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Whenever you’re driving, the need for car insurance is a given. However, when you’re driving for Lyft, what you may not know is that your personal insurance policy probably won’t cover you if you get into an accident on the job. Understanding how Lyft insurance works is the best way to protect yourself in your ridesharing career.
Lyft driver requirements only require you to have basic auto insurance. However, these personal policies rarely extend to any driving you do for commercial purposes. To get total coverage, most Lyft drivers must seek out rideshare insurance on their own.
In this guide, we’ll break down how much Lyft will cover you in the event of an accident. We’ll also explain exactly how buying your own Lyft insurance policy can help you stay safe and financially secure.
- Does Lyft Provide Insurance?
- Getting Your Own Lyft Insurance Policy
- How Lyft Insurance Policies Work
- Frequently Asked Questions
Does Lyft Provide Insurance?
Lyft does provide drivers with some insurance coverage, but the level of coverage you receive will depend on what stage you’re at in the driving process.
When you’re actively working on a ride request — from the time you accept a trip to the time you complete it — Lyft’s insurance will actually provide a hefty amount of coverage. You’ll get the benefit of:
- Primary liability insurance: You’ll get $1,000,000 liability coverage per accident for any property damage or bodily injury caused by your vehicle. No deductible applies.
- Contingent collision coverage: If your car is damaged in a collision, you’ll be covered up to the cash value of your vehicle or total repair cost (whichever is lower), even if you’re at fault. A $2,500 deductible applies.
- Contingent comprehensive coverage: If your car is damaged due to something other than a collision, you’ll again be covered up to the cash value of your vehicle or total repair cost (whichever is lower), even if you’re at fault. A $2,500 deductible applies.
- UM/UIM coverage: If an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes any bodily injury, this coverage will help you and your passengers cover medical expenses with no deductible. Exact coverage or availability may vary depending on your market.
Be aware that Lyft requires you to add contingent collision and comprehensive coverage in your personal auto policy (if you haven’t already) to qualify for those two benefits on the rideshare company’s insurance. As long as you do so, you’ll have all the financial security you need when actively completing trips.
Unfortunately, when you’re on driver mode and simply waiting for new ride requests on your Lyft Driver app, the company only offers minimal coverage. Between trips, Lyft’s insurance only provides primary liability coverage (no deductible), up to:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
This time of low coverage is known as the coverage gap. If you get into a serious accident between trips, you are susceptible to being underinsured. which means you’ll be responsible for paying the difference — if you don’t get your own Lyft insurance, that is.
Getting Your Own Lyft Insurance Policy
In order to close the coverage gap, many drivers choose to purchase their own Lyft insurance, otherwise known as rideshare insurance. Starting at as little as $6 per month, rideshare policies help you get peace of mind by bulking up your coverage between ride requests.
These rideshare insurance policies are now widely offered across insurance companies. Even if your current auto insurance company doesn’t offer rideshare coverage in any shape or form, you can easily choose a different provider — such as Progressive or State Farm — that will.
Though the exact rideshare coverage you receive will vary based on the plans you choose, most Lyft insurance providers do minimally offer enhanced liability coverage during the gap period, while others give you a variety of additional coverage types during the entire time you’re active on the Lyft Driver app. In some cases, Lyft policies will even help you reduce the $2,500 deductibles on Lyft’s insurance, in case you ever need repairs after a crash.
How Lyft Insurance Policies Work
Rideshare policies can cover you in a few different ways.
The most basic (and often the cheapest) type of rideshare insurance simply adds on coverage where Lyft’s insurance lacks. These add-on policies are the no-frills options you need when you want to get the exact protection you need, without spending too much. Travelers and Allstate are two brands that provide this type of policy.
A second type of rideshare insurance you may encounter is one that extends your existing personal auto insurance policy into your commercial use, at least during certain stages of driving — for example, when you’re waiting for requests or when you’re driving to your pick-up location. When you choose this option, you will get the same perks that you’re used to when driving for personal use, even when you’re earning with a rideshare service.
Lastly, your rideshare insurance may fully replace your personal policy. This option blends together the protections you need when driving for a rideshare app and when driving on your own time, so you never have to worry about being underinsured. Allstate offers this insurance option in addition to basic gap coverage. The Geico plan that qualifies for Lyft pay bonuses also falls into this category.
There’s no right or wrong choice when picking a Lyft insurance policy for yourself, but make sure you take into account:
- Your monthly or annual rate
- The types of coverage you’ll get
- How much coverage you’ll get
- What stages of driving the policy applies to
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should know how Lyft’s insurance can cover you in the event of an accident, as well as how getting your own gap insurance can help. If you still have any questions about Lyft insurance, take a look at our answers to these common questions for further guidance:
How does rideshare insurance compare to commercial insurance?
Commercial car insurance policies will provide robust coverage whenever you’re driving for a transportation network company (TNC), regardless of whether or not you’re on an active trip. Much like Lyft’s insurance — which is a type of commercial policy — they usually at least offer liability coverage, contingent collision and comprehensive coverage, and UM/UIM coverage.
However, commercial policies are much more costly, with prices of over $1,500 per year as the norm. Most rideshare drivers will not purchase this type of insurance unless required (as is the case when driving Uber Black). If you do choose to buy commercial insurance instead of rideshare insurance, Lyft’s insurance will still offer coverage on top of your own.
Can I just purchase Lyft insurance to meet the company’s auto insurance requirements?
No, you still need your personal car insurance to qualify as a Lyft driver. After all, you need when you’re not in driver mode, neither Lyft’s insurance or your rideshare insurance will provide any coverage. You still need your personal policy to get home after a day of driving.
Should Uber drivers get rideshare insurance?
Make a Smart Investment
When you’re driving for Lyft, you will always be covered by the rideshare company’s insurance, but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be fully covered. Only a small amount of liability coverage is offered when you’re waiting for requests, and even when you’re on an active trip, Lyft has a fairly high deductible before your own repairs are covered.
In order to close this coverage gap, many Lyft drivers are buying their own rideshare insurance policies, which can supplement Lyft’s insurance coverage in a handful of ways. If you want to ensure that you remain protected as you earn, rideshare insurance is a must.
Do you drive for Uber too? Read into how Uber insurance works in our guide, so you pick the right rideshare policy for both apps.
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.