Lyft is seeking to combat questions about insurance and liability today, with the introduction of a new Peer-to-Peer Rideshare Insurance Coalition, as well as the announcement that it will be providing additional insurance to drivers on its platform.
In a blog post, the ride-sharing startup announced the formation of a working group made up of “transportation companies, regulators, insurance providers, and other stakeholders.” The coalition is designed to address issues surrounding the way insurance companies view and handle claims that are made when someone is offering peer-to-peer rides as part of a service like Lyft or SideCar.
While Lyft hasn’t announced any other members of the working group, it said on its blog that the first meeting of the group would take place later this month. The full list of participants is expected to be announced later this week.
In addition to the formation of the coalition, Lyft announced that it would be providing excess insurance for drivers operating on its platform. The company already has a $1 million liability policy for drivers, but the new policy is designed to provide further protection for drivers in the case of accidents that aren’t covered by insurance.
The excess coverage includes:
- Collision insurance with a $2,500 deductible and $50,000 maximum value applicable to drivers who have purchased collision coverage on their personal policy
- A policy with a $1 million limit covering drivers if they are hit by an uninsured motorist who is at fault
- A policy with a $1 million limit covering drivers if they are hit by an underinsured motorist who is at fault
Both the introduction of the insurance working group and the additional insurance are being announced as the peer-to-peer ride-sharing industry is facing increased scrutiny. Part of that is due to an incident that occurred on New Year’s Eve, in which a driver who works for Uber was involved in a traffic fatality.
But that type of accident wouldn’t be covered under the new insurance policies, a Lyft spokesperson confirmed to me. That’s because the driver involved in the accident was not on duty at the time of the accident. The excess liability policy would cover only drivers when they’re in the middle of a Lyft ride.