Now that ride sharing has become the new norm of transportation, there have been developments in the law that everyone should be aware of. With more drivers on the road, there have inevitably been more accidents. It is important to understand how PIP and UIM/UM operate when ride sharing enters into the scenario. The law continues to evolve regarding this new subject, but here is what you need to know now.
There are typically three modes if one is an Uber/Lyft driver: not logged on nor accepting passengers, logged on to accept passenger but not driving a passenger to a destination, and logged on and driving a passenger to a destination.
If an Uber/Lyft driver is not logged on nor accepting passengers, then his own PIP benefits and UM/UIM coverage applies.
Similarly, if an Uber/Lyft driver is logged on to accept passengers, but is not actually driving someone, then the driver must have his own PIP and UM/UIM coverage under his own insurance policy.
So under what circumstances does Uber/Lyft become responsible for providing a driver with PIP benefits and/or UM/UIM coverage?
According to a recently enacted New Jersey legislation, Uber/Lyft cannot allow a driver to accept a request until Uber/Lyft discloses in writing to the driver the following: what insurance UBER/LYFT will provide the driver and also tells driver that driver’s own personal insurance may or may not provide coverage if driver is logged on or is driving someone.
It would appear the reasoning behind this is because LYFT/UBER are more knowledgeable than a driver about insurance coverages, then they have a duty to inform their drivers of the insurance coverages and policies. So the burden is on the companies to provide PIP/UM/UIM for their drivers or at the very least make certain the driver himself has these coverages when in driver mode.