Rideshare providers like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have gained in popularity in California over the past few years. To best serve this growing new market - and ensure there are no coverage gaps - Farmers will begin offering a new Rideshare Endorsement to rideshare drivers on May 28.
The endorsement - available through Farmers Specialty Insurance Company - will extend coverage from the underlying Farmers Specialty auto policy to rideshare drivers from the time a driver becomes available to accept ride requests (by activating their app) until the driver accepts a request to transport a paying passenger. Without a rideshare endorsement, a rideshare driver only has minimum liability coverage when he or she is waiting to accept a ride - if he or she gets into an accident during this period, he or she may have to pay out of pocket to repair his or her car and for medical expenses.
The additional coverage provided by the endorsement will cost the insured an additional 8 percent of the premium - on average roughly $6-$8 per month. Once the endorsement is available, California rideshare drivers who are Farmers Specialty customers will be able to purchase it either through their agent or service operations.
The insurance gap happens because the ride services’ $1 million policies don’t kick in until a driver is en route to pick up a passenger (although some offer lower Period 1 coverage), while personal policies usually refuse to cover for-hire driving. A new California law, AB2293, which will take effect July 1, sets out minimum coverage for Period 1.
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