber accident below.
Immediately after a collision occurs, move your vehicle to the side of the road if possible. Next, check for any bodily injuries on yourself and any riders. If you’re able to safely get out of your vehicle, check on any other parties — including other drivers, bikers, or pedestrians — involved in the collision, as well.
To avoid further harm and limit your liability, don’t move anyone who’s injured, especially in the case of serious injuries. Instead, just take note of where they’re hurt before dialing 911 to report the incident and the need for medical attention. Even if there are no injuries or property damage, you may still be required to report the incident to law enforcement, depending on local laws.
Don’t forget to turn on your car’s emergency lights if you can do so safely. If you have cones, reflective triangles, or similar equipment in your car emergency kit, you can set these out to give other drivers on the road a heads up.
Take as many pictures of the auto accident as you need to fully document what occurred. This includes taking pictures of the accident site, damages, and the license plates of any other cars involved. Uber will specifically request pictures of all four sides of your car.
In addition to getting the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information (and sharing your own), you’ll want to get the contact information of any bystanders at the scene. This is especially important if you’re not the at-fault driver, as you’ll have witnesses to back up your accident claims.
Whether you were simply open for ride requests or completing a trip before the Uber accident, you’ll want to take screenshots of your Uber app, too. You may need these screenshots as proof that you’re eligible for Uber car insurance or personal car insurance claims (we’ll dive deeper into coverage later).
Write down what you recall from the accident while your memory is still clear and, when an officer arrives, write down their badge number. This may be needed for accident or injury claims.
While you may not be able to get these at the scene, other pieces of evidence you’ll want to collect include:
- Video files: If you have a car camera installed, save and back up all relevant files.
- Medical bills: If you have injuries and rack up any medical expenses, save your bills for potential claims.
The next step is reaching out to Uber to report the incident. No need to pick and choose between Uber support channels — the rideshare company has a dedicated place for you to report car accidents. To submit photos and details, head to this help page or tap “Trip and Fare Review” in the Help section of your Uber Driver app and select “I was involved in an accident.” You’ll likely need to cancel your trip beforehand if it hasn’t been cancelled already.
An Uber team member will reach out to you fairly quickly via phone call. During this phone call, they can provide guidance on how to help any passengers at the scene if relevant. Then, you’ll receive an incident report form that you’ll want to complete as soon as possible.
As Uber’s auto insurance providers investigate to determine liability and eligibility for coverage, your account may be suspended for a few days. This temporary Uber deactivation may last longer — until you get repairs and another Uber vehicle inspection — if your car is deemed ineligible to drive after the accident.
Even so, don’t skip reporting to Uber. Riders and bystanders can still report you, and if the company gets word that you were involved in an unreported accident, this could spell trouble for you.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
Most insurance companies require you to call and report an incident, even if your policy doesn’t cover the Uber accidents. Make sure to do so and provide any requested details. Your insurance company can answer any questions about your eligibility and filing claims as needed.
If you need legal advice — which is usually the case if you’re at fault or expect the other driver to sue — you will need to contact an Uber accident attorney instead. In any case, never admit that you’re at fault. Of course, don’t lie either, as doing so can get you into further trouble.
Does Uber Provide Coverage for Accidents?
So, how much does Uber actually cover you if you get into an accident? It actually depends on what stage of driving you’re in.
If you were actively waiting for requests at the time of the Uber accident, you get minimal coverage. Specifically, the following third-party liability coverage applies:
- $50,000 in bodily injury per person
- $100,000 in bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
This coverage only applies if your own auto insurance policy doesn’t cover Uber accidents. If you’re hurt or your own property is damaged, third-party liability coverage cannot help you in any way.
If you were already en route to your pick-up or drop-off location when the Uber accident occurred, the rideshare company’s commercial insurance policy provides significantly more coverage. In this case, Uber insurance provides:
- $1,000,000 third-party liability coverage
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (only applies if the other driver is at fault or in hit-and-run cases)
- Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage, up to your car’s value (a $1,000 deductible applies)
Will My Insurance Policy Cover Uber Accidents?
Most traditional car insurance policies won’t cover you while you’re driving for a rideshare app, regardless of what stage you’re in. This is because your policy likely only covers driving for personal use, not for commercial purposes.
Because of this, many independent contractors choose to purchase dedicated rideshare insurance. While Uber’s insurance provides great coverage while you’re actively working on a trip, rideshare insurance fills in the gap by providing heftier coverage between trips. Instead of just being covered by minimal third-party liability insurance, you can choose a plan — either with your current insurance provider or a different one — to ensure you’re safe from the high costs of car accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know what to do in the face of an Uber accident and how much coverage you can expect, here are a few frequently asked questions to help you learn more:
Does Uber have a number I can call to report my accident?
Uber does have an Emergency Hotline Number (800-353-8237) that can get you quick assistance since Uber accidents are considered emergencies. However, as long as you still have a good internet connection, we recommend taking the official reporting route. When you do so, Uber team members can easily pull up any current trip details from your account, so your call takes less time. You’ll still get contacted promptly when you report an accident through the Uber Driver app.
Will Uber help me with legal fees if I am at fault?
Unfortunately, Uber does not help with legal fees, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault. Since you’re an independent contractor, Uber is not obligated to provide any financial assistance for cases the company is not directly involved in.
Does Lyft provide rideshare drivers with insurance coverage?
Yes, Lyft insurance is effective when you’re actively driving for the app. However, like Uber, the company provides minimal coverage between requests, so we recommend rideshare insurance to ensure ample coverage in the face of a Lyft accident. Lyft has a higher deductible for contingent comprehensive and collision coverage than Uber, at $2,500 instead of $1,000.
Understand Your Coverage
Anyone can experience an accident while driving with Uber. However, being prepared for the steps you need to take can make all the difference in the world. Just by collecting clear evidence and contacting the right people in a timely manner, you can reduce your own liability and get back to providing rideshare services as soon as possible.
To protect yourself even further in the event of an Uber accident, we recommend looking further into rideshare gap insurance and considering this small monthly investment for your own financial safety.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.