Ride Sharing is the buzz term, but it is really known at Transportation Network Company (TNC). TNC is not a taxi company with fleet of vehicles and employees, it also is not under the same rules and regulations that taxi services have to provide. Fair? Well, that is a discussion for another day.
TNC are software companies that offers prearranged rides for a fee using on-line applications to connect passengers with drivers who are willing to transport them with their own vehicle. Some of the most popular ones are:
Personal Vehicle Sharing is another new service using technology as its base that allows vehicle owners to "loan out" their cars and are paid to allow others to "rent" their vehicle. These services are very popular around airports, urban neighborhoods and college campuses. Some of the more popular providers:
Driver Services is the finally the other big buzz that is popping up now. Online marketplace to provide drivers to people that own a car, but can not drive, or may have issues with parking, have work to do for a long car ride, or simply want to look important that they have a chauffer. Examples:
So are you covered by your personal auto policy for any of these services? Short answer - probably not, unless the policy has been endorsed.
Personal Auto policies were never designed to pick up any business exposures and the language in the policies clearly states no coverage at all for liability, medical, uninsured/underinsured and physical damage to your car for "Public or Livery Conveyance." I know, you have been told by these TNC that they have insurance for you.....or do they?
Ride Sharing policies that I have seen indicate that their coverage's begin when the passenger is in the car AND they are excess to your personal auto policy. But the interpretation of insurance contract states as soon as you turn on your app that you are open for business, your personal auto policy coverage stops.
A few insurance companies (several that we have contracts with) can, for a charge, offer the "gap" for when you are logged on, but not when the passenger is in the vehicle.
Vehicle Sharing insurance - the personal contract provides no coverage at all, because the vehicle is now a commercial vehicle that you are getting paid when it is used. The only way to cover your vehicle is to put the vehicle on a commercial insurance policy, and probably a non-standard company maybe the only option (and costly). Think about it - you want someone you have no relationship with, and no knowledge of their back ground, driving record, etc, use your vehicle.
Driving service networks will mandate that you carry a non-owned auto policy, or your current insurance is endorsed. These network services provide some limited coverage, but it is all excess over your insurance.
What about general delivery service?
Again, the language has exclusions for "Public or Livery Conveyance," also known as No Coverage. Some examples of delivery:
Bottom line - Personal Auto contracts were never designed for and should not be relied upon for coverage when being used for deliveries of any kind - persons or property.
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