Uber Driver Accident: What To Do and How to Get Help

This post is part of our Uber Driver Training Mini-Series, designed to help drivers get through the application process, and earn more once on the road. In this part, we’ll dive into what to do if you are in an accident while driving for Uber.


What to do in an Accident: How to get Help from Uber / Insurance

In this unit we’ll cover what to do when you are in an accident. We’ll try to answer questions like which insurance company do you call first? How to minimize liability? Etc..

If you happen to get into an accident when driving for Uber, here’s what to do.

  1. If necessary, call 911. The police and emergency services may be needed.
  2. Make sure to take photos of damage to your car and the other cars at the scene.
  3. Make sure to get the license plate and contact information for other drivers. (Take a photo of their plate if you can.)
  4. Collect information from witnesses.
  5. Call Uber’s emergency hotline: 800-353-8237. Save this number to your phone for future reference. If this number isn’t working you may have to send an email to Uber [email protected]
  6. Call your insurance company.
  7. NEVER admit your fault. Even if you think it is your fault don’t say so.
  8. Maintain your calm. Don’t blame the other driver. Don’t argue.
  9. Record your thoughts on the accident so that you can remember the details better if you need to.

If you haven’t read our post on rideshare insurance, you’ll want to read it now.  Why? Your personal insurance may not cover you in an accident while driving for Uber! That will explain in detail what is covered by Uber and what is covered by your personal insurance.

Now let’s dive a little deeper into each of these items.

Who to Contact First

If you get into an Uber accident, the insurance company you contact first depends on which “Period” you were in when the accident occured.

If you were in “online mode” in the Uber Partner App, had a passenger in the car, or were en route to a pickup after accepting a request…

It is recommended you contact Uber first. However, be warned that if you do, there’s a very high probability that Uber will deactivate you as a driver. This could mean you go weeks without driving and lose out on the income you could have made in that time.

Contact Uber’s hotline at: 800-353-8237 (ONLY to be used in emergencies such as accidents.)

If you cannot reach them there are several other ways to contact Uber. You can contact them in the app, via twitter, the web, or email. Our page on how to contact Uber has all the details.

If you were onine in the Uber Partner app waiting for a ride request…

Your coverage from Uber is contingent upon your personal insurance coverage.  Contact your personal insurance coverage first, then contact Uber.

If you were NOT in online mode in the Uber Partner app…

Contact your personal insurance company as usual. Uber’s insurance does not apply if you didn’t have the Uber Partner app turned on and in driver mode.

Do NOT fake it.  Do NOT lie and say you were in online mode.  Keep in mind the app is tracking your coordinates, time of day, and everything via GPS. If you try to lie to get Uber to cover you, this is fraud. You could go to jail.

A few important things to note:

Can you afford Uber’s $1,000 deductible?

REMEMBER, your phone is a great tool in an accident. You have a camera on your phone to take pictures of the accident. You have the ability to record video. You can also record audio. You can even take notes on your phone.

James River is the rideshare insurance company Uber uses. You and your passengers may be contacted by them to provide details regarding the accident.  If you are not contacted by James River, it is probably because the damage is too minor and wouldn’t reach the $1,000 deductible Uber has.

WARNING: Uber Deactivation

Uber will de-activate you as a driver, but usually after they investigate whether you are at fault. They will also want to investigate the damage to your car to determine if the amount of damage will prevent you from driving.

While Uber is investigating your claim, which can take a few weeks in some cases, you cannot pick up passengers. If your car is damaged, you cannot drive for Uber, and you will want you to repair the car before driving. You may be required to go through another Uber vehicle inspection, so be prepared for that.

Summary

When wondering what to do in an accident while driving for Uber, the most important thing is to stay calm.

If you have a passenger in the car, call Uber first. If you don’t have a passenger or are not online call your insurance company first.  If you were online in the app Uber will provide secondary coverage, but if you were not online, it is up to your personal insurance company to handle the incident.

Make sure you have personal rideshare insurance or GAP insurance to cover the gaps in your insurance policy. There are a lot of accidents Uber won’t cover while driving. Not to mention Uber’s $1000 deductible and their deactivating you may make it difficult for you to pay.

We hope you never have to ask “What to do in an accident while driving for Uber?”  If it does happen to you this guide can help.