Uber boasts a $1 million insurance policy
While that policy is available to Uber passengers and, in some cases, drivers, it is generally not available for others who are injured in an accident with a Chicago Uber driver. Uber’s insurance policy is a bit complex, but it explains when accidents are covered and to what extent. Uber’s insurance policy breaks down a ride into three parts. The availability and extent of coverage depend on when an accident occurs.
If an accident occurs when an Uber driver’s app is not open, or they are not currently accepting any rides, Uber’s insurance policy will not be involved. In these situations, the driver’s personal insurance policy would be the first – and potentially only – place to look for coverage. However, if an accident victim has an auto insurance policy, they may file a claim with their insurance company if the at-fault driver’s policy is insufficient or otherwise unavailable.
During this phase, the Uber driver’s personal policy is, again, the first source of coverage. However, Uber’s insurance policy provides an additional $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in third-party coverage. For accidents in this category, Uber’s policy would cover injuries caused to those other than the driver or the passenger, such as a pedestrian or another motorist.
In Illinois, all motorists must maintain bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. Many personal insurance policies contain exclusions for accidents that occur while transporting someone for a fee. Many accident victims have been frustrated to learn that an at-fault driver’s insurance policy will not cover their claim because the driver failed to purchase a rideshare endorsement. Thus, Uber drivers can (and should) purchase rideshare insurance. However, not all drivers opt to take on this additional expense.
Once the Uber app pairs a driver and passenger, the company’s $1 million insurance policy kicks in. Coverage remains in effect until the passenger is dropped off. Specifically, the policy includes coverage for:
• $1 million in third-party liability
• Uninsured or underinsured motorist protection of at least $250,000
• Contingent comprehensive and collision
For accidents occurring while a passenger is in the car, Uber’s insurance policy will cover injuries to the passenger and any third party who is injured due to the driver’s negligence.
Uber has recently come under fire for being the cause of a significant increase in traffic accidents. According to a 2018 study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, the advent of rideshare companies in the United States has caused a 2-3 percent increase in fatal traffic accidents. The causes of Chicago Uber accidents vary. This list represents just a few of the more common causes of Chicago rideshare accidents. However, any accident involving an Uber driver may be covered by Uber’s insurance policy, and, even if it is not, the driver’s personal policy should provide coverage. Below are the most commonly seen causes:
Uber conducts a driver screening on each potential driver and requires drivers have a license for at least a year. Inexperienced drivers commonly sign up to drive for the company. These drivers may lack the experience and skill necessary to transport customers to their destinations safely.
Uber drivers are paid per trip. Drivers are encouraged to spend long periods on the road. Fatigued driving increases the chances of a crash. Uber drivers also take passengers all over and have to rely on GPS or the Uber app for directions. Drivers can become easily distracted.
Uber drivers know that most riders want to get to their destination quickly. Speeding is a common problem for Chicago Uber drivers. Besides speeding, motorists may engage in other forms of aggressive driving such as running red lights, ignoring stop signs, tailgating, changing lanes abruptly or shouting at other drivers. This type of behavior puts passengers and others on the road at risk of accidents.
Under Uber policy, drivers are required to maintain their vehicles and ensure they are registered and inspected properly. Poorly maintained brakes, defective signals and other mechanical problems can increase the chances of collisions. Chicago winters bring snow, sleet and ice that can make travel dangerous for all vehicles, especially those that are not properly cared for.